Floor framing and stumping
In Australia, the majority of homes have been built on a ‘suspended floor’, generally timber framed, that is, up until the 1980s when concrete slabs became more common. A suspended floor generally consisted of timber stumps sunk into the ground, with timber bearers and joists crisscrossing the stumps, creating a stable platform for the flooring and remainder of the house.
THE PROBLEM: The timber stumps are susceptible to rotting from exposure to moisture and damage by timber pests like termites, sometimes known as white ants. The damage could be contained in one area of the floor, or it could affect a large portion of the house, giving the floor a slope in one direction. In extreme cases, the doors and windows no longer open or close properly due to movement in the frames brought about by stumping problems. Fortunately, modern suspended floors now use concrete stumps, but if you are purchasing an old home, there could be an issue with the frame.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: As you walk through a house, the most common way to detect this problem is to feel for movement under your feet as you walk – a ‘springy’ floor suggests problems down below. You may also notice glasses or crockery rattling in the sideboard or flowers shaking on the table when you walk through the home. My favourite, though, is the ‘marble test’. Put a marble on the floor (assuming it’s not carpeted) and if it runs off in one direction, you have an uneven floor. This often indicates deterioration in the stumps or floor framing. Check other areas of the house as well.
If you would like an inspection, please call Darryn 0477716686