How to Determine if Your Floor is Uneven
Sometimes uneven floors are difficult to recognize with the naked eye. One way to determine if the floor is sloped or warped is to see if a marble will roll from one side of the room to the other. Attempt to roll the marble both lengthwise and widthwise. If it rolls, the floor is uneven. The uneven floor may be the result of the foundation settling, sometimes simply due to age of the house.
An uneven floor also may be the result of a bad structural design. However, more often an uneven floor develops over time as a result of foundation problems. Older homes offer character and charm, but if the flooring is warped, sagging or uneven you need to be aware the home may have potential foundation problems. Shifting soil and/or inadequate foundation waterproofing can damage the house foundation, causing uneven floors and other problems.
House foundation problems most often are caused by the soil underneath and surrounding the home. Soil shifts, especially when the soil is forced to absorb excessive amounts of water. Inadequate drainage can cause excessive amounts of water to soak into the soil near and even under the foundation. When soil, in particular expansive clay soil, absorbs a lot of water it expands. This expansion exerts pressure on the foundation. As the soil dries and shrinks, the pressure is released. However, the continual soil swelling/shrinking and heaving against the foundation often causes problems such as cracks in drywall, bowing walls and uneven floors.
An inspection performed by a structural engineer can help determine if your uneven floors are the result of foundation movement. Contact a qualified repair specialist to determine the best foundation repair methods for your home.