If the floor feels uneven under carpet in your home then you’ll want to get to the bottom of what’s causing this problem. Not only is it uncomfortable, and a trip hazard, but there may be a more serious underlying cause.
Quite often a floor that feels uneven under carpet is because of a loose floorboard. Sometimes the reason is the foundations of the house which is a more serious problem.
Protecting the foundations of your house will also help you to protect the floors in your home. This means making sure that you stop excessive water getting into the foundations.
Causes Of Uneven Floor Under Carpet
When we first moved into our new house, we noticed that the flooring was uneven underneath the carpet. Not the best start for first-time home owners! We spent months trying to find a cause and fix, but we managed it!
So, if you feel like your floor is uneven underneath the carpet, you’re probably not imagining it. This can be a common problem and is more likely to happen in older properties than newer homes.
Although, it’s not typically the floors that are the problem but rather what is going on underneath them.
There are a couple of ways that excess moisture can cause uneven floors. The wooden flooring itself, the sub floor or wooden beams can be affected by this extra moisture and warp. This will lead to the floor surface becoming uneven.
If you have carpet as a floor covering then you probably won’t be able to see anything unless it is a severe problem. But you’ll be able to feel the unevenness through the carpet when you walk on it.
Poor drainage beneath a house can cause extra moisture to affect the foundations. In changeable seasons the excess water can cause too much give in the ground.
When the weather is freezing the water will expand. This constant movement can affect the floors in your house. By fixing the drainage issue you can deal with this problem.
The soil beneath a property can move with different conditions. Absorbent soil such as clay is particularly prone to movement.
This can cause problems with the stability of the house foundations. In very hot weather the soil dries out and contracts, then expands again in wet weather.
This constant moving can cause havoc with your floors. This is why the soil should be compacted before a house is built. If this isn’t done properly you can have problems with movement and uneven floors.
Unfortunately you can’t lift the house and compact the soil properly afterward. If you install a barrier that stops water getting into your foundations it can help with the problem.
Lack Of Structural Support
Occasionally the cause of your uneven floors may be a lack of structural support. This could be caused by many things. If the foundations are too small, this can cause problems with structural support.
Sometimes it may be a result of poor workmanship in the construction of the foundations. Older houses may have bad foundations and this can cause problems like uneven floors.
A remedy for lack of structural support will depend on the particular issue. This may be a simple inexpensive fix or a more expensive and comprehensive solution.
How To Repair Uneven Floors Under Carpet
It isn’t possible to repair uneven floors without first pulling up the carpet. If you want to replace the carpet afterward you’ll need to do this very carefully. Remember you’ll also have to take up the underlay and probably the gripper too.
Sometimes an uneven floor is caused by a loose floorboard which can be screwed back down into place. If there is general unevenness in the floor you’ll have to put down flooring plywood to create an even surface.
Then you’ll need to lay your carpet again or have a carpet fitter re-lay it.
Can Uneven Floors Mean A Foundation Problem?
It is possible that the uneven floor under your carpet is being caused by a foundation problem. To investigate this possible cause look out for other signs around the house.
One clear sign are diagonal cracks around windows and doors which extend to the ceiling. In external brickwork stepped cracks, that look like stairs, are another warning sign.
You may have noticed that some doors and windows don’t open or close properly. Or perhaps there is a gap between the chimney breast and the wall. These are all signs of foundation problems.
What Is Differential Settlement?
Differential settlement is when a house settles unevenly on its foundation. This doesn’t apply to crawl space foundations which can be caused by other issues.
For most houses the ground that it sits on should settle evenly across the entire property.
When it doesn’t and one side settles more than the other this is called differential settlement. This is not a good situation for any part of the house and will most definitely cause uneven floors.
Repairing the foundations of your home will require the underpinning of the property. This is done using resistance push piers, drilled concrete piers, or slab piers.
For homes with a crawl space foundation the screw jacks may be the problem. In this instance they would need to be replaced if they have deteriorated.
Preventing Uneven Floors
A good way of preventing uneven floors in your home is to ensure that water does not get into your foundations.
This can mean making sure that the yard slopes away from the house for water runoff. Keeping gutters clear, so they don’t overflow and soak the ground around the house is also important.
You shouldn’t plant trees and shrubbery close to your home. It’s a good idea to plant large trees at least twenty feet away from the house. This stops their roots causing problems with the foundations of the house.
Uneven floor under your carpet may be a simple loose floorboard which is easily fixed. Or it could be a bigger problem with the foundations.
If you think the uneven floor could be caused by foundation problems then take a look around your house for some of the signs we have mentioned.