Anyone who performs Brisbane building inspections would agree that squeaky floors are one annoying problem that can seriously compromise the value of your home. If you are putting your house on the market and its floors are irritatingly squeaky – or if you’ve recently purchased a new home and have learned that it suffers from squeaky floor syndrome – never fear: there are things you can do to remedy the situation. Keep in mind, though, that you might have to hire someone depending on the exact nature of the problem. Regardless, you’ll be able to arrive at a suitable solution as long as you learn a bit about what causes squeaky floors and understand the basics.
What Causes A Floor To Squeak?
There are a few different possible causes for a squeaky floor. A building inspection in Brisbane will sometimes uncover the underlying causes; otherwise, you might have to get in there and take a closer look for yourself.
Shrinkage – When wood floorboards aren’t seasoned properly, they can shrink. As a result, they become loose and wiggle around when stepped upon, causing a squeak.
Floor Not Cramped Properly – When floorboards aren’t cramped the right way, movement can occur between the boards. As they move against one another, that annoying squeak occurs.
Floor Too Dry When Laid – Excessively dry wooden floorboards make up for their lack of moisture by retaining moisture from the surrounding area. As they accrue this moisture, they expand and bounce up. This is a major problem that usually requires a complete relaying of the boards.
Gaps In The Floor – Gaps, either between the joists and the floorboards or between the joists and the bearers – can allow movement that creates a squeaky sound.
Insufficiently Supported Bearers – If the bearers aren’t supported properly by the piers, they can allow enough extra space for floorboards to squeak.
Repairing Squeaky Floors: Wedging
The most common technique for dealing with a squeaky floor is called wedging. Get beneath the floorboards and check to see if there are any gaps. Pay special attention for gaps between the piers and the bearers. If you see any, remedy the situation by packing up the gap with damp-roof course material or fibre cement. For larger gaps, install wedges to make up for the difference.
Sometimes, you may have to rebuild the pier. This is usually necessary when a pier has been installed on very dry clay soil that has settled. In this case, you’ll need to remove the wedges and reinstall the piers so that they are deeper and more stable.
Otherwise, use specialised screws like nailing or wood screws to prevent squeaky floors. You may have to improvise a little bit to achieve the desired results.