It is estimated that approximately 25% of homes will have structural issues during their lifetime. According to the foundation repair experts at HydroHelp911, one common symptom of this problem is uneven or soft floors, which are unsightly and dangerous. When you own a home, the last thing you want is a significant flaw that runs throughout it.
Once you’ve discovered it, you’ll probably want to get it fixed as soon as possible. However, the cause of uneven floors isn’t always apparent, making it difficult to devise a repair strategy. Knowing why this is occurring is the first step toward resolving the problem.
The foundation repair experts at HydroHelp911 have listed below the most common causes of uneven and soft floors.
Excess water under the floor or near the foundation is the second most common cause of uneven floors after settling. Even if there aren’t large puddles of water, this extra moisture can have serious consequences.
While water is essential to life, it can also be highly damaging to many of our structures. Long-term exposure can warp the materials and weaken their internal structures, causing them to lose their original shape. When water freezes, it expands with force which can break whatever is around it.
HydroHelp911’s professional waterproofing of your home’s interior and exterior is the best way to avoid soft floor problems and keep your home as dry as possible.
The most severe cause of soft and uneven floors is primary foundation settling, which has resulted in cracks and breaks. This is a serious issue that will have ramifications in many areas of your home, but it can significantly impact your floors.
Even the slightest crack can cause the flooring to have raised or lowered areas rather than one continuous surface. You’ll be able to feel the differences and start noticing when something isn’t right, no matter what kind of flooring you have in your home. Some more challenging floors, such as tiles or wood, can cause some flooring pieces to reappear or be out of place.
Materials That Have Expired
There are very few building materials that are designed to last indefinitely. Even those who have the potential must be in ideal circumstances for that to happen. Sometimes the materials used to build your home, especially an older home, wear out, resulting in uneven flooring.
This is most common in the floor joists or subfloor, which are the most vulnerable to rot or insect damage. They are also high-pressure aspects of a home that hold much of the structure together.
When you notice sloping floors, you should inspect them for moisture damage and general wear and tear. Then, they can be replaced or reinforced with the assistance of a professional soft floor and foundation repair team
Whether or not it is built, each structure will experience a settling period. This is when the ground and materials shift slightly due to their placement and the natural passage of time.
Often, settling appears as soft floors or walls that aren’t relatively level. However, if the settling occurs unevenly, it can appear as a significant shift in the entire house. Unfortunately, there is no way to know or completely control how things will settle. The best part is that settlement is average and causes no significant issues. When problems are caused by this settling that manifests as substantial problems in your home, the problems can usually be resolved by reinforcing or adding extra supports provided by soft floor repair experts.
As previously stated, the ground beneath every building will experience some settling over time. This is completely normal and usually does not cause any issues. However, the soil beneath a structure can occasionally be unstable and shift enough to cause foundation movement. Most of the time, this occurs when the soil erodes due to insufficient compaction during construction or other more natural causes. In some cases, entire soil areas can be displaced, leaving large holes.
This process does not happen overnight, so you’ll likely notice early warning signs, such as uneven and soft floors, that will help you detect it early and avoid further structural damage.
Poorly Constructed Structures
In some cases, uneven and soft floors result from poor construction and a lack of attention to detail. However, a lot goes into developing any structure; if you’re not using a good building team, things will be overlooked, and your finished product will suffer. That goes back to when the project’s structure plans were created. If something is overlooked or not enough prep work is done to prepare the site, the entire foundation can be thrown off. This, in turn, causes everything else underneath to be off.
Soft Floor Repair Solutions by HydroHelp911
In most cases, jacks and support beams will be required to repair soft floors. This can be a complex process to attempt on your own, so consider contacting a professional foundation and floor repair team.
- Over existing dirt floors, new concrete pads with footings should be installed.
- Install temporary jack posts and support beams before putting them in permanent positions and beams over the new footings.
- Placing wood posts on metal post supports creates a waterproof barrier between the base and the footing.
- Stretching a knotted string across the floor is an excellent way to test your improved base and amount of deflection.
Because of how the house was constructed, there is a good chance you have soft or sagging floors if you own an older home. Most old homes with smooth floors were not built on modern concrete foundations but instead on dirt. If the floor slopes toward the center or stairs, it may indicate that the house was built on dirt. This is since the house has been settling over time.
You will already be carefully inspecting your home as a home seller, but those minor details that you have forgotten about over time are essential when selling. Owners of historic homes may accept springy or slanted floors as part of the charm, but they are also sometimes signs of structural damage.
As a home buyer, check to see if the floors pitch at all or use a piece of string to test the deflection of the bed. Ensure that the home inspection includes a foundation and joist condition report. You don’t want to be stuck with a soft floor in the house to fix after spending your savings on an otherwise lovely home.
When soil is wet, it expands and contracts. When the soil dries, it contracts. Over time, these changes may cause soil movement. Soil movement can cause foundations to shift, affecting your floors in the long run.
If the foundation of a house is laid without compacting the soil beneath it, soil movement risks are increased, potentially resulting in soft and sagging floors.
Uneven soft floors have a rough surface that is sloppy or sagging in some areas. Alternatively, some dips and cracks cause an imbalance in the overall flooring structure. This problem can cause many issues and signify a severe subfloor problem. If you have this problem, make sure you take care of it right away to avoid further damage.
If your floor sags, it’s because a component of the flooring structure has been damaged. While there are several possible reasons for this damage, the most common is a wet crawl space. This means that repairing only the flooring is a temporary fix. You’ll fix the problem for the time being, but it will reoccur.
That is why, in addition to flooring structure repairs, we recommend water drainage systems. Yes, it will increase the cost of the initial repair. However, spending the extra money to waterproof your crawl space now means you won’t have to pay for the same flooring repairs later. We strongly advise you to consider waterproofing as an investment in your home’s structural stability and air quality.
When your house was first built, the main beam was supported by columns. These may be made of wood, brick, steel, or concrete, depending on the age of your home. If your floors are sloping towards the center of your home, this indicates that either the beam or the columns are failing. When a beam deteriorates, a steel beam is used to replace it. Steel adjustable floor jacks are used in their place if the columns are weakened or decaying.
If you have an older home, the components may still be in good condition, but the columns are spaced too far apart. When this occurs, additional jacks are installed to redistribute the weight load.