If you are an extreme night owl or early bird that finds him/herself up and about while the rest of your household is sleeping, you know the struggle of going up against a squeaky floor. All efforts to move about the house are stunted by the high-pitched protest of the boards beneath your feet. It's so annoying! But why does it happen in the first place? Well, here are a few reasons that may be behind those irritating squeaks:
1. The Subfloor
Issues with your subfloor make themselves VERY well known. Usually with a subfloor problem you will notice squeaking over a extended portion of your floor. It won't just be a board or two, but a larger area. Maybe one of your floor joists are broken, or maybe the joists are just not level. Either way, you'll need to get down the the subfloor and secure it with screws or call a professional if this is the problem.
2. The Weather
We know we bring up acclimation fairly often, but that's because it affects so many aspects of your floor. Changes in the weather cause wooden floorboards to expand or contract due to the shift in humidity. The constant change in size can loosen your boards from the subfloor, leaving you with an unsecured, squeaking floor. To get rid of the noise in these circumstances you simply need to reattach your floor to it's proper place. You can also apply a special sealing compound to lower the risk of this happening again.
3. The Foundation
Every child who has ever been scared by unknown noises in an aged house has been told that "it's just the house settling". This is a very real and very common occurrence in buildings. The soil your house occupies shifts naturally over time and eventually moves the foundation of your house with it. As you might imagine, moving the very foundation of your home is likely to cause a shift in the foundation (subfloor) of your flooring as well, causing the squeaking.
4. The Installation
Trying to rush a floor installation is always a bad idea because many of the methods used to speed up the process leave a lot of room for poor workmanship. Whether the person installing the floor was too quick with his/her nail gun and missed the floor joists, improperly spaced the floorboards out, or didn't bother to acclimate the boards before laying them down, they will have a problem on their hands. It is so, so important to make sure you hire an experience flooring contractor to install your floor. If you're going to DIY the project, then you MUST follow all instructions and recommendations very carefully. Never rush!