One of the most easily ignored surfaces in the home is subflooring. Floating subfloors are more susceptible to damage, and if left unrepaired, will diminish the structural integrity and stability of your floors. To avoid problems, here are some signs to look for that indicate your subfloor may be damaged.
Spots and stains
Spots and stains indicate that the floor has experienced water damage, and if it has spread to the surface, that means the damage to subfloors is more severe. If spots appear in areas that haven’t experienced any spills, then it’s likely the subfloor beneath is rotting. Water damage is the most common cause of rot, so if your home has experienced flooding or water damage, it’s best to check the subflooring and repair damages as soon as possible after the incident.
Springy and sagging floor boards are also a sign of rot. When walking across any floor, it should feel firm. Any spots that visibly sag or feel springy to the touch are likely damaged. Rot spreads quickly, so if you notice a difference in your floor boards it’s time to check the subflooring and make necessary repairs.
Mold and mildew are also associated with rot and moisture damage. Any room that continues to accumulate mold despite efforts to eliminate it may be falling victim to subflooring rot. The excess moisture can cause mold to spread beyond the subfloor. Mold can be harmful to you as well as your floors, so it’s best to track down the source and make repairs as soon as they arise.
This indicates extreme subfloor damage because as soon as the drywall begins to crack it could mean the rot has spread from subfloors to joists that support the walls. As the joists rot they shift and cause the drywall to crack. It is essential that these damages are repaired quickly because the rot is not only affecting the structure of the floor, but the walls as well. Widespread rot often indicates that the subfloor damage is severe.
To check for damage and rot, the subfloor must be visible. This is easiest for homes with a basement because the subfloor is clearly visible, and all you may need to get a closer look is a ladder. For those without a basement, there may be access through a crawl space or similar area. Otherwise, the floor must be pulled up to get a clear view of what lies underneath.
When repairing subfloors, it’s important to use durable products that will help prevent against future damage. A fastener that’s specifically designed for subfloors is FASCO America’s SubLoc® PRO SCRAIL®. Its diamond coat technology has superior holding power (20% more on average), and more than 10% reduced drive energy. SubLoc® PRO SCRAIL® also prevents micro-movement and is the approved and recommended method to install AdvanTech®* and Norbord®* subfloor panels. To learn more about these revolutionary fasteners, watch the SubLoc® PRO SCRAIL® video.