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It's time to correct the tilting floor Q. Our precut assembled on-site house is eight years old and the flooring is particle board covered with vinyl. Now the area over the garage is beginning to sag, thus causing large cracks at the joints of the particle board and a downhill tilt to the floor. Are there any immediate measures we can take to prevent the condition from worsening? A reader Callicoon Center, N.Y.
A. Rather than preventing the sagging condition from worsening, how about rectifying it?
Undoubtedly, some settlement has occurred at the foundation or footings. Were the sag triggered only by the structure itself and aboveground, it should have occurred earlier than eight years hence.
Now what to do about it. I'd retain either a seasoned builder or a civil or structural engineer who is familiar with settlement practicalities. Let him assess the location and cause of the settlement. It may be caused by inadequate earth compaction at the garage end when the building was built or by water undermining or erosion since.
After verifying the cause and location of the settlement, its cure should be apparent to a veteran builder or engineer. Jacking up the sagging structure would be followed by suitable reinforcement or stabilization below.
Note: Please be thankful that your home is not made of masonry walls.