Are you concerned you have sloping floors in your house? Have you noticed some new cracks, gaps, or jammed doors around your house but are unsure why? Sloped floors can do more than just interior cosmetic damages. It’s important to know what to look for and when to do something about it so you can avoid long term consequences in the future. We’ve answered some of the basic questions about slanted floors–what to look for, why you shouldn’t ignore them, and what to do about them–here.
Signs of Slanted Floors
Visually slanted floors in your house aren’t the only sign that you have sloping floors. There are several other signs to look out for that could mean you have slanted floors in your house. They include:
- Gaps in hardwood floors
- Doors that jam shut or won’t latch properly
- Cracked tile
- Warped or wrinkled carpet and vinyl flooring
- Countertops separating from the walls or backsplashes
Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Sloped Floors
There are many reasons why it’s not a good idea to ignore a sloping floor problem. As you can probably guess, failure to address sloping floors can result in recurring cosmetic damage to interior finishes such as drywall and tile cracks. In some severe cases, neglect can even result in structural failure if the underlying cause of the floor slope is due to deteriorating structural members. In addition to causing damage to your home, however, it’s important to consider the damage it can do to your finances. Generally speaking, the longer you wait to fix sloped floors, the more difficult the problem is to fix–and the higher the cost is to repair them than if action had been taken sooner. If problems are identified early on and handled quickly, it’s more likely that relatively minor corrective measures can be implemented along with preventive maintenance to help avoid future sloping problems that worsen over time.
What to Do About Sloped Floors
The first step to fixing a structural problem should always be to identify the cause of the issue. Was there an error in the design of the home? Is there an ongoing problem like water in the crawlspace that is causing wood members to deteriorate or masonry piers to settle into their supporting soils? Depending on the cause of the slope, the fix can range from minor jacking up of floors and re-shimming the girders to the masonry piers, to adding new supplemental supports to support offset loads that are improperly supported. Sometimes it’s even necessary to replace or reinforce deteriorated framing, or lift slabs by pressure grouting or polyurethane foam injection which is pumped beneath the slab.
The first step, however, is to bring in a professional to inspect and diagnose the problem. Stonewall Structural Engineering has seen it all, so rest assured that no project is too obscure or too large for us. You can reach us at (919) 313-3645 or fill out our contact form here!