Usually there’s very little that can go wrong with a bunk bed ladder. If it’s properly constructed it should last for many years and give good service. However, problems do occur and you need to be able to fix them-it’s much cheaper than spending money on a new bunk bed ladder.
The most common problem with a bunk bed ladder is a broken rung. That makes climbing up and down impossible until you’ve replace the rung. How you do this will depend on how the original rung was put in place.
If it’s been glue there, with a joint on the rung, saw off the run on both sides so it’s flush with the inside of the sides and sand so it’s smooth. Measure the width of the sides and buy a 2-inch-by-4-inch piece of wood, cutting it to the length of the rung. You might need to cut down the width of the wood so it’s the same width as the sides of the bunk bed ladder. Sand and finish the new rung, apply several coats of polyurethane. Put the rung in place; it should fit snugly between the sides. Make sure it’s square and level. Drill through the sides into the rung and use 2 lug bolts, each 4 inches long and ½ inch thick, to secure in place.
If a rung feels loose it’s a sign that it might break sooner or later, and it’s certainly not as safe as it should be. You can tighten it up quite easily. Drill through from the outside of the sides and put in a 4 inch screw on each side, screwing it in all the way and countersinking it. Test the rung. After this it should be quite firm.
Where several of the rungs are loose you can apply the same fix but it really needs more work. In this instance the best fix is to replace the ladder altogether as it’s becoming too old and worn.
It’s important to inspect the bunk bed ladder regularly to ensure there are no splinters in the wood. These can easily enter the hands or feet and be quite painful. If you encounter some, sand the area down to the bare wood. Wipe off the sawdust and cover with a thin coat of polyurethane. Leave to dry and then add more coats, giving ample drying time between each coat.
In some extreme cases the wood in a bunk bed ladder can split. If this occurs on a rung, remove the rung and replace it. If it happens on the sides of the bunk bed ladder you have a different problem and one that will require you to replace the entire ladder as the integrity of the ladder will have been damaged. Don’t just try to replace the side as it will actually involve more work than building an entirely new ladder. It’s better not to take chances with any ladder.