The flooring is one of the commonly neglected parts of the house – until it begins to squeak. If the subfloor in your house makes noise, there are some steps that you can take to repair the situation yourself. Here’s how.
- Defects. Before anything else, you should be aware of the two common reasons why subfloors will sometimes squeak. In some cases, the squeaking sound is made simply by poor craftsmanship especially if the construction company that built the house hastened through the flooring. Sometimes, however, perfectly laid out flooring will still sometimes squeak if the foundation under the house has moved. This happens frequently in areas where fault lines are located.
- Floor joists. The primary reason why subfloors will sometimes make noises is because the floor joists are not properly aligned. When these are not properly aligned with the subfloor, there will be just enough space that will squeak each time someone steps on the particular part of the floor. To remedy the situation, take a wedge shim made of wood and use it to seal the space in between the subfloor and the joist. Make sure that you drive the wedge very carefully. You only want to fill in the space in between the floor and the joist. If you happen to drive the wedge in too deep, you will only widen the gap between the floor and the joist, which will only cause more noise.
- Neighboring boards. Sometimes, however, the neighboring boards which are located just above the flooring joists are the source of the noise. Inspect the neighboring boards and check to see if these move. If these move, this means that the neighboring boards are not attached firmly into place. To make the boards more stable, you will need to use cleats attached in between the flooring and the joist with the use of nails or screws. A cleat that measures 1 x 4 will usually be enough to do the job. Be sure to do this for all of the boards that are loose and moving.
- Steel bridges. Sometimes, however, more than an individual floor joist is loose. In this case, a simple wedge shim will not suffice to remove the squeaking noise that the subfloor makes. Instead, you will need to make the entire subfloor stable by using steel bridges. Steel bridges can be purchased from most hardware shops. These should be placed in between the floor joists that have been loosened. The advantage with using steel bridges is that you get to fix an entire group of loose floor joists with just one or two steel bridges.
- Home inspectors. If you are about to purchase a new house or about to move in to a new one, you can minimize the possibility of ending up with flooring that squeaks by hiring home inspectors to check the flooring of the house. One of the advantages of using home inspectors is these people will inspect not only the flooring, but other parts of the house as well.
With these in mind, reducing or removing the squeaking noise that your subfloor makes is possible. Ask for help from your local carpenter if the squeak persists after mending the joists and boards.