Local Sagging Floor Joist Repair Contractors Near Me Can Address your Home Structural Problems
Knowing the most common structural problems that can cause your floor to sag can help to best address any issues concerning the sagging floor joists. As you may know, one of the most common issues that owners of old houses are faced with these days are sagging floor joists. For instance, for some houses, the floor tends to pitch towards the middle stairwell. Although this is generally annoying, sagging floors are an indication of a worsening structural problem.
Investigating the Problem
Usually, floors tend to settle near the middle of your home structure since the perimeter walls are built on top of a sound and deep foundation and they only settle very little. Most of the major support beams within the perimeter, however, are usually supported with the makeshift posts. If your home is built into a basement, then you must first check the entire basement support beams, including the posts where the beams would meet in the floor. You have to be very cautious of those wooden posts that are set on the dirt floors or wooden posts that have concrete poured all over the post bases.
As the posts begin to rot and melt in the floor, the house will also settle accordingly, from the bottom to the top. In order to test, push any metal probe firmly into the post that is in the floor line. You can also make use of a screwdriver for this. If the area is mushy or rotten, then you have successfully detected the problem.
You should also watch out for floor joists that have been improperly cut in order to install wiring, pipes and HVAC ducts. If you have a chronically damp crawlspace or basement, then try to find any indications of insect damage on the structural members.
Insects like beetles usually leave the beams and joints riddled with tiny holes while damages due to the carpenter ants will usually be apparent at the first sign of warm weather in spring. Moreover, termites often have the tendency to show signs of mud tunnels on posts and foundations. Repairing deteriorated and compromised structural members can solve moisture problems around and below the house.
Improper notches and holes that are a result of alterations and running service lines are often a major cause of weakened joists. In general, there should not be any penetrations or cuts in the middle third of the joist, or anywhere along the bottom part of the joist.
The notches at the end of the joist must not exceed to 1/4 of the depth. Center notches must also not be more than 1/6 of the joist depth. Holes should have a minimum of 2 inches from the bottom or top of the joist and must not be larger than 1/3 depth of the joist.
Plan Out the Remedies
Depending on the condition, it is definitely possible to repair or strengthen the existing framing members like the roof rafters or floor joists. This can be made possible by adding a reinforcing material. Sandwiching the members on both sides with the use of plywood is sometimes a good idea, although it is important to ensure that the plywood is installed correctly to achieve maximum strength. A much better option is known as sistering. This is a process where an identical lumber is used to bolt into the member.
Sistering with a plate is also so much better, such as sistering a 1/4 inch of plate into a 1/2 inch of plywood or steel. Two flitch plates can also be used in order to repair the localized damages. While these repairs are already sufficient, you should also consider shoring up beams and joints that have been drilled, cut, or notched for wires, pipes or ducts.
The great thing about floor deflection is that such process is repairable. However, the bad thing is that this process will usually take a lot of time. The best solution to sagging floor joists or damaged joist ends and sills will involve jacking.
A more common scenario is to attach temporary jack posts as well as support beams followed by permanent beams and posts over the new footings. A taut string that is stretched across the floor can show the amount of improvement and deflection. Posts that were set into dirt floors must be upgraded into concrete pads with the use of footings. Wood posts should then be placed into metal post supports in order to come up with waterproof barrier in between the footing and the post.
Jacking should be done slowly. It will take a long time for the floor to sink and therefore, you cannot just push it back quickly or this can cause cracks and stress into the structure. As for the other structural repairs, jacking should be done appropriately. You cannot just place a screw jack at the lowest spot and then begin turning.
Usually, someone who has experience on this matter can assess the problem and set the posts and other necessary beams easily. After this, you can screw the jacks up a turn or perhaps twice each month. You can also expect some crack plasters to show along the way, but remember not to aim much for perfection, but instead, aim for improvement and stability of the structure. After all, if the perfectly leveled floors and pristine walls are important, then you probably will not be living in an old house, right?
If the sagging of your floor joists is due to water problems, then you must first learn how to dry your wet crawl space out and then fix any of the moisture issues first. This will involve stopping the leaks, drying the crawl space out and then sealing the space against outside elements.
As soon as your moisture problems are resolved, you can then fix the sagging of your floors. And as mentioned, the problem can be best fixed by jacking and sistering the floor boards and then installing piers afterwards. In particular, such solution will depend on the severity of the problem or if the issue has something to do with the foundation settlement.
If you are in doubt when it comes to the sagging of your floor joists, then you better get in touch with the sagging floor joist repair contractors near me. These are experts when it comes to fixing all kinds of issues pertaining to the sagging of your floor joists. They can then come to do a free site inspection. After the inspection, they will let you know if they can proceed with repairing the sagging floors or they will recommend for a total replacement of the flooring.
Remember that if the problem is extreme, then you better leave these to the experts. You can simply give them a call to request for a free inspection and they can then decide for the repair. They can also offer advice on how to avoid any structural problems in your home so as to avoid the same issues from happening ever again. If you attempt to fix the problems yourself, you could run the risk of causing further damage on the flooring and you might just end up having to spend even more money than by hiring the experts right from the start.