Is your flooring starting to creak and squeak all over the place? It could be the temperature or something more serious that’s causing it. To find out if the sound is just a nuisance or part of a bigger problem, here are 4 things that your floor is saying when it starts to creak.
Seasonal Expansion and Contraction
Wood is porous and can expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity. During the wintertime, wood flooring tends to contract and in the summer it often expands. This is completely normal. In fact, a healthy range for wood is between 60 and 80 degrees and 35-55% RH. Low relative humidity though can cause gaps, shrinkage, cracks and cupping to occur. So if you experience any creaky floorboards, take notice of the RH in your home. If the RH is outside of the 35-55% range, you’ll likely see more gaps. You shouldn’t worry though – you can use a humidifier to improve your RH levels. Plus, normal gaps usually close up come spring and fall. But if your gaps don’t close up, it’s time to call in an expert to find if there’s another reason for the movement.
Lower quality materials, poor workmanship and improper installation can result in noisy flooring. For the most part, the squeaky floors are just a nuisance but depending on how bad the construction and installation are, you might need to rip it up and replace it with better materials.
Floor Joist Damage
The subflooring could also be the cause. If a floor joist is cracked or damaged, the nails that hold the sheeting in place can become loose. This results in a creaking sound. Fortunately, the majority of sub-flooring issues can be corrected by adding new screws in the areas where the creaking is happening.
Is your home built on a slab foundation or on joists atop a pier and beam foundation? The latter tends to have a little more give that can result in rubbing floorboards and loose fasteners which cause creaks and squeaks. Is this a problem? Not always. To determine if it is, in fact, a foundation issue, you need to look for other tell-tale signs. Some of the most common include soft spots in the flooring, uneven and sloping flooring, warped window and door frames, and bulging walls. If you notice any cracks in tiling, brickwork, at the corner of doors and windows, or where the ceiling and wall meet, this could also be a sign that the foundation is shifting below. Normal foundation movement is a normal part of settling but significant differential settlement can lead to serious damage to your flooring and the entire home.
What to do if you suspect that you have a foundation issue? Contact us at the Foundation Repair Experts. Our dedicated and knowledgeable team of industry experts will diagnose any foundation problems you may have and tackle these head-on. No matter if you need a simple crack repair or full foundation restoration, we’re here to help. Contact us today!