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Question DetailsAsked on 6/27/2017

My bathroom floor has sagged about 1/10 inch since we purchased house six months ago, what should I do?

I know that hiring an expert might be costly, can I do something myself?

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1/10" - that would normally not be noticed, much less a cause for concern. If your floor does not have a readily detectable slope, you are likely just seeing normal floor joist sag, which is caused by creep of the wood grain under prolonged load. [Concrete does this too in concrete floors, but nowhere as pronounced].


This is most likely not a matter for concern (assuming wood frame house), especially if this is a gradual sag and is apparent across the entire room or even all rooms in the house, though of course will be more pronounced in the center of rooms than close to underlying walls.

Creep sag amount varies a lot by types of construction and depth fo floor joists and humidity in the house and such, but VERY ROUGHLY for wood frame houses - you can expect floor joist or truss sag on the ROUGH order of 1/8 - 1/4 inch per ten feet of free span (sometimes full width of house, normally in the narrow dimension but more commonly the free span is 1/2 the narrow dimension of the house, with intermediate walls or support beams through the middle) in the first year or few, and over 20-40 years commonly around 1/4-1/2 inch range, and up to 1/2-1 inches per 10 feet of free span. In 30-40 year or older homes, it is not at all unusual to see 1/8 to even 1/4 inch difference in the gap under interior doors which are parallel to the floor joists.


To be on the safe side, look around in the basement/crawlspace if you have one to see that you do not have wetness causing rot, insect damage, cracked foundation, cracking intermediate support beam, or intermediate supporting posts and piers (if you have those) losing support due to wetting or the soil or free water erosion or burrowing by rodents like ground squirrels or badgers or such, but I suspect you will be nothing of note and it is just normal floor joist sag.


Obviously, if it continues at a high rate or accelerates or you hear frequent (more than every month or few) creaking or cracking sounds,or if your floor develops bulges, you have ceiling wet spots, or you hear loud pops or screeches or thumps in the framing, then it would be time to get a Structural Engineer to look into the issue.


If you have a warranty in effect on the home (if a new build) from the builder you could contact the builder in writing (eMail say) and ask for an inspection of unexpected settlement - they will undoubtedly say what I did above, but would put you on record of having brought it to their attention so IF it gets out of hand your warranty claim is on record.

Answered 1 year ago by LCD




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