We bought a 4 year old townhome without doing enough due diligence on some
squeaky floors: we wanted out of our apartment bad and knew we would be
re-carpeting in the new place and assumed the problems were simple loose boards
or too tight boards, and we could take care of it easily after ripping out the
old carpet. It passed inspection, so how could there be a problem, right ;-).
Anyway, having removed much carpet the condition of parts of the sub-floor on
our 3rd (and top) floor is worse than I thought. I have posted a few pics here:
Some panels are in good shape. Others have deteriorated significantly and you
can see many, many cracks going with the grain of the wood. I pulled some nails from a few
boards. I'm not sure if the rusty coating shown is normal or indicates water.
Also, in most cases there does not seem to be sufficient gap between floor
I have a few questions based on what I have found so far: Does this look like it was caused by water damage -- perhaps during
construction before the roof was finished or a major leak after the home was
finished -- or could this be caused by lack of gap, with expansion forces
between panels causing the damage?
I'd like to replace panels where necessary. My concern is how to do this
when a panel hits interior and exterior wall framing. Because this is a
townhome most (maybe all?) of the panels fall into this category. Do I need
to ensure that my cuts lines only fall on a joist? Or perhaps create
supports between joists to nail in to along edges of a room when necessary?
Sort of like sistering but perpendicular to the joist.
When not replacing a panel I planned on ensuring there was 1/8" between
boards via in-place circular saw trimming. Is this the correct gap to leave?
In boards that stay I'd like to put in wood screws. Should I remove old
nails and then the screws through the old nail holes (I'm assuming the
screws will be wider than the nails... see next question). Or should I just
lay down the screws and remove or leave the old nails?
What type of screw do you recommend?
In addition to making sure there are screws every 6" along a joist I was
planning on using adhesive as well on new panels. My thought was at the
minimum this provides a bit of extra noise dampening should boards come
loose in the future.
Thanks in advance for any help/advice.
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