Uneven or bouncy Floors? You don't know Jack!

Friday, June 7th, 2013 by Nancy Videon


                    Uneven or bouncy Floors You dont know Jack - Image 1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Does Does your home have sloping, bouncy or uneven floors? Are you noticing interior or exterior cracks, doors and windows that are difficult to open and close, or walls pulling away from the ceiling? These are all signs that your floor joists are weak or over-spanned and need additional support to hold up the weight of your home. It’s important to consult with foundation repair professional before the problems get worse.

 

What Causes Bouncy Floors?

Your home’s bouncy or uneven floors can be caused by various issues such as poor structural design, foundation settlement or crawl space moisture related issues.

 

Poor Design

When a home is constructed, the floor joists, beams and support columns need to be spaced appropriately to support the weight of the flooring, the home, and its entire contents. The type of soil and its composition must also be factored in when designing the footing to properly distribute the weight of the home. If the joists or columns are spaced too far apart, the joists will sag and bounce.

 

Home remodeling projects, such as adding an addition, installing new appliances, granite countertops or large furniture pieces can add extra weight and stress to the floor joists– leading to bouncy floors.

 

Don’t take short cuts! Before you start a remodeling project, it’s important to consult with a Professional Engineer or foundation expert.

Foundation Settlement

Over time, soils shift and settle with changes in moisture content and density, causing movement of the columns and beams above. There are three common changes in soil that cause settlement.

 

1.   Drying and shrinking of soil. Think of the soil like a sponge– When it soaks up water, it swells and expands. When the sponge dries, it shrinks and hardens. The same thing         happens with soil. As the soil dries out from drought or hot weather, it shrinks away from the foundation and support columns, creating an empty space for your home to settle into.

2.   Wetting and softening of soil. Oversaturated soil becomes soft and weak, causing the home to shift or sink. This could be a result of heavy rains, poor drainage surrounding the foundation, or plumbing leaks in the crawl space area of the home.

3.   Poorly compacted fill soil. When building a new home, the fill soil needs to be compacted well before  laying  the  foundation.  Poorly  compacted soil will begin to compress under the weight of the home, causing settlement.

 

Crawl Space Moisture Issues

Standing water, plumbing leaks or high humidity levels from an open or vented crawl space can be an indicator of an existing or potential problem. When wood is subjected to high humidity levels over a period of time, it lends the perfect condition for mold growth and wood rot, which  deteriorates  and  weakens  the  joists  and  reduces their load-bearing capabilities.

 Uneven or bouncy Floors You dont know Jack - Image 2

Meet SmartJack!

There is a solution to bouncy, sagging floors– the SmartJack™ Crawl Space Stabilizer. The engineered steel jack is strong enough to support 60,000 pounds– that’s about the same as five adult elephants!

 

The  engineered steel  jack  is  strong enough to support 60,000 pounds– that’s about the same as five adult elephants!

 

The jack- which is constructed of galvanized steel– is installed on top of engineered fill to effectively transfer the load to existing soils. The jack is connected to the beam or floor joist; then tightened into place to stabilize the beam and potentially lift the above floors and walls back to level. If further settlement should occur, the jack can be adjusted. The SmartJack™ System can also be installed in conjunction with a CleanSpace® liner to control moisture issues  in  the  crawl  space–  or  in  tight  conditions  where height or access is limited.

Uneven or bouncy Floors You dont know Jack - Image 3

 

It’s difficult to sell a home with a structural foundation problem. Left untreated, a home’s value may have to be discounted significantly to sell, often more than the cost of installing   the  SmartJack™   System.   You’ll   be   saving money by addressing your foundation problem now. Plus, with a 25-year warranty, the SmartJack™ offers a long-term solution to sagging floor joists and bouncy floors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the author

Nancy Videon, COO

Nancy Videon lives in Rincon, GA and is the co-owner and COO of Lowcountry Foundation Repair.

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