Sunken and uneven floors are a problem that many homeowners deal with over the span of their homeownership. If you’re dealing with sunken and uneven floors, you need to consider what these floors are indicating and how you can fix the underlying problems. Innovative Basement Authority can help you with your sunken and uneven floors, regardless of why you’re experiencing those problems.
Uneven Floors in a Nutshell
So, what are uneven floors? How can you tackle uneven floors? Before you delve further into the minutiae surrounding uneven floors, it’s a good idea to understand sunken floors more effectively from the beginning. That way, you’ll be able to handle your uneven floors in a more effective way.
- The Problem of Sinking or Uneven Floors
First, you need to know what sinking and uneven floors are indicating. The problem, on the surface, is just the fact that your floors are sinking or uneven. However, the actual problem underlying sinking and uneven floors can be much worse.
The main problem will vary depending on whether your floor is above a crawl space or basement. If your floor sits atop a crawl space or basement, your problem probably has to do with material issues surrounding the joists underneath the home. If your floor does not rest above a crawl space or basement, it’s more likely that the problem stems from soil erosion underneath a slab foundation.
This is a great example of the way that individual symptoms can’t necessarily indicate what’s going on underneath the floor. A single symptom of foundation concerns might not accurately showcase what’s going on because the symptom may indicate a number of different problems. Only an expert inspection will tell you which one is accurate.
- Telltale Signs to Watch Out For
When you’re thinking about sinking or uneven floors, the most prominent symptom, of course, will be that the floors start to sag or sink. However, there are other ways to discover sinking or uneven floors that don’t necessarily require being able to notice the fact that the floor has started to sag underneath the weight of the home. Consider these signs of sinking and uneven floors.
- Sinking or heaving concrete slabs
- A floor that sags toward the center of the house
- Interior doors that jam
- Cracks in the floor
- Mold and rot in the basement or crawl space
Not all these signs have to do with the sinking or heaving itself. Rather, signs like mold and rot in the crawl space can indicate an underlying problem that also creates problems like sagging and uneven floors. Watching out for these signs is an important part of being able to catch the problem early on. You even need to watch out for signs that might not be super obvious at first.
For example, if you notice that people regularly stumble or trip in a specific room, it might be worth it to take a level and see whether the floors seem like they aren’t actually level. Even if you’re not able to notice the sinking floors, just a small amount of sinking in the middle of a floor can be enough to make your brain have a hard time keeping you steady.
- How to Fix It
What can you do to fix the sinking and sagging floors that you’re having a hard time with? Fixing sinking and sagging floors doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you get some help from an expert.
When you bring in an expert, that expert will inspect the basement or crawl space and give you information about the underlying problem. From there, they’ll be able to tell you what you might need to do for better support. Your home deserves the best possible support structure, whether that means adding structural support for the crawl space or basement.
Causes and Solutions for Uneven Floors
There are many things to think about when it comes to uneven floors. Understanding the main causes of the uneven floors is the first step, and understanding the solutions available to you is the second.
Causes of Uneven Floors
It’s pretty rare for uneven floors to happen due to issues with the actual floor itself. It’s typically due to issues with your foundation. Most of the time, this is because of settling or shifting foundations, which will naturally impact the floor above the foundation.
Most of the time, this happens because of cracks in the foundation. The foundation is typically concrete, which can’t bend and can only crack. If you have soil problems around the foundation, those problems will cause the foundation to crack at some point. However, the foundation is supporting floor beams and joists that are made from wood, an organic material that actually can bend rather than just snapping. That bending motion is what gives you an uneven floor.
Solutions for Uneven Floors
So, what can you do to fix the uneven floor? Heavy-duty crawl space jacks are typically the right solution for sagging floors. These adjustable steel posts will not only stabilize sagging floors, but can potentially lift floors back towards their original position. That makes them the ideal solution.
This process is extremely simple. First, the expert will create a base of compacted fill for the jack, located directly below whatever beam they will need to stabilize. A pre-cast concrete base will be added to the fill, then a crawl space jack will extend between the base and the beam. Once all the beams are inspected and in the correct space, the weight bearing will be transferred to the beams, allowing the soil underneath to support the weight of the floor joists.
Sagging Floors Above the Crawl Space
When you have sagging floors above a crawl space, it’s usually because of serious problems with your crawl space’s floor joists. Floor joists are an important element of your home’s structural stability, and sagging floor joists may end up causing general problems of all kinds.
For the most part, floor joists tend to have support from the perimeter walls of your crawl space. They will typically also have support from a column-and-beam framework that goes down the center of the crawl space. The problem arises when the column-and-beam framework doesn’t have enough support.
It’s true that it’s possible for the perimeter walls to have issues, which can result in sinking and sagging. However, the column-and-beam framework tends to be what most commonly fails. It may fail due to mold and mildew forming on the wood supports, which can cause them to rot and collapse. It can also fail if there’s not enough support underneath the center support system.
