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How to Support Floor Joists in a Crawl Space

Table of Contents

Discovering that your crawl space joists require more support is something no homeowner looks forward to. However, it is best to have a plan of action when this occurs. Ultimately, we believe there are at least three viable options you can choose when you want to learn how to support floor joists in a crawl space:

  1. Addition of More Floor Joists
  2. Installing blocking
  3. Support Columns for Your Crawl Space

In the following sections, we’ll explain these three options more thoroughly. After that, we’ll explain why floor joists fail and share a few signs you should look out for that indicate this is the case.

Addition of More Floor Joists

A fault in your crawl space floor joists could relate to how your original builder installed them. For instance, if your initial builder added an incorrect amount of floor joists or failed to space them properly, there is an excellent chance that the floor above your crawl space will fail.

In these cases, the best solution you can choose is to hire someone to install more floor joists. That professional may deem installing more joists, beams, or both necessary. After installation, you can expect your crawl space to remain level and sturdy.

Ensure your home's stability and safety with expert advice on supporting floor joists in crawl spaces. Ideal for homeowners seeking practical solutions.

Installing Blocking

Another way to improve the structural stability of your crawl space joists is by installing blocking. Although it doesn’t look like much, blocking can add immensely to the structural support in your crawl space, helping distribute the weight of your flooring system and the items above it to adjacent floor joists.

Blocking is a piece of wood that attaches between your floor joists. This attachment strengthens both the joists it touches and ensures that your crawl space does not lack support in the future.

Support Columns for Your Crawl Space

To understand this solution, you should know how your crawl space works. Generally, the joists and beams of your flooring connect to a supportive column that connects your foundation to the earth below. Unfortunately, this column can sometimes lack stability, causing your joists and floor to fail.

Ensure your home's stability and safety with expert advice on supporting floor joists in crawl spaces. Ideal for homeowners seeking practical solutions.

Fortunately, adding support to the columns that hold up your crawl space is relatively easy. By hiring someone to add these supports, you can expect your crawl space to be stronger than ever before.

What Causes a Crawl Space to Fail?

There are various reasons a crawl space could fail, including the following:

  1. Rotting joists: Most crawl space joists consist of timber. While this building material is helpful, it can be susceptible to rot. When floor joists rot, you can expect your floor to suffer.
  2. Missing structures: A lack of floor joists, beams, or supporting columns can cause the crawl space below your floor to fail. In most cases, these issues will be prevalent following construction.
  3. Foundation settlement: A small amount of uniform settlement is normal. However, if you experience differential foundation settlement, you can expect issues to arise in your crawl space and throughout the rest of your home.

Signs You Need Crawl Space Joist Support

If you notice any of the signs in the list below, your best approach is to hire a foundation professional who can address your needs:

  1. Deformed floorboards: Any deformation in your floorboards can reveal there is an issue with the joists below it.
  2. Sloping floors: Damage to your crawl space floor joists can cause your floors to slope in a specific direction rather than being flat.
  3. Wall cracks: Rot and pest problems can cause problems with your floor joists since these features often consist of wood. It can also result in cracks that form in the walls at any level of your home.
  4. Jammed windows and doors: Problems with your crawl space joists can also cause your doors and windows to be incredibly difficult to open and close.

Preventing Crawl Space Damage

Rather than dealing with crawl space damage after it occurs, use the list below to learn some ways to prevent it:

  1. Control crawl space moisture: Excessive moisture is one of the leading causes of crawl space damage. Moisture causes wood structures to rot, the proliferation of mold and mildew, and many other issues. Encapsulating a crawl space prevents moisture from arriving. Running a dehumidifier in an encapsulated crawl space and enhancing your drainage system are ways to prevent excessive moisture.
  2. Address differential settlement: If your crawl space has experienced differential settlement, address it immediately. Differential settlement issues will worsen when left unaddressed. Foundation specialists often fix differential foundation settlement by installing piers. These piers embed into the earth until they reach firm strata. Piers connect to the foundation and the firm strata, allowing a foundation team to level your home and prevent settlement issues.
  3. Have your crawl space inspected: If you are unsure about the state of your crawl space and whether it needs additional support, the best approach is to schedule an inspection. Thorough inspections allow you to understand the problems and ideal solutions.

Have Your Crawl Space Inspected by a Pro

An issue with crawl space joists is not something you can resolve on your own. Instead, it is always best to find a foundation professional you can trust. This professional will diagnose your issue and provide you with the ideal solution.

If you live in the Charlotte, North Carolina area and have problems with your crawl space, your best option is to contact HydroHelp911. Our team specializes in repairing crawl spaces, and we would love to hear from you. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer.

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