When experiencing sagging floorboards, there are two types of approaches to the problem to take. Perhaps you’ve heard someone say that instead of having them repaired, they preferred the creaking sounds! They may claim the sounds act as a sort of security system letting them know when and where someone might be moving in their home for a good laugh as a solution.
The second approach might be to find them undesirable and want to repair sagging floorboards, as it doesn’t look as clean and kempt as they would like their home to be. Either way, a sagging floor could be a sign of more than just an intruder making their way through your dining room, but of a problem lying in the foundational structure of your home.
Fixing a sagging floor problem could be as superficial as repairing or securing some floorboards in a living area of your home. On the other hand, it could spell trouble happening in the floor joists themselves, underneath the home, that could have failed or are seriously damaged.
If this is true of your home, you should contact a foundation repair specialist, like our team of experienced professionals here at BARRIER, and schedule an evaluation of your structure. Otherwise, a fix to repair sagging floorboards might be as simple as a DIY fix you could complete in an afternoon.
Given that the problems exist in the superficial flooring itself, a reasonable approach to the problem may lie in pulling the floorboards up from the subfloor. Once the boards have been pulled up from the subfloor, you will want to locate where the inconsistencies surrounding the sagging area are.
If a subfloor board has become damaged, a replacement may take care of the problem all at once. For example, if it has become compromised and cracked from the pressure of a heavy piece of furniture. If the integrity of the board has caused it to become uneven, you may find that utilizing wooden shims to help support and lift the subfloor to the correct and level height. Secure the top and bottom of the shim to the materials above and below it with wood glue to be sure your fix will last.
A sagging or bouncy floor is common in many homes, but it’s often a sign of underlying trouble. Mostly it arises from wood rot, wood-eating insects, soil settlement, or using undersized joists. A sagging, creaky or soft floor is not confidence-inspiring because it means that walking in some parts of your home feel like walking on a boat in the ocean. With sagging floors, you must first assess if your floor joists are alright. Common signs of trouble include crumbling or crack on the inside walls, problems closing windows and doors, sloping floors.
After troubleshooting, there are several actions you can take to solve the issue of your sagging floor. These include:
- Joist Sistering – sistering means that an identical piece of wood to your floor joists is attached to them. This provides extra rigidity to the existing joists and prevents them from bowing. This is usually preferred over scabbing.
- Replacing beams – a faulty beam is a structural issue and may cause damage to other parts of the house. Any damaged structural beams need to be strengthened or replaced to protect the integrity of the house.
- Installing structural Jacks and Beams – A beam with a long span and without structural support will bow under the weight of the house or settlement of the soil. When they are too far apart, a quick solution may be to install structural jacks, custom beams at the points of stress will stabilize the bowing beams.
- Adding footings and post support – Just like structural jacks, footings provide permanent support to any beams or joists under stress. If the footings installed during construction cannot withstand the pressure, it is advisable to add structural footings. This should be based on your local building code.
The floor tiles in the interior design of your space and these solutions will help you fix the unsightly, sagging floor.
We hope you have success with your sagging floorboards or subfloor project! If you are suspect that your sagging floor is due to a problem with the foundation structure of your home, such as a sagging floor joist, give Barrier Waterproofing Systems a call at (615) 257-1060 | (931) 536-1168. Schedule an evaluation to determine the severity of the issue and recruit a sound and professional repair.
This post was originally published on 9/3/2017 and updated on 8/31/2021 for accuracy and a larger scope of information.