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Are Squeaky Floors Unsafe?
It’s a weekend or the beginning of your holiday season, and you decide to move around the house, which you haven’t been to in a couple of months due to your work schedule.
You decide to do a sweep in your entire home to see any possible immediate home maintenance required before you budget for other necessities.
But, as you move down the stairs to the kitchen or basement, you are suddenly startled by a squeaking sound from the floor.
You suddenly halt, take a step back and move again forward, stepping on the same place to confirm. Yes! You found it.
Your first immediate maintenance is right here—the squeaking floor.
No, Squeaky floors should not pose any immediate form of danger. Squeaks in the floor will indicate loose fittings somewhere within the floor which need filling. Pay attention to the demand of the floor for proper care and maintenance. .
Most homeowners can fix these problems by themselves and do not need to hire any professional help to accomplish the task.
When the floor becomes squeaky, it’s just that; squeaky. No cause of alarm for any serious issue.
These are only structural issues that can be sorted with a little of this and that here and there.
Those who have had problems with their squeaky floors will confirm with me that it is often not a big deal.
What Is Likely To Make My Floor Squeaky?
Wooden floors, mostly the ones made of hardwood, are prone to squeak at one point or another as long as the house is always in use, which it is.
Although there are many causes of this relatively irritating sound produced by the floor, most likely to top the list in most homes is loose floorboards.
The loose floorboards do not often cause immediate alarm as they can be easily fixed.
Another reason your floor may be squeaky is when the joists and the plywood are separated for some reason and become loose.
Most of the time, all these resulting problems are mostly initiated by structural defects in the flooring system.
Should I Worry About Squeaky Floors?
Once you notice your floor is squeaky, perhaps on the staircase, there is no cause for immediate alarm.
The squeak does not signify your house is about to collapse or something.
It ‘s more likely that there is a loose nail somewhere which needs fixing, or the wood has slightly missed its place, and a little push can do the trick.
Find out what may be causing the relatively uncomfortable sound and try to get it back to place.
The first course of action should not be unnecessarily worried. It’s probably not a big deal.
Can My Squeaky Floor Be Fixed?
Most of the squeaks develop as a result of the separation between the floor joists and the subfloor.
Once your floor is becoming squeaky, you should identify the possible areas where gaps have developed and fasten the wood so that it holds steady to the joist wood.
You can fix any squeaky part of the floor if you are sure of what you are doing,
Especially if you are a homeowner with initial experience and maybe background knowledge on solving these home maintenance related issues.
However, if you are unsure about the methods and procedures, you should consider hiring professional assistance to get the work done.
The other method you can use to fix squeaks on the floor is by using shims. If your wooden floor has become loose and developed gaps, you can resort to this quick floor remedy to get the job done.
Identifying the floor areas should not be a big deal as you will hear the sound immediately you exert pressure or weight on a given point of the floor.
Once space has been noticed, use shim to fill it in.
Always ensure you do the fixing with carpenter’s glue to ensure everything stays in place when you are done and won’t have to come over to the same spot sooner.
You should be aware, however, that this remedy is mostly preferred for only slight problems that do not require much attention.
How Much Will It Cost Me To Fix My Squeaky Floor?
This will depend on the level of probable damage already done to the floor and the accessibility.
Most of the time, you are sure to part ways with less than 1000 dollars to get your squeaky floor fixed.
If the floor damage is more and is not easily accessible, you will spend more cash to get the job done.
You are likely to spend more, especially if the problem is on the second floor.
What To Know Once Your Floor Starts Squeaking
As you walk into your house, you may notice a part or some parts of the floor produce a squeaky sound.
Most often than not, homeowners brush the sound off and treat it just like any other simple issue which does not require much time.
Well, it may be true that the slight squeak does not need too much attention to it, but who would want to walk in a house with a noisy floor? It must not be very reassuring.
Some of the things to contemplate once your floor starts producing squeaky sound when you step on it are;
The floor needs attention; This is the most obvious of it all. Your floor needs immediate attention, and you should not ignore it whatsoever.
Squeaks in the floor will indicate loose fittings somewhere within the floor which need filling. Pay attention to the demand of the floor for proper care and maintenance.
Do not just brush it off. If left unattended, the loose fittings may become more with time, and before you realize it.
There will be squeaking everywhere in the entire floor structure of your house.
When it gets to this point, repair costs shall have already escalated, and whatever you could have fixed by a simple mechanism such as using shims, cold then require you to spend a lot more.
There is movement somewhere; a Squeak in the floor should be an immediate indication that there is some loose wood on the floor.
Once you step on a spot, you hear the sound. The loose piece of floor wood is probably at the exact point you exert pressure or weight on.
Weather change; Sometimes, the floor squeaks do not result from structural problems but weather changes.
Change in humidity in the house can lead to shrinking or widening of the gaps depending on the season.
Humidity is likely to be low during the winter season, and when there is low humidity, the wood shrinks, thereby causing gaps within the floors.
These gaps will make the wood loose and move whenever you step on them due to the allowance created.
You may want to install a humidifier(Amazon Link) to control the humidity levels during environmental changes.
Moreover, you can also choose to wait until the summer season come, and the air humidity is naturally correct.
The only downside of waiting for the environmental changes to take place is that the floor damage may have already escalated by the time the winter season is gone, and you may need an actual repair done.
So, it’s advisable you install a humidifier in your home when the winter season approaches.
If you don’t, the squeaks will be there to remind you in a very uncomfortable audible way.
There is a board to board contact; It’s not only gaps in the floor that cause squeaky sound when they become loose.
