How the Local Floor Leveling Contractors Near You Can Help You
Building codes dictate that flooring should not depress for more than ¼ inch in a 32 inch flooring measurement. This measurement is taken parallel to the joists of the flooring. The slope, if any, of any flooring should not go past 1/240th of the room’s total width.
You stumbled upon this article because you’re looking for concrete or wood floor leveling contractors near you. You’re in luck because this article will tell you everything you need to know. You’ll know the importance of a level floor which should convince you to hire a professional if in case it’s not currently level.
You’ll also know what causes it so you can avoid it in the future. You’ll also learn how to examine your flooring so you can check whether it’s level or not.
Most importantly, you’ll learn to appreciate the important role that floor leveling contractors play. You’ll know the steps that they do to solve the issue. Best of all, you’ll also find out the best way to find the right professional to hire.
When you get ready to hire floor leveling companies near you, all you have to do is head to the top of this page, fill it out with your information and we will match you with the most relevant contractors in your area that can then reach out to you to hear more, and afterwards provide you with free, no-obligation estimates or quotes.
The Importance of a Level Floor
You have to understand that your house can only be as strong as its foundation, and your flooring structure is a very important part of your home’s foundation. This is why it has to be as strong as possible.
To put it simply, installing flooring over a subfloor that’s not leveled will lead to problems sooner or later. There will be unnecessary movements in the structure and this will lead to gapes and damages. These can be very expensive to repair so there’s really no reason for you not to ensure a level floor. Imagine being careless with this step, only to end up with plenty of headaches later on because the damages start showing and the expenses to repair them keep on piling.
Also, it can be quite an eyesore. It will give an impression that your house is low in quality. People will think that it’s been done by some inexperienced DIYer. You would also feel that you didn’t get your money’s worth.
These things should also tell you to level your flooring if it starts sagging or sloping. Simply put, it can lead to the loss of integrity of your home’s foundation.
Common Causes for Sloping Floors
Poor installation is a common cause for this issue. It’s caused by an oversight or carelessness by the flooring contractor. An incompetent or inexperienced contractor may knowingly or unknowingly slope the flooring beyond what’s allowed by building codes. This is why you have to make sure that you hire a good flooring installer to avoid this issue.
In addition to poor installation, here are the other common causes for sloping floors:
- Bad drainage
Aside from poor installation, bad drainage is the most common reason behind sloping floors. In fact, bad drainage is sometimes the underlying cause of the other causes listed below.
What happens is your house undergoes a lot of pressure that it’s not supposed to handle. This affects the structural integrity of your home. This also includes your flooring structure and the framing will start to fail. This leads to sloping.
- Settling of the house
Settling is actually very common. This is especially true among older homes. If your home sits on soil and it’s not compacted efficiently during construction, your home may start to sink over time. It will drag down parts of your home including your flooring and this will lead to sloping.
- Old age
Settling is not the only thing to worry about among older homes. Wooden materials will obviously age and sloping will naturally happen among older homes. If your home is less than 5 years old, then you need to contact floor leveling contractors to investigate a potential structural issue.
- Problems in the foundation
If your home’s foundation starts to crumble and crack, then of course it will affect your flooring along with the rest of the foundation. This is why trained contractors will always inspect the foundation when inspecting a sloping issue.
- Deteriorating floor joists, floor sill or girder.
These issues are usually caused by the following:
- Accommodation of service lines.
Service lines have to pass somewhere and this is why professionals drill through girders or joists. This sometimes leads to weakening of the wooden material. It can even collapse.
This is why the professional should make sure that the drilled holes are smaller than 1/3 of the depth of the joist. It should also be more than 2 inches away from the joists’ top and bottom parts. In addition, they should ensure that the notches in the center are less than 1/6 of the depth of the joist. The notches at the end should be less than a quarter of the depth of the joist. Also, it’s good practice not to touch the bottom part and the joists’ middle 3rd part.
- Issues in the support posts.
Issues in the support posts will cause unnecessary stress which will lead to sloping. The support posts can get damaged because of rotting, cement crumbling, settling of the post base and more. Because of this, there will be a gap in between the top of the post and the girders. This will lead to them sagging.
There’s also the issue of them being spaced too far apart. This is especially true among older homes. The weight they support increases over time and soon, they will break. This will lead to sloping.
- Natural causes.
Wood has the tendency to bend when exposed to stress over time. This is good rather than it breaking, but will obviously lead to sloping. Sloping due to natural causes doesn’t really require to be leveled unless it slopes past the standards set by the building codes.
- Damages caused by rot, excess moisture and insects.
Wood will lose its structural integrity as it becomes damaged. Termites are natural born enemies of wood, along with rotting and excess moisture.
Examining the Floor
The best course of action is to contact a floor leveling contractor to have the floor examined to check if it needs to be leveled. They have trained eyes and specialized tools to know for sure. However, you can do an initial examination. Done right, you can know if it needs to be leveled.
It’s simple, really. All you need to do is to roll a marble across the floor. If it goes straight, then your floor is leveled. If it rolls downhill, then there’s sloping in your floor. How it rolls downhill will also give you a good idea as to how bad the sloping is.
