How to Repair Sunken Parts of Raised Floors

What You'll Need

Raised floors were once only found in offices and data centers, but they have become more popular in homes all over the world. The point of these raised floors is to allow heating and cooling systems to be installed underneath. Raised floors also allow easy access to these systems and components for maintenance. Repairing any sunken areas of flooring is something that you can do yourself with the right tools and materials.

Step 1 - Investigating

Before you can repair the sunken parts of any raised floors, you must first find out what is causing the problem. There are a few potential causes of sunken flooring, so open the access panels in your floor and take a look at exactly what is going wrong.

The problem could be a result of a leaky water pipe, making one of the joists wet. This could cause it to bow and cause the floor to sink. Other potential causes could be a result of one of the plywood sheets snapping or one of the joists being knocked out of alignment. Sometimes a sunken raised floor is simply caused by a broken access door. In this case, you will need to replace the access door with a new one.

Step 2 - Taking a Closer Look

Once you have identified the cause of the problem, take a closer look at it to find out how it is happening. Plywood is not moisture resistant and so it can become a problem if water is getting inside your house. If water is seeping up through the floor, you might not notice it, though the floor could shrink or sink as a result.

Step 3 - Repairing the Damage

The method of repairing the damage will depend on the cause of the problem in the first place. If the problem is caused by a broken joist, you will need to somehow get access under the floor to repair or replace the joist. If the problem is confined to the plywood, this might also need to be replaced. Either way, you will end up removing your floor covering to make the repairs.

If one of the joists has moved, you will need to pack this up with other pieces of wood, and make sure that everything is securely fixed in to place. When replacing plywood, it's better to try and replace the entire sheet where possible so that it correctly spans the joists.

Step 4 - Finishing Touches

Once the repair has been completed, you need to fix your flooring back down onto the raised floor. Hopefully, this time it will be perfectly level and you won't experience any sunken areas of floor. If you have had to damage the existing flooring to get it up, you might first need to look into replacing it with something else.