Doors that slowly open on their own…creaking floors…cracking or crumbling walls…these all make great theatrics for a spooky house during Halloween. In real life, however, these are all signs that you may have problems with sagging floor joists. If that doesn’t scare you it should because it means the structural integrity of your home is faltering.
Signs of Sagging Floor Joists
When the structure of your home was built, wooden beams were used in the floors as part of the foundation. These beams are called floor joists. Older homes have even more space in between the joists leaving more room for floors to begin to sag. Cracking or crumbling walls and doors or windows that are either very tight or very loose are other indications that joists could be failing. When you walk through your home does the floor feel strong and solid or is there a little bounce in your step? Do you hear creaking as you cross the room? Some noises may be due to the natural settling of a home over the years, but could also be due to the floor joists deteriorating under you.
If the joists were improperly built in the first place then they will show signs of deterioration more quickly. Humidity and moisture are the second most common cause of sagging floors. Wood is porous and attracts any water around it. The water then causes the wood to break down over time. Basements and crawlspaces need to be dry to keep those joists and beams at their strongest. It makes no sense to spend your hard earned money on designing and decorating your living space above when its foundation is not stable. Your beautiful home could literally fall apart over time.
How Do I Know if My Floor Joists Are Deteriorating?
To know what is happening with your floors you must take a look at joists underneath. If you have a basement take a look at the beams. Are they damp at all? Signs of fungal or mildew growth? What about insect damage? If your basement is damp at all this makes the environment highly desirable to insects that can then feed on the wooden beams. Crawl spaces are a little tougher to inspect. Proper clothing and breathing aids may be needed to get into those tight spaces. Look for the same signs of fungus, mildew/mold and insect damage. Outside your home you can look for cracking or crumbling concrete, pooling water, mold growth or stains, and sloping or cracks around your home. If you see any of these signs then give us a call. Your floors may be still be in good shape now but these are all signs that water is affecting your home. If left untreated damage will occur. The sooner it is addressed the better!
Structural Damage Can Cost You
Homeowners pay most attention to the aesthetics of their homes and may not realize the structure of their home is in need. Structural repairs, if left unchecked, can cost homeowners a lot of money. Realtors are required by law to disclose to potential buyers any foundation or structural issues. These issues can cause sale prices to drop by 10-20%. Older homes are more susceptible because the building codes when they were built allowed more space in between the joists. Newer homes have more joists per square ft so they are stronger.
We cannot stress enough the importance of keeping your basement or crawlspace dry. Thankfully the team at Aqua-Guard can help. Give us a call or send an email and we will be happy to come out and inspect your home. We know what to look for and can give an honest assessment of what is happening with your foundation. We offer waterproofing and encapsulation for your basement or crawlspace and can explain the details of each to help you make the best decision to protect the integrity of your home. After all, we specialize in dry!