Obviously, this won’t tell you exactly how bad the problem is. However, it will tell you that there’s a problem, so you need to contact a floor leveling company.
What they’ll do is use highly-specialized equipment to check out the different floor levels. Once done, they’ll have specific figures as to how bad the problem is. Further checking will also determine the underlying problem including problems to the foundation.
How a Contractor will Level a Floor
Some people will tell you that you can level a floor yourself. Yes, you can if you follow the steps below completely and correctly. However, given the years of experience and wealth of highly-specialized equipment that contractors have, it’s better to just hire them.
The first thing that they’ll do is to find out how deep the dip is. They have a long level that they’ll use. They’ll place it in such a way that one end is at the part of the floor that’s leveled and the other part goes towards the sloping part until the lowest point is reached. They will then raise the level that’s on the lowest point until the bubble is in the center, signifying that it’s leveled. They will then measure the distance between the lowest point and the level to find out how deep the dip is.
Here’s how a contractor will level a floor:
- Gather the tools and materials. For the tools:
- Table saw
- Tape measure
- Screw gun
- Framing nailer
For the materials:
- 2 by 10 boards
- Construction adhesive
- ¾ inch plywood
- 3 inch framing nails
- Cut the leveling strip.
The first leveling strip is a long triangle from a 2 by 10 board. The tapering should be from the one that’s not leveled down to nothing. You’d need several of these strips.
- Fit the leveling strip.
The strip will be positioned in such a way that the edge at the top is leveled. This is where the trained eyes of the professionals will help because they can see if the edge at the top is leveled and they will adjust if necessary. This is very important because this will bridge the space in between the old flooring and the leveled surface.
- Cut more strips.
Cut more strips as necessary. They should be the same size unless there’s irregular sloping. In that case, measure and cut strips that will bridge each joist at the cap.
- Attach the strips.
Use screws to attach the strips onto the subflooring or joists. Attach them every 16 inches.
- Install the subflooring.
Attach construction adhesive along the strips and place the ¾ inch plywood on top of them. Secure the plywood in place using a framing nailer.
There you go! You now have a leveled floor.
Why You Need to Hire a Contractor
As mentioned, poor installation can lead to a floor that’s not leveled. That alone should tell you why you need to hire a contractor. Not doing so can lead to poor workmanship. This is not to say that you won’t be able to do it. You can, but how confident are you that you can match the workmanship of a trained and experienced floor leveling contractor?
Before you answer that, consider the fact that:
- They have years of experience.
This is especially true if you’ll hire a licensed contractor because this is a requirement before getting licensed. This means that it won’t be a trial and error process when they do it. They know exactly what needs to be done and how to do it thanks to their years of experience. They’ve done this countless of times.
- They have the tools and materials.
Unless you’re a hardcore DIYer, you’re probably missing a few of the tools and materials. You’d have to buy them, and then end up storing them in your garage for months or even years. If you’re hiring a contractor, their tools come in a package deal with them.
- They can do a better job.
This is what they do for a living. You’re better at your job and they’re better at theirs. You’re hiring them for their expertise and for them to do a better job than you. Unless you want to do this because you want to train yourself so you can be better, it makes better sense to just hire a professional so you can expect better results.
- They can do the job quicker and more efficiently.
If you insist on doing it, you’d have to choose between doing it quickly or efficiently. If you do it quickly, there’s a good chance that you’ll commit mistakes. If you do it efficiently, then it may take you a long time. Hire a professional and they will do it quicker and more efficiently.
- You’ll protect yourself.
A licensed professional has insurance and bond. This will protect him and you. You won’t be liable in case something goes wrong and your satisfaction will be guaranteed.
- You can actually save money.
The money you’ll spend on a floor leveling contractor will be money well spent. You’ll get a good return on your investment because the work will be done and it will be done well. You’ll also get indirect savings. First of all, you won’t be committing expensive mistakes. You can also focus on your work so you don’t have to take off time from work and lose potential income. Also, you can easily find great quotes that can ensure savings on your part.
With these reasons, you know it makes sense to hire a pro.
Getting Quotes From Competing Contractors
Don’t go out and search for contractors one by one. Worse, don’t hire the first one that you find. Getting quotes from competing contractors will ensure the best results.
You can use the free service on our site to get free estimates or quotes from the most relevant contractors that provide such services in your area. Here are the reasons why you should use it:
- You’ll get quotes from up to 4 pre-screened contractors in your area.
We have a database of the best licensed contractors in your area. If you use our service, you’re basically gaining access to this database. You’ll get up to 4 quotes that you can choose from once the contractor feels sufficiently confident that they’ll bid on your project. Yes, you don’t have to go out and visit them one by one.
- It’s very easy to use.
As you can see, you just have to provide a few basic details. These details are needed so we can find you the best quotes from the best local contractors.
- You can get the best quotes.
The contractors in our database know that they’re competing with other contractors when they send a quote. This is why they know that they should send their best quote if they want to be considered for your business. Yes, you’ll be receiving up to 4 of the best available quotes that you can choose from.
Have your floor leveled today, no matter if it’s in the basement, garage or living room. Use our free service to get the best quotes from floor leveling contractors in your area!