Should You Try to Repair Your Floor Joists on Your Own?
If you have wooden floor joists in your home, they may become rotted and weakened over time due to moisture or pests. This can cause the floor joists to bow or sag, leading to an uneven floor above. Many Alabama homeowners will attempt to solve this issue themselves. If the damage to the floor joist is minimal, this is a relatively simple solution. However, floor joist repair can be complicated when homeowners do not know how to repair a floor joist. The most common floor joist repair option for homeowners is sistering the floor joist. In this process, a fresh piece of lumber is attached to the failing floor joist to provide additional support without having to replace the entire thing.
If your floor joist damage is not too severe, you may be able to get away with a DIY floor joist repair. However, it is best to have the damage examined by a professional to ensure that you do not worsen the problem or waste money on a repair only to have the issue reoccur. The team at Affordable Foundation and Home Repair provides free quotes for foundation and crawlspace repair for residents in the Northern Alabama area.
Problems with DIY Floor Joist Repair for Alabama Homeowners
The most common floor joist repair option for homeowners is sistering the floor joist. In this process, a new piece of lumber is attached to the failing floor joist to provide additional support without having to replace the entire thing. First, the old floor joists should be properly treated so that no further damage will occur, as this will only result in the need for total replacement. Next, the new lumber is securely attached to the old floor joist in order to add stability to the joist itself and to the above floor. While sistering can work for some levels of floor joist damage, here are some common mistakes that prevent it from being an adequate solution:
- Over Notching Floor Joists: If the new lumber is over notched even a little, it can compromise the structural integrity of the board, and the new lumber will not support the damaged joist.
- Not Properly Jacking the Floor: Failing to jack the damaged floor joist up in order to install the new lumber can result in a poor fit.
- Failing to Level the Sistering Board: The new lumber needs to be completely leveled from end to end for the repair to hold.
- Inadequate Securing Method: If you only use glue and/or nails to attach the new lumber, and not carriage bolts, the new lumber will not be able to support the floor joist or the above floor.
- Not Overlapping Lumber Enough: Failing to overlap the new lumber a decent amount on the floor joist may prevent the pieces from securing together properly.
- Failing to Support New Lumber: If your new lumber is in the center of the floor joist and you do not support it properly, the problem may only become worse than it was before.
While it may be possible to fix your floor joist yourself, it is often a job that is best left to professionals. Another issue is that many homeowners fix the floor joist, but do not fix the underlying issue, leaving the other floor joists in their home at risk of developing the same damage. Our team provides crawlspace encapsulation and various kinds of foundation repair that can prevent floor joist and crawlspace issues in your Alabama home. If you are not comfortable with your own experience or ability to handle home repairs, or if you have one or more floor joists with extensive damage, call the team at Affordable Foundation and Home Repair today.
Floor Joist Repair Solution
If you do find yourself in need of professional floor joist repair, we can help. Our crew knows how to repair a floor joist in order to restore structural stability to your crawlspace and home. We use Samson floor joists to repair any damaged joists and level the floors in your home. Our team can repair the floor joist using steel sistering joists or can provide floor joist replacement for severely damaged floor joists.
Our team also offers other solutions that can benefit damaged floor joists in your crawlspace. If your floor joists rotted due to exposure to moisture, we can use our crawlspace encapsulation services to install a vapor barrier that will seal out water vapor and moisture. We also offer floor supports and crawlspace piers to lift the floor of your home when your crawlspace beams start to fail.
If you would like to learn more about floor joist repair from Affordable Foundation and Home Repair, contact us today. We offer floor joist and crawlspace repair for residents of Huntsville, Birmingham, Decatur, and other cities in Northern Alabama or Southern Tennessee.