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Sagging Floors Repairs and Causes

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Floors are the focal point of any home’s beauty. The use of stylish flooring can significantly improve the appearance of your interior. However, you may notice your floor sag and become uneven over time. Eventually, it may become too obvious to ignore. Sagging floors not only affect the look of your home, but your safety as well. Luckily, the problem can be quickly addressed with some professional help.

Many homeowners and commercial property owners have dealt with sagging floors. They may sag due to wear and tear or the natural settling of your property’s foundation. However, it can also be the result of water damage or pest infestation, such as termites.

Repairing a sagging floor on your own isn’t easy and in some cases, it’s impossible. Therefore, it is wise to contact repair experts to fix the issue. Before we get into how to fix sagging floors, it’s essential to understand what causes sagging floors in the first place.

Common Causes of Sagging Floors

THE MOVEMENT OF SOIL

When soil is moist, it expands. When the soil dries, it contracts. Over time, such changes may cause foundations to shift, impacting your floors in the long term.

If the foundation of a house is laid without properly compacting the soil underneath it, soil movement risks are multiplied, which may lead to shifting and sagging floors.

INADEQUATE STRUCTURAL DESIGN

A faulty foundation frequently causes uneven or sagging floors. Foundation damage can occur due to age or poor design or build quality, resulting in a foundation too weak to hold the weight of your home. A shaky foundation causes warping, cracking, uneven floors, and other issues.

It is important to note that the foundation of a house will wear down over time. Floors and walls will eventually distort, resulting in uneven or sagging floors.

EXPANSIVE CLAY SOIL

Heavily expansive clay soils can also cause foundation issues, resulting in uneven and sagging floors. Clay, like a sponge, expands and contracts underneath your home in reaction to changes in moisture. As the ground expands, it puts too much pressure on the foundation. The continuous heaving and shrinking ultimately weaken the foundation, resulting in uneven floors.

EXCESSIVE MOISTURE EXPOSURE

Water damage is undoubtedly among the most frequent cause of sagging and uneven floors. This water can enter directly into the foundation, especially in areas with poor drainage, or it can be prompted by drainage issues triggered by several factors such as:

  • Water that runs off rooftops and pools near your foundation.
  • Blocked up gutters and downspouts that are unable to sufficiently direct water away.
  • Low areas in your yard near the foundation that catch water after heavy rains.
  • Erosion of the supporting soil layers.

The water eventually reaches wooden beams and subflooring, warping them. Furthermore, in climate zones prone to severe weather changes, water can freeze and expand during the cold season, causing the floors to shift and crack. All of these changes result in uneven and sagging floors. Such water issues can cause long-term problems like mold, rot, and cracking.

INADEQUATELY COMPACTED FILL SOIL

Expect foundation and floor troubles, such as sagging floors, if the fill dirt beneath your home was not appropriately compacted. Incorrectly compressed fill soil exposes concrete foundations to settlement problems. When constructing a new home, ensure that the compaction meets quality standards.

SINKHOLE FORMATION

Water that discharges underground causes sinkholes. You are more likely to face this problem if you do not have adequate external drainage around your home. Once water seeps underground, it can cause underground soil erosion, resulting in underground caverns. Sinkholes generally cause severe foundation damage, so recognizing the signs early can help you minimize their effects.

Signs of sinkhole formation may include:

  • Water bills that are higher indicate the presence of underground plumbing leaks.
  • A round depression in the soil.
  • Cracks in your driveway or foundation.

Understanding that you could have a sinkhole and working with foundation services professionals to fix it as soon as possible would go a long way toward protecting your house from disaster.

Once the repair specialists determine what’s causing your home’s uneven floors, they start working on resolving the problem. You must also take measures to ensure that the issues don’t occur again.

Sagging Floor Repair Solutions

FLOOR JACKING AND FOUNDATION PIERING

Floor jacks and foundation piering methods can be used to repair foundation damage. The foundation is raised to the needed level using foundation jacks. After that, the foundation will be stabilized with new footings and piers.

REPAIR ANY LEAKS IN YOUR PIPING SYSTEM

Fixing water leaks necessarily requires identifying the issue as soon as it occurs. Analyze your piping system for symbols of water leaks so that you can improve the issue before it’s a significant problem. A plumber can repair or replace any items causing water damage in your home. If the condition is severe, you may need to replace the flooring at some point.

ENSURE ADEQUATE DRAINAGE

Slow soil erosion can be corrected by adding drainage and strategically positioned spots around your home’s foundation. This directs water as far away from home as possible. Aside from waterproofing, you can improve the grading of your foundation by adding a sloping wall. A good foundation should have a sloping of 3 to 5% around the house.

See Things To Consider- Drainage

INSTALLING SUPPORTING BEAMS OR JOINTS

If there is a sagging section among two points on your floor, there may be problems with joints or beams located beneath the floor. This problem can be solved by sistering the joists and incorporating push piers to support the sagging joists. This will probably raise the uneven areas of the floor, leveling it out.

FAQs

ARE SAGGING FLOORS DANGEROUS?

Sagging floors pose several risks to you and your family. Trips fall, and injuries could occur due to uneven floors. It also provides a conducive environment for mold and bacteria to grow, impacting your health in the long run.

In a nutshell, uneven floors can be the start of a slew of other issues with your home, including a significant decrease in its value. It is best to hire a professional to repair your sagging floors as soon as possible. Early detection and repair can prevent you from escalation, costing you more money in the long run.

Although a sagging floor is evident, we keep hoping to repair your home before it reaches that point. Here are some pointers to watch out for before your foundation deteriorates:

Examine your floor joists for signs of wood rot or excess moisture. Do they have a soft feel, or is mold growing on them? Do they appear to be warped or compressed? These are all signs that the floor joists aren’t supporting the floor as well as they should. Also, check for gaps between the columns and the girders that support the bottom up while you’re in your crawl space.

CAN I FIX FOUNDATION ISSUES ON MY OWN?

Homeowners sometimes attempt instant solutions to foundation problems. Patching drywall cracks is a popular repair. While this temporarily repairs the cosmetic damage, this does nothing to strengthen the foundation and prevent it from happening again and again. Patching drywall regularly can be aggravating and unattractive!

WHEN SHOULD I HIRE A PROFESSIONAL?

Living with a damaged foundation prevents you from fully utilizing and enjoying your living space without worry. Any finishing work done to the house will need to be repaired regularly until the problem is permanently resolved. In some extreme cases, homeowners have waited so long to address the issue that entire basement walls have crashed, resulting in an unsafe home that is extremely costly to fix.

The problem of a faulty foundation must be addressed. Fixing these issues now and for all time can provide you with the peace of mind that the foundation is once again safe, secure, and fully functional. Hence, it’s a wise investment!

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