Sometimes, the floorboards may be rubbing against each other, thus resulting in this sound.
This may not be happening to all the floorboards in your home as it’s not common. Nevertheless, there is always an indication of such movement.
The affected floorboards may be slightly lifted than others or tightly squeezed together.
Also, of course, there has to be a movement for the squeaking sound to occur, so you will see or feel movement.
Something is wrong with the floor;
Your floor may have become squeaky when the winter season began.
You probably ignored it and assumed it was probably due to the drop of humidity levels due to environmental changes.
But, the winter season is gone, and the squeak is persistent. Not going away at all despite the seasonal change.
Well, it’s high time you accept something has been wrong with the floor from the beginning all along.
It’s no longer a seasonal change problem, but rather and more probably, a structural defect.
You should consider checking your floor keenly and identify the cause of the squeaks.
Fix the problem if it’s minor and does not require much involvement, or otherwise contemplate hiring a qualified professional to get the floor fixed if the problem had escalated beyond your level of expertise.
How Can I Prevent My Floor From Squeaking?
You may be putting in place a new floor structure and wondering whether the floor will maintain its appealing state or to expect squeaks any time soon.
Well, save your worries for other maintenance in the house. You can prevent your floor from squeaking before it begins.
Always ensure your floorboards are also reinforced with carpenter’s glue to last longer.
You can also apply the help of nails to put the boards in place such that when it comes to seasonal changes, the floor will not be affected much.
Can I Buy A House With Squeaky Floors?
If you have identified your dream house and finally have the adequate financial capability to acquire it, you will want to purchase it as quickly as possible.
Well, you get to the house for a quick survey before finally deciding to buy. But, in the course of your little adventure, you notice the floor is squeaking.
Should you then choose to throw all the dreams you had into thin air? Definitely no. Squeaky floors are minor things to consider when you want to purchase a house.
Floors of most houses that have remained unused for quite some time are probably squeaky.
A quick fix to the floor would do the trick, backed with some maintenance here and there.
The house would be right as new, and nothing will prevent you from enjoying your time in your new home.
There is no reason to shy away from purchasing a house with squeaky floors. They can be repaired just like any other structural problem in the house.
Can Improper Wooden Floor Installation Make The Floor Squeak?
When there is inadequate workmanship done during floor installation, it’s just a matter of time before your floor starts squeaking.
Ensuring subfloors are adequately secured with nails and glues is a crucial step that should not be ignored by any professional.
If you ignore either the glue or the nails whenever you are securing the floor joist, the work will be inefficient.
Inadequately done sheathing can make the floor start squeaking earlier than could be anticipated.
Flooring mechanics often come with written direct instructions from the manufacturers.
There is a systematic procedure to be followed by any workman when installing the flooring, detailed on the manufacturer’s instructions.
Bumps may appear on your floor, or the floorboards may seem not to be at the same level when the subfloor is inadequately installed.
When this happen, the floor may start producing the squeaky sound when there is movement or when pressure is exerted at these points.
Moreover, manufacturers often have detailed specifications for their flooring materials, such that different flooring adapts differently when installed in specific environments.
For instance, if you ignore this fact and install floorboards in homes not matching their characteristics,
Then the floorboards may shrink or expand, thereby making the floor start squeaking as soon as your floor installation is complete.
Always ensure the manufacturer’s instructions and specifications are heeded to with utmost precision to avoid later disappointments.
Think everything through and do not hurry up to complete the task, ignoring instructions, whether you are a professional or not.
Can The Movement Of The Foundation Cause Squeaky Floors?
When the house foundation is moved or shifted due to earth movement or related geographic facts such as tremors and earthquakes, this may result in the shifting of the flooring.
Thus, the floorboards may be a force to shift as well. The result of all this movement will be squeaky floors.
Some floorboards may rub against each other while others may be separated apart, leaving room for loose movement.
In the event of an occurrence, you may consider redoing all the flooring as you may not be sure of the extent of damage caused.
Fixing different sections of the floor may not do much good as it will be a matter of time before you realize you may have overlooked other parts of the floor.
Therefore, you may want to consider assessing the level of damage done to the floor before resorting to a repair solution.
Why Does My Floor Become Squeaky At Night?
The main reason why your floors may be fine during the day and become squeaky at night is temperature and humidity change.
During the night, the temperature drops significantly. This may result in a reduction of humidity in the air.
As a result, the floorboards shrink, thus leaving spaces between the boards.
If you walk on the affected floorboards during this time, you will realize the floor is squeaky; however,
When you walk on the same spot during the day when it’s warm enough, you will notice the squeaky sound is no more.
If this is the case, then there is no cause of alarm as it’s just the works of nature. Who walks around the house in the entire night anyway?
Is It Normal For Squeaky Floors To Be In Old Houses?
You wouldn’t say normal, but yes. Most old houses are likely to have squeaky floors, especially if they are not regularly maintained.
The floorboards in such houses have seen better days and have either shrunk or expanded, one way or the other.
Squeaky floors in old houses is not a new thing. However, if you are staying in an old house, it would be better to maintain the floors as you would do with a new house.
It would be best if you did not choose to ignore the necessary maintenance required because the house is old.
Furthermore, you would want your floor to be making a note of every step you move in the house. Or, would you? Well, I wouldn’t.
Generally, as we have noticed, squeaky floors in the house are not dangerous, but the sound could be irritating, especially when you want to move around the house in silence, which is ideal during the night.
The squeaky floors can be repaired, just like any other structural issue in the house; thus, there is no reason to panic whenever this occurs.