Causes & cures for sagging floors
Affordable repairs can restore safety and property value when floors aren't flat or level
Many people who love old houses consider a sagging floor to be part of an older home's historical charm. But the truth is that sagging floors negatively impact the safety, convenience and property value of a home. With sagging floors, unsightly gaps appear between the floor and baseboard moldings. When floor joists sag, furniture won't rest evenly on the floor, forcing you to use shims to prevent tables and chairs from wobbling. Some floors don't just sag; they also feel springy or bouncy underfoot.
Sagging floor = structural problems
When a house is built, the floors are flat and level. If a floor sags over time, this indicates that something has gone wrong. The first thing a foundation repair contractor will do is determine what changes occurred to cause the sagging floor.
COMMON CAUSES OF SAGGING FLOORS
- Damaged posts. In most houses that have basement or crawl space foundations, floor joists extend across the width of the house and are supported by a central beam. In turn, the beam is supported by a series of posts. If one or more of these posts rots, shifts or settles, the central beam loses its support. As a result, the beam sags under the weight of the floor, people and furnishings above. When the main floor beam isn't properly supported the sagging floor may also be springy.
- Settled foundation wall. What if a floor is sagging on one side of the house rather than in the center? This condition signals that the foundation on one side of the house has settled. Because floor joists bear directly on foundation walls, a settled foundation will cause floors to sag.
- Inadequate support for the central beam. Sometimes the posts supporting the central beam are in good condition, but they're spaced too far apart. The central beam is undersized and has to span too long a distance between posts, so it sags.
Call a Foundation Repair Specialist to fix sagging floor problems
Fortunately for older houses and the people that own them, sagging floors can often be made flat, level and solid again. The key is to enlist the services of an experienced foundation repair specialist. These specially trained contractors have the tools and materials to fix sagging floors quickly and affordably. If a sagging floor is caused by settled foundation walls, a foundation repair contractor can permanently raise and stabilize the wall with steel piers. If the problem is traced to rotted or weakened support posts, these can be replaced with adjustable steel posts that enable the contractor to raise a sagging beam to its proper level. These are just a few of the engineered solutions a foundation repair contractor can apply to restore your home's structural integrity.
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