Fixing Squeaky Floors

Project: Basement Finishing and Family Space, Episode 3, Part 3

Bob is in Melrose where John Ambrosino of Total Temperature Control installs the new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Because of clearance issues, the unit is installed horizontally and tied to the joists with steel rods. Ambrosino explains how the unit pulls air in for exchange, to be heated or cooled, then pushes it through a fan and into the ducts for circulation. The 16 SEER unit is very big for maximum efficiency, quiet operation, and up to 45 percent savings over current energy costs. Mark Hagan shows Bob the Trane CleanEffects whole-house three-stage air-cleaning system that cleans the air of 99.98 percent of particulates, filtering first for large particles, then charging the small particles and capturing them in a collection filter for healthy indoor air. Don Adams of Bond-Tite Tank Service shows Bob how they move the oil tank, reattach it, set it in a trough to catch leaks and drips, and apply Tank-Guard to isolate condensing water and prevent tank corrosion. Bob talks to Howard Brickman about how to control squeaking floors either by drawing the wood floor tight against the subfloor with screws, connecting blocking to the joists and subfloor from below, or shimming the space between the subfloor and joists.

Part 1: Installing and Explaining a Basement HVAC System
Part 2: Moving an Existing Oil Tank
Part 3: Fixing Squeaky Floors
Bob talks with Howard Brickman of Brickman Consulting about how to fix squeaky floors. Brickman first he checks the moisture level in the joists to make sure it is in a normal range. Changes in moisture content cause wood to shrink and swell, which contributes to making floors squeak. Brickman reviews some of the cross-bracing that has been put in place to help make the floor stiffer. Having floorboards that run at an angle rather than perpendicular to the joists gives the floor more strength. Brickman explains how to fix a squeak, by first determining where the squeak is located, either between the sub-floor and the top of the joist or between the wood floor and the top of the subfloor. Brickman thinks the problem is between the wood floor and the sub-floor based on the sound of the noise. Screws are driven from the basement into the sub-floor, pulling the wood floor and sub-floor above down and pressing them close together. A 2x4 is drilled into the top of the joist and the bottom of the subfloor to reduce the squeak by pulling the subfloor down tight to the joist. Brickman then discusses the use of shim shingles and construction adhesive to reduce squeaky floor noise when they are driven home between the joist and the subfloor.