The Solution for Sagging Floors Above a Crawl Space
Most of the time, crawl space jacks are going to be your best option for sagging floors that are happening above your crawl space. These are adjustable steel posts that can support a huge amount of weight. When you add crawl space jacks to your crawl space, you may be able to lift the floors back to their original place.
The best part of crawl space jacks is the fact that you can actually stabilize the crawl space. With less-effective fixes like sistering the joist, you’re much more likely to just avoid the crawl space problems for a few weeks or months. Crawl space jacks will make it easier for you to stabilize your crawl space for good.
Sinking and uneven floors aren’t necessarily extremely easy to notice. However, there are a number of symptoms of sinking and uneven floors you can look out for. If you’re looking to avoid sinking and uneven floors, you need to consider the symptoms that might jump out.
- Signs to Look Out For
It’s extremely important to notice everything in your home so you can understand whether you’re experiencing a serious problem with your foundation or overall structure. Doing your own inspections can help with this, as you’ll be able to understand what’s going on with your foundation as early as possible.
There are definitely plenty of signs to look out for. The most obvious sign to pay attention to for this problem is the floor physically sinking. Floors shouldn’t sink, and it’s important to make sure that you’re noticing if they’ve started to do so. You can also look out for signs like gaps between the wall and floor.
- Signs That Often Overlap
Sometimes, warning signs of sinking and uneven floors will overlap with warning signs of other foundation problems. These overlaps can be an important element of understanding your foundation. For example, nail pops can indicate that your floors are sinking, but they can also indicate that the initial construction of the home wasn’t well planned.
Damage to your foundation can also cause other structures in your home to be adversely affected, too. This includes your doorways, windowsills, and even the walls themselves. You might find it much harder to open your doors or windows recently, noticing that they seem to stick to their frames. This could be a sign of normal aging. However, this could also indicate that your foundation is damaged, too. Foundation damage can cause your doorways and windowsills to tilt in place, trapping the doors and windows in place and thus making them harder to open. You might also notice your very walls tilting or leaning as well.
For decades, people have been experiencing sinking floors and trying to come up with ways to raise the floors in turn. That means there are many ways to raise sinking floors. However, not every method of fixing sinking floors is good at what it claims to do.
- Joist Sistering
One of the older options for raising floors is sistering a joist. Through this process, you simply add more material to the joist. The idea is that because the joist is no longer holding the floor up appropriately, adding more material can allow the joist to do its job again. Typically, an expert will ratchet the floor up, add more material, then allow the floor to rest on the joist again.
However, the problem with this approach is that it doesn’t actually tackle any of the underlying problems. Oftentimes, the problem has very little to do with the joists working improperly. Instead, it may be that your foundation has shifted, causing the joists to no longer be placed correctly to hold up the floor in any capacity. In any case, you need a different solution.
- Crawl Space Jacks
If the problem rests with issues that come along with your crawl space joists, you’re going to need a solution that maximizes the stability of those joists. Sistering a joist could actually harm it in the long run. Instead, you might want to consider using crawl space jacks, which physically increase the amount of support your crawl space has available.
Crawl space jacks are an effective way to permanently stabilize and potentially lift a sinking floor. Many other proposed solutions for uneven floors are much less effective or come with significant issues. However, if you opt for crawl space jacks, you can probably get your crawl space working normally again in as little as a single day. Talk to an expert today about installing crawl space jacks in your crawl space.
Sinking floors are a huge problem. It’s fairly common for people to experience sinking floors, which means that you need to know what to do when it happens. Here’s what you should know about your options for sinking floors if you do happen to experience them.
- DIY Fixes
A DIY fix definitely might seem like a great option, especially if you’ve done some DIY fixes for things in the past. There are many home repair situations where a DIY fix can save you time and money. However, when it comes to something as potentially important as your home’s foundation, it’s not a good idea to try a DIY solution.
Homeowners often don’t have the necessary tools to fix foundation problems. It can even be more expensive to buy or rent the tools that you’ll need for an effective fix. Instead of trying a DIY fix, it’s a better idea to rely on an expert’s help.
- Expert Fixes
An expert can help you discover what’s going on in your home and help you permanently fix the problems. Innovative Basement Authority can help you with your sinking floor problems. Regardless of why you’re having these problems or what the underlying problem happens to be, Innovative Basement Authority can help you fix it for good.
The foundation experts at Innovative Basement Authority have plenty of experience repairing all sorts of foundations all across North Dakota, Minnesota, and Eastern Montana. We will also have all the right tools and equipment for this job, something many home improvement stores cannot provide. Our industry-grade solutions will also work to protect your foundation from any issues it might face!
Work with the Local Foundation Repair Experts at Innovative Basement Authority
There are plenty of ways to fix a foundation that is having problems. However, the right fix has to actually help your home overall. If you’re looking for a way to maximize your foundation repair opportunities, consider getting a free quote from Innovative Basement Authority. It’s one of the best ways to make sure your home stays fixed for good.
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