Are you fed up with your stupid sloped, bowed, and uneven floors? Are you itching to address the issue once and for all? If you’re sick of being dissatisfied with your tilted floors and ready to address this dangerous trip hazard head-on, this article is for you.
Dalinghaus Construction Inc. has helped hundreds of Orange County residents reclaim their homes by leveling their sagging and dipping floors. We believe educated homeowners make the best decisions when it comes to home repairs.
This article covers 4 common repair methods that address sloping floors. By the end of this article, you’ll understand how expansive soil is wreaking havoc across Orange County and the best way of repairing sagging floors caused by foundation settlement.
Leveling Sloped Floors in Orange County
Orange County homes are particularly susceptible to sloping floors. This is because OC is jam-packed with older homes erected during the 1950s housing boom and is riddled with expansive soils.
The two main causes of sloping floors are: 1). older homes (with neglected foundations) and, 2). expansive soil (the primary cause of foundation settlement). Orange County has an abundance of older homes and expansive soil.
Here are 4 common repair methods utilized to level out sloping floors not caused by expansive soil –
1. Fix Sloping Floors with Self-Leveling Compound
In Orange County, leveling sloping floors with self-leveling underlayment is a common repair method for homes with slab-on-grade foundations. Utilizing a self-leveling compound is generally a simple and cheap DIY fix, with kits available for purchase at your local hardware store.
Self-leveling compounds can fix sags and dips as deep as 11 inches.
The primary issue with utilizing a self-leveling compound is that if the sagging is caused by foundation settlement, the foundation will continue to sink, nullifying the prior repair. In addition, if you choose to perform push pier or helical pier underpinning and lift your foundation, the “corrected” section of the foundation will be out of sync with the rest of the foundation.
2. Fix Sloping Floors by Sistering Bowed Joists
For those of you Orange County residents with crawlspace foundations (otherwise known as cripple-wall or post-and-pad foundations), old/damaged joists are a major cause of bowed floors.
Another simple and relatively cheap DIY fix it is to jack up the bowing joists until they are level with the stronger joists. Then, sister these joints by mating two boards with bolts, nuts, and washers so the new board can support and correct the sagging joist.
3. Fix Sloping Floors by Replacing Posts and Pads
Orange County is no stranger to raised foundations, many of which utilize posts and pads to support the subfloor. Post and pads can deteriorate over time, allowing the subfloor and everything above it to sink.
Post and pad replacement is not a DIY project, but if you’re related to MacGyver it might be doable. Post and Pad replacement is a relatively quick operation when handled by a professional foundation repair team.
4. Fix Sloping Floors by Laying Down New Hardwood Floors
A fairly common DIY fix-it is to put in a new hardwood floor over an existing floor. Plywood subfloors bridge the minor gaps and work well with self-leveling applications. The key is to ensure that your joists can handle the additional weight.
Orange County Expansive Soil
The 4 sloping floor repair methods listed above do not address sloped floors caused by foundation settlement. Foundation settlement stemming from expansive soil is the number one cause of sloped floors in Orange County.
Foundation settlement is when a foundation sinks into incompetent, non-load-bearing soils (such as clays, silts, and loams).
These weak soils are referred to as expansive soils because they expand when the water table is high and shrink when it’s low.
Orange County, like most of the West Coast, is in the midst of a severe drought. As the soil continues to dry out, it sinks, taking homes with it.
To learn more about how expansive soil destroys billions of dollars in property damage a year, read our article What is Expansive Soil & How Does it Cause Foundation Settlement?
The only way to permanently correct sloping floors caused by expansive soil is push pier and helical pier underpinning – utilizing steel pipes as an underground stilt system, lodging the supportive pipes into competent soil/bedrock.
5. Fix Sloping Floors by Utilizing Push Pier and Helical Pier Underpinning
Push pier and helical pier underpinning is definitely not a DIY project and is an expensive repair; however, it delivers incredible and long-lasting results. Steel pier underpinning allows the homeowner to regain lost inches during a home lift, referred to as maximum practical recovery.
If you want to recover lost ground, enjoy a lifetime warranty, and cement permanent value into your home, steel pier underpinning is the solution for you.
To learn more about steel pier underpinning cost, read our article Underpinning Cost – Steel Pier Systems
Orange County Push Pier and Helical Pier Underpinning
In this article, you learned about 5 sagging floor repair methods, how expansive soil works, and that steel pier underpinning offers permanent protection against further foundation settlement.
Dalinghaus Construction Inc. has been in the foundation repair game since 2015. We hold over 100 years of combined foundation repair experience. We are so glad we were able to share our knowledge with you.
We strongly believe push pier and helical pier underpinning are the absolute best solutions for long-lasting foundation repair. If you think your sloping floor may be caused by foundation settlement and you reside in Orange County, click on the link below for a free foundation inspection.