After each winter and spring we discover new damage from the elements. Picking up broken branches and cutting up toppled trees is a job that goes through out the entire summer and fall. The top step was comprised of rail road ties and it must have developed a crack that allowed snow to melt and freeze therefore splitting one of the ties.
I therefore used long nails to nail it back together again and put a three inch layer of cement on top of the step since it was otherwise sound. That is where the old fencing comes in handy as in the top photo. Using galvanized staples I attach the three layers of wire fence to the step so the wood and cement will attach. Then in the second photo above I pour wet cement on the step having already framed it in to hold the cement.
I then smooth the cement out and when it starts to get firm I use a broom to lightly stroke the top and put ridges in it for good footing. Let it dry for 4-5 days and it is ready to walk on and is a good solid step that is safer than the railroad tie that could come loose when you stepped on it and cause a fall. Now that the step is repaired it is time to move on to other repair projects. Winter in the mountains is pretty brutal with the snow, freezing, wind and sun that can collectively or independently cause damage. Not to mention the damage I can do when I'm shoveling or running the snow thrower.