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Know Your House: What Makes Up a Floor Structure

Jacking Up Floor Joists - Episode #171 - YouTube

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  • Welcome to the Toronto Beaches! We are south of Queen Street East in a very high demand location where people want to live. Buyers always tell me just how much they love this area and want to get in. Sellers always tell me just how much they love the community and don't want to move from this area. Tenants are always asking me if I can find them a place to rent in this area.

    But sometimes we can come across some challenges in this beautiful area. For example, the underground streams can cause an issue and actually affect some houses.

    In this scenario, the owner of this Prime Beach Property, Jerry Greer has been renovating his property and is attempting to level off the sloped floors possibly caused by unstable fill back when this property was constructed in 1910. The Structural and Soil Engineer involved had discovered that a new footing was constructed we believe in the 1970's to stabilize the building. According to the Engineers this new footing was more than sufficient and therefore the sloped floors can now be fixed...but how? Can he level off the sloped floors? I actually get dizzy every time I walk into this house because of the severity of the sloping floors.

    Perhaps with some help from the Renovation Specialist Jeff Reed this can be accomplished. Jeff and his crew are working diligently in creating a solution to this problem where they will jack up the floor joists from the basement in order to level off the floors on the first floor.

    Here is the before video:
    Episode #168 - Prime Toronto Beach House With Sloped Floors Before Renovation

    Awesome. We’re looking to tear up laminate flooring and carpet to replace with better quality laminate. But, I think this may be something to consider. Thanks for the tutorial.

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    I would try plastic taping knives such as these

    If these are not sharp enough, I would move on to credit cards. Yes, credit cards (use the ones you got in the mail that you do not want). They are softer than metal, but have a fairly sharp edge.

    If there is still stubborn residue, I would use a dull metal taping knife (or putty knife).

    If there is remaining stickiness or oiliness, I would use a grease cutting cleaner like Fantastik. If that was in sufficient, I would move on to alcohol. Then mineral spirits.

    Only if all these failed would I move on to sharp scrapers or sanding.

    Yes, it is slow and tedious. But I have cleaned up a floor that looked just like that in a few hours and it came out beautifully (even if I was cranky, exhausted and far from beautiful).

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  • Fortunately, joists do not develop as many faults as floorboards, but defects can occur, especially if unseasoned wood was used in the first place. A joist can twist out of true. A symptom of this would be that a floorboard would be seen to be twisted, but could not be nailed down flat. Or a joist can be attacked by woodworm or dry rot. The floor will seem weak or unstable if this is the case. If you suspect a weak floor you should always lift a board or two to discover what is wrong, it must be stressed that floor joist repair is a major undertaking, and not to be embarked upon lightly. They involve a great upheaval, especially on upper floors, for your work will almost certainly damage the ceiling below. Since each joist carries every board in the room, a large part of the floor, if not the whole lot will have to be taken up, which will mean the room will be unusable, as will any room below if you interfere with its ceiling.

Pulling Up Floor tiles with Tom

Those engineers are able to see signs and read clues in your structure that you and I cannot see. Have one out to your place and see what they think. They might need to pull up the floor, but probably not.