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Why Is My Wood Floor Squeaking?

If you are a homeowner with wood flooring, you may have a spot or two that squeaks.  One that you never fail to walk on when you’re trying to be quiet. A spot that you know will wake up your sleeping child if you step on it wrong. It doesn’t matter where the squeak is. It’s not something you want for your hardwood floors or your peace of mind as a homeowner, and we are here to help.
This noisy floor problem has a solution.  The answer starts with movement, which is the cause behind all squeaky, creaky floors. You must first determine what is making your floor move to fix the issue. We are here to help you through some common causes of noisy hardwood floors.

Subfloor Problems

A subfloor may be the culprit of squeaky floors. When subfloors are uneven, it can be one of the most common causes of an unwanted squeak. When the subfloor is uneven, it can cause space between the top floor allowing movement. It can also be uneven with the base structures or joists holding it up.
The quality of your subfloor can also cause issues. If your subfloor is inefficient, old, or damaged by water it will not be able to do its job. Water is also a major enemy of hardwood floors. If your subfloor is beyond repair, it won’t be able to hold nails and or any other fasteners. This leads to a loose subfloor or top floor, both of which can shift and cause creaking and other noises.

Joist Issues Causing A Squeak

A joist is a horizontal structural member used in framing to span an open space. Joists are beneath your floor and subfloor and they make up the framework and base. If your joists are working they stabilize your subfloor. A stable joist will prevent any movement from occurring.
That being said, if there is a problem with your joists your floor will be loose and cause movement. This movement can be caused by joists being loose, warped, or improper installation. If you suspect that it may be a joist issue, you may want to contact a professional. You will need access to the basement or where the joists are to confirm. A technician will be able to spot any issues by looking up at the joists supporting your floor.

Seasonal Squeaking

You may notice that your floor only squeaks at certain times of the year. All hardwood floors, whether they are solid or engineered are made of real wood. This means that the wood will expand and contract with seasonal temperature and humidity changes. If there is a slight change in your floors it’s actually normal.
If your floors start to squeak in winter, it may just mean the dry winter hair has caused your wood floor to contract. This contraction gives your floor more movement to cause the squeaking. This squeaking should subside when humidity levels return to a stable level between 40%- 60%. 

How To Fix

It’s a good idea to consult with a professional before any DIY do it yourself failures, we’ve seen it all. Many times you will try to do repairs yourself and cause bigger problems in the process. Some remedies online may tell you to try to use a shim, nail, plank, or adhesive. This may be a temporary fix to some of these floor movement issues, but it might not be as simple as a quick fix. It may be time to consult with a professional to revitalize your flooring. At Dave’s, we know how to make sure your floors are as gleaming and quiet as new. Contact us today, or give us a call at 763-784-3000.