If you live in a home with squeaky floors and you’ve been considering ignoring them, don’t be so quick to make that decision. If you’re not familiar with the problem, squeaky floors are when a floorboard sounds off every time someone steps on it. Fortunately for you, we’ve got the rundown on what may be causing your squeaks and the floor repairs you can do to get rid of them.
Sometimes the squeak is caused by a loose floorboard. It may just need to be screwed back into place, or it could be that a wall or door is pushing against the floor as it moves. Sometimes this can only be solved by having the whole floor replaced. If it’s just a loose board and can be fixed, you can simply put some glue on the end of the board to keep it in place.
Sometimes squeaks are caused by moisture or dryness
Another big culprit is squeaks caused by moisture. Moisture can build up in a floor if water leaks through your floors or if the ground underneath is damp and cold or even frozen. This can cause the wood to absorb the moisture instead of letting it pass through quickly.
Wood absorbs moisture, and when it does, it swells. If the wood is swelling, so are your floorboards. But wood is a good insulator, and when it absorbs moisture, there isn’t any place for that moisture to escape. This can cause so much moisture that the floor is actually swelling more and more. Once this moisture starts to make contact with the rest of the wood that’s sitting right next to it, you’ll hear a squeak when someone steps on the floor.
This same principle applies to your floors, though. You may notice that your floorboards have become brittle or dry as well. This can cause them to break off without a lot of force, and then when the floor swells more; it pushes up on the floorboards making a squeak.
Is there a way to get rid of the squeaks without replacing your floors?
There are a few things that you can do to keep your floors from squeaking and to prevent them from squeaking in the future. First, you can apply a sealant or finish to the wood to make it wear well. This includes polyurethane or oil finishes.
You’ll want to apply these finishes as often as possible because they do wear away over time. Those that are made to be resistant to moisture will help keep the wood from absorbing the moisture it needs to expand. But you still may have to replace a floor that hasn’t yet been treated with a finish.