Are Your Floors Sagging? Here's Why

Introduction

When homes are first built, chances are that the floors are level. Over time, these floors can begin to sag, making them feel bouncy, soft, or unlevel as you walk over them. This can be scary and a major cause for concern.

It is important to know what causes sagging floors in the first place, because only a solution that addresses the root cause for them will permanently fix the problem. Here are the top causes of sagging floors:

Cause #1: Existing Columns Are Spaced Too Far Apart

When crawl spaces or basements are initially built, block, brick, even sometimes wood columns are placed throughout to support the weight of the home. These columns can become overloaded if spaced too far apart, causing the beam between them to sag between them. The girders (horizontal beams that support the floor) will then sag, causing the floor to sag with it.

Cause #2: Floor Joists and Girders Have Weakened

Because basements and crawl spaces are often not encapsulated or sealed from the outside world, moisture and humidity finds its way in. With all this excess moisture, any exposed wood girders or beams can grow mold and begin to rot. This makes them become weak and unable to support the weight above, which is why the floor above may be bouncy, weak, or begin to sag.

Cause #3: Existing Columns Have Settled

Weak soil is a detriment to a home's foundation. It can either cause foundation settlement, or the existing columns in your basement or crawl space to sink or settle. This settling creates a gap between the top of the column and the bottom of the girder it was supporting, causing the girder to sag and the floor to sag with it. A domino effect.

Conclusion

Understanding the causes of sagging floors is essential for implementing effective and lasting solutions. As homes age, issues such as column spacing, weakened floor joists and girders due to moisture, and settling of existing columns can contribute to floor sagging and related concerns.

To address these issues, it's crucial to prioritize structural integrity and preventative maintenance. Regular inspections and proactive measures like proper moisture control and column support adjustments can help control or prevent floor sagging over time. By addressing the root causes, homeowners can ensure safer and more stable living environments for years to come.

Are Your Floors Sagging? Here\'s Why - Image 1

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