A house with structural or foundational damage can cause floors to look (and feel) uneven. Uneven floors refer to any floor surface that slopes, sags, buckles, or bounces. Typically, older houses that are built 15 years ago or earlier will have issues such as slanting floors. This is due to the natural shifting of the house’s foundation over time.
While uneven floor surfaces are a sign of structural damage, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the house is totally unsafe. If you are eyeing to buy a property with floors that are a bit sloped, you might be wondering if foundation repair work will make the house perfectly level. Before you perform any repairs, it’s important to hire a professional contractor to diagnose the issue and provide a proper resolution.
Common Causes of Uneven Floors
There are a lot of possible reasons why a property’s floor is not even. Most of the time, uneven floors are common in old houses due to the normal wear and shifting of the structural foundation. However, it’s also possible that uneven floors may indicate a more serious issue that will be more costly to fix.
Before you decide on doing anything to fix uneven floors, it’s important to know the real cause of the problem.
Typically, uneven flooring may be due to any of the following:
- Water damage: Water damage is caused by too much moisture, and this is one of the most common causes of uneven floors. The water may come from leaky pipes or seeping from intruding groundwater. If the cause of uneven flooring is water damage, make sure to find the source of water and fix that problem before you create any repairs to your floors.
- Ground movement: Ground moves over time—this is a natural phenomenon that occurs almost everywhere. What’s more, it moves your property’s foundation with it. That is why uneven flooring is a common issue with older houses. This is the reason why builders should compact the soil beneath the foundation to prevent any significant shifting from occurring after several years.
- Structural or foundation problems: If the problem is caused by structural issues, it’s usually more expensive to fix. If the house has issues with load-bearing walls, roof framing, beams, and floor framing, the flooring will eventually warp and become uneven.
Can Foundation Repair Make the House Completely Even?
In general, a property’s foundation that is level within 7/10 of an inch is considered acceptable. If the reason why a house has uneven flooring is because of foundational damage, then a foundation repair can make it better.
It’s important to note, however, that repairing the foundation of the house will not entirely make it perfectly level.
Reasons Why Foundation Repair Can’t Make a House Totally Level
Keep in mind that foundations are not absolutely even when they are created. Usually, some areas have thicker concrete slab foundations than others. Additionally, some slab areas are exposed to higher levels of moisture over time, while other slab areas are not. When this happens, the property’s foundation settles and sinks.
Foundations that are made of piers and beams are also not perfectly level. Plus, they are vulnerable to moisture—and weather conditions can also affect this type of foundation. Over time, joists and wooden beams will undergo a certain level of movement. To prevent significant shifting of the foundation, it’s best to install foundation shims, which are thin pieces of metal that can help stabilize the structure of the property.
Why It’s Not Recommended to Make the House Too Even
If the reason for uneven flooring is severe structural damage, experts suggest against attempting to make it too level. In fact, any attempt to make it perfectly even can cause more damage to the house. If you lift the flooring that is exceedingly uneven, it could cause major fractures to the structure, creating more harm and other issues that are costly to fix.
For instance, if the house’s floor is around four inches low on some surface, lifting it higher may cause breakage. It can also cause additional damage to the roof, especially if you are not sure how it’s going to affect other areas. It’s best to consult a professional contractor with extensive experience in foundation repairs to provide you with the right solutions for the issues.
Usually, experienced contractors will try to raise the elevation of the unlevelled area of the floors to as high as possible to meet the best results. However, they will only attempt to make the foundation as even as possible to avoid creating further damage and any additional problems to the structure.
Elevating a foundation significantly may cause collateral damage such as broken pipes, sheetrock cracks, and crevices on floors and walls. This is something that professional contractors want to avoid. That’s why you should not expect that foundation repairs will result in perfectly even flooring.
Moreover, in most cases, contractors cannot say exactly how even they can make the property. They need to see how the structures are responding to the repair process. As a general rule, it’s important to have your structure serviced regularly or as soon as you notice issues to prevent problems from getting bigger.
Work With the Best Foundation Repair Contractor in Dallas Fort Worth
In areas like Dallas Fort Worth, it’s quite common to see issues of unlevelled flooring, especially because expansive clay soil often results in houses needing leveling work.
If you think your Dallas Fort Worth property has uneven floor issues, it’s crucial to consult a professional foundation repair contractor to help you diagnose the cause of the problem. Only by identifying the real cause of the problem can the right solution be provided.
If you’re looking for a reputable foundation repair contractor in Dallas Fort Worth, contact Granite Foundation Repair Inc at 214-865-8609 or schedule a free inspection. Our team of trained professionals has extensive experience in making long-lasting repairs to help you fix any foundation issues with your Texas home.