Sagging floors and uneven floors in old houses: Possible causes and repairs
Uneven floors and sagging floor repair costs largely depend on their cause.
For example, if your uneven floors are caused by damage to a couple of support beams, the sagging floor repair cost will be much cheaper than if it were due to foundation damage or significant water damage.
If, however, you misdiagnose the cause of your uneven floors—mistaking foundation damage for harmless uneven floors in old houses—then you could be neglecting to solve the root of the problem. Such neglect is how foundation damage escalates to foundation failure. When you notice uneven floors or sagging floors, it’s best to have your home looked at by a foundation repair expert.
At Helitech Waterproofing & Foundation Repair, we offer free consultations to homeowners like you for this reason. If your home’s uneven floors are nothing to worry about, we’ll let you know. If it’s a sign of underlying structural damage, we’ll devise a plan to get your home back in shape. Either way, we have you covered.
Uneven floors could be nothing. Or they could be a sign of serious structural damage.
Don’t leave it to chance. Act now.
Uneven floors that slope in one direction
Uneven floors on the second story or first story can point to structural damage due to foundation problems, such as settlement or shifting. Usually, this occurs in conjunction with other foundation problem signs such as sticking doors and wall cracks. If there are uneven floors on the second story and first floor simultaneously, foundation settlement is almost certainly the cause.
If you don’t notice any other common foundation problem signs, then it could just be that the support beams are damaged, or weren’t properly installed in the first place. Likely, the source of the damage will be located in the direction of the slope.
How to fix sagging floors
Sagging floors, whether upstairs or downstairs, are a sign of damage to the floor joists, or the support beams that hold your flooring system. In order to bear the load of your flooring system, joists must be strategically placed. If a joist is missing or improperly spaced, then it can begin to crack, and your floors will deflect or sag.
Sagging floors on the first story can also be a sign of water damage, either due to cracks in your foundation or insufficient ventilation in your crawl space. Sagging floors upstairs can point to plumbing leaks or other sources of excess moisture. Joists can begin to rot if exposed to enough moisture over a period of time. Fixing sagging floors in crawl spaces typically involves replacing or bolstering rotting boards. Second story repairs follow a similar process, though we might need to remove and replace part of the ceiling in order to reach the joists.
To quickly reference which repair your home might require, look at the chart below.
We’ll give you, the homeowner, a free quote for your foundation repair.
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Uneven Floors: Causes and Repairs
|Type of Uneven Floors||Isolated to First Floor||Isolated to Second Floor||Both Floors|
|Sagging Floors||Water-damaged or structurally damaged first-floor joists, causing the joists to deflect, or sag.||Again, this could be a sign of dry-rotted second-floor joists.||This could be a sign of serious structural damage due to foundation settlement.|
|Sloping to One Direction||This points to missing or damaged support beams in the first-floor walls or joists underneath the flooring, usually in the direction of the slope. If other foundation problem signs are present, it could indicate foundation settlement.||Support beams for the second floor are misplaced or damaged. Foundation settlement could be the cause, especially if you notice other foundation problem signs.||If both the first and second floor are sloping, this might be a sign of serious structural damage due to foundation settlement.|