You’ve got a pier and beam or another type of crawl space foundation home and your floors are bouncy. Your knick-knacks rattle on shelves when you walk by and things feel kinda shaky. What is wrong with your home? Do you have a foundation problem or how can this issue be fixed?
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have repaired 1000+ crawl space foundations in our 35+ years in the Brazos Valley. We understand what a pier and beam or block and base home needs to be structurally sound, stable, and sturdy and can tell you why this problem occurs and how we fix it during the house leveling process.
This article discusses what causes a bouncy floor problem like this and reveals how a house leveling contractor would repair your shaky floor issues. Let’s start rattling off some answers for you to get your floors some stability.
Why Do My Floors Rattle or Feel Bouncy and Shaky?
Rattling floors are a common problem in pier and beam or other crawl space foundation homes. Homeowners wonder if shaky floors mean they have a foundation problem and more importantly, how does this issue get repaired.
Floors can feel bouncy and shaky or rattle when there is not enough support under your floor joists. Typically, an array of main sill beams support the framing and main structure of the home. Main sills are placed supporting the perimeter of the home and under load-bearing walls. These sill beams are put in at the time of construction and are often enough to support the home, but sometimes they are not quite sufficient and you get the feeling of bounciness.
When you have a larger span of space between the main sills, like in a larger room, the main sills are too far apart. The floor starts to feel shaky and unstable, especially in the middle of the room. Bouncy floors are often caused by not having enough support originally installed in the home. We use the term “under-built” to explain this situation.
Foundation settlement can also play a part if the main sills are not properly supported anymore due to shifting expansive clay soil and pier movement or sinking.
What Can Be Done In a Crawl Space to Stabilize Shaky Floors?
The complex structure of a pier and beam foundation starts at the bottom with some type of pier that penetrates the ground. The main sills are placed on top of the piers, and then floor joists go on top of the sills.
“Shaker sills” are additional supports added later to solve the bouncy floor problem post-construction. The differences between shaker sills and main sills are their location in the crawl space foundation structure and when they are put in.
To better support shaky floors, a shaker sill is installed to add extra support directly underneath the joists that are needing extra help. Yes, someone *really creative* who is a fan of obvious-sounding names made up the term shaker sill.
It’s hard to explain all this without a visual aid, so a picture is worth a thousand words here:
How Do Shaker Sills Fix Your Rattling Floor Problems?
Shaker sills are 4×6” pressure-treated pine beams and are similar to the existing main sill beams you likely have in your pier and beam foundation. Also like the main sills, shaker sills are supported from below by concrete base/block combination piers.
The shaker sills come in contact with the floor joists, widen the weight distribution of the above structure, and make the floors feel strong and stable. That feeling of *less bounce* and *more solidness* is what homeowners want to feel underfoot. It also prevents your fine porcelain figurine collection from rattling whenever you walk by.
*Disclaimer Alert* Correctly installed shaker sills DO NOT make your pier and beam home suddenly feel and behave like a slab home.
All crawl space foundation homes will have some *give* in the floors (it’s actually easier on your body!). You will probably always have some things that rattle slightly when you walk by, especially if you are a stomper. Shaker sills will remedy the extreme shakes, not achieve the zero-movement feel of a slab foundation.
Who Installs Shaker Sills to Fix Shaky Floors?
Now that you know what causes your bouncy floor problem and how it can be fixed with the installation of shaker sills, how can you get it done? You could try to do it yourself, hire a couple of day laborers or handymen, or you could find a professional house leveling/foundation repair company that does this all the time.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have been fixin’ foundations, leveling homes, and have installed thousands of shaker sills since our business began back in 1985. We know that what’s important to you is that your home feels better when you walk across your floors.
We employ proven techniques to increase the support and weight distribution footprint of your home for maximum functionality. But that’s a lot of fancy words! One of our recent house-leveling customers said it best:
“I’ve had my pier and beam house leveled twice in the last 5 years by another contractor. [Anchor] immediately diagnosed a problem that the other guys missed and got me fixed up. This old house has never felt as sturdy underfoot as it does today!”– Tripp, August 2022
Whoever you decide to get to help you, arm yourself with a handy set of questions to ask any house leveler about what they can do for you. Check out the 15 Best Questions to Ask Before Hiring a House Leveling Contractor to help you find the right one.