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Uneven Floors: Common Causes and Solutions

uneven floor

As you walk around inside your house, does it feel like the floor is about to give out from under you—like something out of an Indiana Jones movie? If something just feels off, like you’re leaning to one side, your uneven floors need attention now.

When there’s something wrong with the levelness of your floor, don’t be quick to blame the installers. The source of the trouble likely originates from below the floors themselves.

Learn what’s causing these problems, how to address them, and how local foundation repair professionals can help you create a safe, stable, and healthy living environment.

7 Reasons for Uneven Floors

We’ve identified seven common causes of sloping or uneven floors in homes to aid your understanding. Do uneven floors always indicate foundation issues? Not necessarily, but it’s crucial to explore the underlying reasons.

settling concrete block foundation wall

1. Structural Settling

Every building undergoes a settling period after construction, where the ground and building materials adjust slightly due to their placement and natural aging. Settling may result in slightly uneven floors or walls and, in more pronounced cases, noticeable shifts in the structure.

While this initial settling is normal and typically not a major concern, significant issues that arise from uneven settling can usually be corrected by adding structural supports.

2. Ground Shifting

While minor ground settling is normal, unstable soil conditions can lead to significant foundation movements. This instability often results from erosion or insufficient soil compaction during construction.

Recognizing early signs like uneven floors can help mitigate more severe structural damage.

exterior foundation cracks and gaps

3. Foundation Cracks

Significant settling that leads to foundation cracks is a serious issue that can profoundly affect your home’s structure, notably the floors. Even small cracks can create uneven surfaces across different flooring types, potentially causing tiles or wood planks to dislodge.

Uneven floors often signify the need for urgent foundation repairs to restore the home’s stability.

4. Excess Water

Water accumulation under your home in the crawl space or near its foundation can lead to uneven floors. Prolonged exposure to moisture can weaken structural materials, causing them to warp or deteriorate. If the water freezes, its expansion can cause further damage.

Waterproofing both the interior and exterior of your home is an effective preventative measure.

over spanned floor joists in crawl space

5. Over Spanned Floor Joists

When floor joists are over spanned, it means the horizontal beams in the crawl space that support your main floor are spaced too widely apart or are not strong enough to support the load they’re carrying. This situation undermines the structural integrity of the floor. Over-spanned joists can result in a compromised floor structure, leading to various issues.

It’s vital to ensure the correct spacing and strength of joists to maintain floors that are level, robust, and capable of supporting the weight of your home, furniture, and daily activities.

6. Poor Construction

Sometimes, uneven floors stem from subpar construction practices. Mistakes during the building process, from inadequate site preparation to errors in structural planning, can result in foundational flaws affecting the entire home, especially the floors.

poor crawl space support leading to uneven floors

7. Aging Materials

Building materials, particularly in older homes, can degrade over time, leading to issues like uneven floors. Floor joists and subfloors are especially vulnerable to moisture and pest damage due to their critical role in the home’s structure. Pests like termites love knawing on wooden joists in moist areas, leading to structural weakening.

We recommend regular inspections in these areas for damage and wear, with professional help available to replace or reinforce the materials as needed.

Understanding these causes can help you identify potential problems early, allowing for timely interventions to maintain your home’s integrity and safety. If you notice signs of uneven floors, consult a professional like Ohio Basement Authority for a comprehensive evaluation and appropriate repair solutions.

Additional Signs of Foundation Problems

Uneven floors rarely show up alone. They’re often accompanied by other signs of foundation damage, including:

Are Uneven Floors Dangerous?

Uneven floors can indeed pose a trip hazard and become visually unappealing over time, which can be particularly dangerous for individuals with mobility challenges.

However, the underlying cause of the unevenness, often differential settlement or crawl space moisture, poses a more significant concern. If not addressed, these sources of damage can result in serious structural damage.

If you notice uneven floors in your home, it’s important to contact a foundation repair expert and schedule an inspection. Addressing these issues promptly can help mitigate repair costs and prevent further damage.

How to Repair Uneven Floors

Depending on the extent and location of the damage, we’ll recommend various repairs, including:

Crawl Space Support Jacks

Especially in homes with a crawl space, support jacks are often a crucial solution that can gradually lift your floors back.

At Ohio Basement Authority, we install IntelliJack™ support jacks to stabilize and potentially lift your sagging, uneven floor. These premium support jacks are crafted from corrosion-resistant, galvanized steel, making them impervious to moisture and pest infiltration. They function by supporting the weight of the home in areas where the original structural support is insufficient.

These innovative support posts are also adjustable. This means if your home experiences further settling, creaking, or warping, our team can readjust the jacks for additional support and potential re-leveling.

Foundation Piers

If your uneven floor is a product of settlement, we install one of our foundation pier methods to permanently stabilize your foundation and possibly lift it.

We offer three types of pier systems—helical, push, and slab—that are advanced deep into the ground until reaching more stable soil or bedrock. The weight of your home is transferred through these piers and down to load-bearing strata.

Not only do these piers provide lasting support, but they can help restore foundation and floor levelness.

Moisture Management

While support jacks or piers are adaptable to the shifting dynamics of your home, it’s crucial to address the underlying cause of uneven floors, which is often due to excessive moisture and exposure to environmental elements.

We address moisture problems through basement waterproofing or crawl space encapsulation techniques that safeguard against rot, decay, and structural instability. These include interior drains, sump pumps, vapor barriers, and dehumidifiers. Working together, these measures help prevent mold, condensation, and humidity from compromising your home’s structural integrity once again.


The cost varies depending on the root cause, extent of damage, and chosen repair method. Ohio Basement Authority provides free, no-obligation estimates and offers flexible financing options to fit your budget. Contact us today to learn more. 

Floor joist installation is not a do-it-yourself project. A skilled professional should select and install the proper type of joists on the subfloor.  

The duration of the floor leveling process can vary depending on the extent of the issue and the specific solution required. Your Ohio Basement Authority inspector will provide a detailed timeline during the consultation and planning stages.

Trust Ohio Basement Authority for Reliable Uneven Floor Repair

Ohio Basement Authority inspector meeting with homeowners

Staying vigilant for signs of potential major problems, such as an uneven floor, is crucial for ensuring the best care for your property. When you encounter concerning issues like these, it’s essential to promptly seek professional assistance. Ohio Basement Authority is here to assess the situation, devise the most effective repair plan, and execute the necessary work with precision and expertise.

If you need a foundation assessment or repairs, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule a free inspection. When partnering with our team, you can rest assured that your home’s structural integrity will be restored, providing you with the confidence and peace of mind you deserve in your most valuable investment.

Holly Richards-Purpura

Holly Richards-Purpura

Content Writer

Holly is a Content Writer for Groundworks who has written and edited web content for the foundation services industry for almost 10 years. With a background in journalism, her passion for the written word runs deep. Holly lives in Columbus, OH, with her husband. Along with educating homeowners, she also has a big heart for the Big Apple.

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