Are you putting in new flooring? Re-doing the flooring in your home requires a level subfloor. Putting in new flooring on top of an uneven subfloor can further the sloping problem and cause furniture to rest unevenly on the floor. If you suspect that your floors are sloped or uneven, the issue needs to be resolved before installing new floors.
How do you determine whether or not your floor is sloped? Take the following steps to determine whether or not you have an uneven floor in your home:
Position a 4-6 foot beam level on the floor and examine the bubble in the level’s horizontal tube. The bubble should be floating in-between the two vertical lines on the tube. Adjust the level until the bubble is in the correct spot between the lines.
Examine any gaps you find between the level and the floor. Gaps that are smaller than 1/8 inch are normal and that area of the floor is level enough to install new floors. Any gap larger than 1/8 may require you to find the cause of the unevenness and fix it. Mark these areas for further examination.
You should also mark parts of the floor that are 1/8 inch or higher than the rest of the area. Both these higher and lower areas need to be fixed before putting in new flooring.
What Causes an Uneven Floor?
What is causing your floor to be uneven? The cause of a sloped and uneven floor may be as simple as low-quality subfloor or normal home settlement. However, the cause of an uneven floor could also be a foundation issue. If you see significant sloping and unevenness in your floor, accompanied by issues like floor or foundation cracks, sticking windows or doors, leaks, and bowing or leaning walls, you may be facing a foundation problem.
Often, a settling or sinking foundation is the result of soil movement below the concrete. When the soil dries out, it shrinks, causing voids and gaps to form in the ground. The foundation will then sink into these gaps. Wet soil can also cause heaving foundations and uneven floors, as the wet soil expands and pushes on the concrete above.
How to Level an Uneven Floor
The first step in fixing an uneven floor is to determine whether it is the result of a foundation issue or of a problem with the subfloor itself. The experts at Bay Area Underpinning can inspect your home to assess the severity of the problem and find the best solution. We even offer free estimates for foundation repair jobs.
If the issue is just a problem with the subfloor, it can be fixed with self-leveling compound and sanding or grinding. For higher spots on wood subfloors, sand down the area until it measures level with the rest. Higher spots on a concrete subfloor can be ground down until they are level. If there are low spots on your subfloor, pour some self-leveling mortar into the dip until the area is level.
Foundation problems are more serious and their repair should be left to professionals. If your sloped floors are the result of a foundation problem, Bay Area Underpinning can help. We will install underpinning devices to lift the foundation, which will help to level the floors in your home. These piers anchor into the ground and are hydraulically lifted to raise the concrete slab of your foundation and level floors.
Call us now for professional floor leveling and foundation leveling in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Steve is the CEO at Bay Area Underpinning, a Foundation repair contractor serving Northern California and the Bay Area. Founded in 2005 with the goal of providing a cost-effective, engineered solution to foundation settlement problems with an emphasis on educating customers to make them feel comfortable with the various methods of foundation repairs.