You may need to reinforce your floor joists if you have saggy floors in your house. Floor joists will help to bring up walls that seem to be falling in. Floor joists can be found under the house, for example, in the crawl space. They can even be found in the basements of homes. Either way, they are put in to lend support to weakening walls and floors. When is it time to replace them or install them? Installing a floor joist can be a big job. You should have some friends come by to lend a hand. If this is your first time installing a floor joist, here are a few steps to help get you going in the right direction.
Step 1- Gain Access
You must first gain access to the floor joists. Depending on which floor is sagging, you may need to take out a ceiling to gain access to that flooring or you may have to go to the basement or crawl space to gain access for those particular floors. If you have a false ceiling you may have to remove a few tiles to gain access to the joist.
Step 2 - Assess the Damage
Next, you need to take a look at the damaged area and figure out where the problem is and how you will be fixing it. When you look at the flooring, check to see where the worst problem areas are and which joists are sagging the most. If the joist itself is rotting, that could be another problem all its own. This could mean replacing more than a partial joist. If you do happened to find damaged joists, it would be a good idea to check to see if there is more damage so it is not an ongoing problem.
Step 3 - Measurements
The next thing that needs to be done is to measure the floor joists for the length, width and distance from each other. It might be a good idea to make a drawing of the floor joist as a reference. Be sure to jot down your measurements and mark it on the diagram so you have a good record of where they go.
Step 4 - Reinforce the Floors
You will have to use a very sturdy piece of wood or some steel plating to reinforce the floor joists. Now it is time to use some wood and screw it into place on the original joist as well as the cross beam. A steel plate can be used the same way.
Now that you know how to install a floor joist, you can protect your home from those sagging floors and walls. Knowing where to install the new joist is very critical to making the other joist strong enough to withstand the sagging. Taking care of them as soon as you realize there is a problem can save you a lot of money in the long run.