Your home is only as strong as its weakest link, which makes it essential to maintain strength throughout all areas of your residence. Los Angeles County homeowners know that earthquakes could hit at any time, making it especially essential to keep your home firmly fortified if you live in the area. California Foundation Works offers full foundation floor joist replacement services to keep the base of your home secure and supported. Read on to learn more about the importance of floor joists and replacement solutions and services at your disposal.
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What Are Floor Joists?
Along with band sills, floor joists play an integral role in a building’s construction. Foundation floor joists are the objects used to support floors that stretch over open areas, such as crawl spaces, basements, and lower floors, as well as between shed floor beans. Wooden floor joists run atop band sills at regular intervals around the home. They are installed parallel to each other for maximum security and support.
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Dangers of Rotten Floor Joists
Foundation floor joists are integral aspects of base floor support. Unfortunately, when exposed to water and excess moisture they run the risk of growing mold or rotting. This leaves the foundation floor joists unable to provide full and necessary structural support for the building. If necessary structural repairs are not made, the structural integrity of the building can become so compromised that it can threaten real estate transactions. Therefore if floor joists in your building have started to rot, you need floor joist replacement or reinforcement.
Rotten Floor Joist Causes & Signs
A weakened floor support system is a noticeable hindrance that threatens the overall stability of the building. When rot takes root in the foundation floor joists, the floor can become so uneven that it will feel as though you are walking on a trampoline. While the rotting often occurs due to water or moisture intrusion, which is often the result of a poor drainage system, dry rot and termites are additional factors that can cause the structural integrity of foundation floor joists to be threatened.
To prevent rotting floor joists from reaching critical levels of decay, you can perform regular home inspections and keep an eye out for signs of floor joist rot. Structural issues in the crawl space can be noticed by looking out for drywall cracks, bouncy floors, soft and spongy floors, doors that stick, and sloping or uneven floors. If you have noticed any of these signs, the next step is to call a professional contractor for an evaluation so that you can start exploring your floor joist replacement options.
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Floor Joist Replacement & Reinforcement
It is necessary to remove and replace foundation floor joists once the joists have lost their structural support. Since each case of floor joist rot has its own unique set of factors, multiple solutions are available that can be combined with each other as needed. Solutions include floor joist repair, subfloor repair, beam replacement, and sill plate replacement.
In most cases of floor joist replacement, the floor joists can be accessed through crawl spaces, though in certain cases the subfloor can be removed in order to access them.
The replacement process requires some skills and materials, including carpentry tool experience and proper protective gear and tools. Another solution for dealing with rotten foundation floor joists is reinforcing the existing joists with the help of “sister” joists. This process involves fastening new joists to the side of the rotten joists to provide the original joist with reinforcement. This solution can be performed by trained contractors with the help of lag bolts and construction adhesive if the original joist is still intact. Adding additional support can fix many cases of support failure in the home.
However, joint replacement solutions are not appropriate if the area has a moisture problem, as the sister joist will also end up rotting with time. While surface treatments can be applied to the joists to slow the rate of rotting, they will not be able to completely prevent it from occurring. Therefore it is also important to address any drainage system failures to improve weakened areas and prevent moisture invasion.
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Bring in a Professional
Strengthening foundation floor joists is a critical aspect of structural stability that needs a professional approach. In addition to requiring carpentry experience to replace or reinforce rotten floor joists, experience working in spaces with restricted movement is needed to guarantee a successful floor joist replacement project. Additionally, there are several factors about the floor joists that contribute to the overall strength of the structure.
A professional contractor will be able to best determine the wood type that should be used, how thick the joist should be, an appropriate height for the joist, and how much distance to leave between supports. Since there are so many aspects of the floor joist replacement project that require professional expertise and field experience and knowledge to run smoothly, always call in professional help for attending to your floor joist replacement needs.
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Are you ready to tackle your floor joist replacement? Do you have any questions or inquiries? Let’s chat!
Call California Foundation Works Today For A FREE Project Estimate! (323) 418-2239