Why Does My Floor Feel Uneven When Walking On It?

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As a homeowner, you take pride in maintaining the overall condition and appearance of your house. So when you start noticing a certain area of your floor feeling uneven as you walk on it, it can be quite alarming. Not only is it uncomfortable to walk on, but it also raises concerns about potential structural issues or safety hazards. But before panicking and jumping to conclusions, there are several factors that could contribute to an uneven floor. In this blog post, we’ll address some common causes of this problem and provide tips on how to handle them effectively so that you can restore the evenness and stability of your floors in no time.

Discover why your floor feels uneven and how to fix it. Read expert tips on identifying and resolving common flooring problems today!

What Causes Uneven Floors?

Floors slope for various reasons. However, the two most common reasons for sloping floors are differential foundation settlement and problems with wooden support structures.

Differential Foundation Settlement

Differential settlement is when a foundation settles into the ground unevenly. While a small amount of uniform settlement is normal, especially during the first year after construction, differential foundation settlement can compromise your home’s structural integrity.

Signs of differential foundation settlement include foundation cracks, jammed windows and doors, sloping floors, and much more.

Problems with Support Structures

Discover why your floor feels uneven and how to fix it. Read expert tips on identifying and resolving common flooring problems today!

If you have a crawl space foundation, uneven floors can result from damage to the support structures (posts, beams, joists) in the crawl space. These structural elements usually consist of wood, which, when exposed to excessive moisture over time, can begin to rot and lose its strength. If this happens, the floor above the crawl space may start to sag.

A similar structural problem can occur if you recently updated your home and removed a load-bearing wall. Without that structural support, the floor above the wall you removed will likely fail to support weight the way it once did. This lack of support makes the joists and beams unable to remain intact, resulting in an uneven floor.

Lastly, improper design and installation can also cause a floor to fail. If the builder who constructed your floor did not include enough joists or spaced them too far apart, they may fail to keep the floor level. Similarly, if your floor rests above a crawl space and the supports within your crawl space were not properly constructed, the floor will likely slope as well.

Is Your Floor Sloping Too Much?

Every slope has a vertical rise and a horizontal run. Comparing the rise to the run gives you an idea of whether or not your sloping floor requires professional attention. Generally, if your floor rises more than half an inch over a horizontal run of ten feet or less, it likely indicates a significant issue that requires repairs.

Discover why your floor feels uneven and how to fix it. Read expert tips on identifying and resolving common flooring problems today!

Still, you should consider the safety and comfort of using your uneven floor regardless of the specific slope. If your pitched floor is a trip hazard, you should have it fixed whether it slopes more than half an inch over ten feet or not.

What Are the Best Ways to Repair an Uneven Floor

Repairing Differential Foundation Settlement

If your sloping floors result from differential foundation settlement, you’ll need to hire an experienced foundation repair contractor in your area. These professionals can diagnose the severity of your settlement issues and match you to the best foundation repair solution.

One of the most common methods for repairing differential settlement is by installing helical piers or push piers to stabilize and strengthen the foundation. These piers are inserted deep into the ground and attached to your foundation via strong brackets. After forming that connection, the foundation team can use the piers to raise your foundation as much as possible without causing damage. This process helps level any floors that have become uneven due to settlement problems.

Adding Structural Supports to Your Flooring

In cases where your floors are unlevel because of structural deficiencies rather than settlement, the approach to repairs will be different. If the joists or beams in your floor have rotted, replacing them may be a simple but effective way to level your floor. Alternatively, if your floor lacks joists due to improper installation, adding more joists or installing cross-bridging between the joists can give them the strength they need to function correctly.

Discover why your floor feels uneven and how to fix it. Read expert tips on identifying and resolving common flooring problems today!

Fixing an Uneven Floor Is Not a DIY Project

We strongly advise against attempting to perform DIY foundation repair to fix a sloping floor. The best approach is to find an experienced foundation repair contractor who can safely repair your floor and do the job right the first time.

If You Have an Uneven Floor, Look For Other Signs of Trouble

If you have an uneven floor, look around for other signs of trouble. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Foundation cracks
  • Windows or doors that don’t open and close correctly
  • Wall, ceiling, or floor cracks
  • Stair step cracks in brick or masonry
  • A chimney or porch that’s pulling away from the house

If you see any of the above – or anything else suspicious – contact an experienced foundation repair contractor and ask for an inspection. Don’t delay. Foundation problems caught early cost less to repair.

Get Help with Your Uneven Floor

If you have an uneven floor, it is essential to get assistance from a professional. If you live in Eastern North Carolina and are experiencing this problem, contact Regional Foundation & Crawl Space Repair to schedule a free foundation evaluation.