The Signs of Joist Failure

There are many signs that might indicate to you that your crawl space joists are failing. Consider these more obvious signals.

Rattling Floors

When you walk past china hutches or set tables, can you hear the dishes rattle? If you walk by a window, can you hear the glass shake, even if it’s relatively quiet? If you’re hearing these rattling noises when you just walk normally, chances are there’s a problem. It shouldn’t be this obvious when you walk around your home.

What’s happening here is that your normal movement is expanding too far around where you actually are. This could signal that your floor joists give too much, causing your floors to shake even with normal walking movement. That’s a problem, and it’s important to tackle it as early as possible.

Soft and Bouncy Floors

Another indication of floor joist issues is soft, “bouncy” floors. Especially if you stand near the center of a room, does it feel like the floor gives way underneath you? Any of these signs could show that the weight is unevenly distributed, which is itself a clear sign of floor joist damage.

How do you tell whether a floor is too “soft” and “bouncy”? The easiest way is to put excess weight on the floor. Jump up and down a few times and note whether it seems as though the floor bows under your weight when you jump. If it does, chances are you’re having this exact problem.

Uneven and Sagging Floors

For this one, all you need to do is take a look at the floor. Can you notice a distinct curve in the floor? Does it look like the floor leans to one side? Can you notice sagging in the floor? This may also show up as previously unnoticed gaps underneath doors.

Once the uneven and sagging floors get extremely serious, you may even notice that it seems impossible to put anything in rooms with sagging floors. Items might just slide to one side, which can be extremely frustrating. This uneven slant indicates that one side of the floor is settling or bowing more quickly than the other.

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