(BPT) – Do floorboard squeaks date your home past its actual age? Do you avoid walking in some areas due to the noises the floor produces, especially at night when everyone is sleeping? Annoying at best and disruptive to work and sleep at worst, floor creaks are easier to eliminate than you may think.
Why do squeaks happen in some areas and not in others? Squeaks occur when shrinks and gaps develop around different flooring elements. For example, in most creaky floors, a nail that was used to fasten the floor has become loose and a squeak happens as a result of the nail rubbing on the sub floor. It’s also possible that wooden planks have loosened from the joist below them and are rubbing against one another.
Whether you simply want to fix the noise that has bothered you for years or you want to eliminate the creaks before putting your house up for sale, researching DIY fixes is a great first step. In the past, home improvement experts advised going underneath a floor to fix a creaky floorboard. This is an effective solution, but is fairly difficult. Furthermore, for homeowners with finished ceilings throughout the home, repairs cannot be made this way because the floor’s interior cannot be accessed.
Other traditional fixes include talcum powder, liquid wax or powdered soap between the floorboards. These messier solutions are hit or miss, sometimes muffling the squeak or eliminating it only temporarily. Smart DIYers know there is no need to lift up any carpet or floorboards because the problem can be fixed with a power drill and Squeeeeek No More, which is a squeaky-floor elimination kit that works on carpeted, vinyl and hardwood floors and is available at Home Depot.
How does it work? The kit includes a tool that finds the location of the floor joists from above the floor in carpeted floors. After locating the joists, an alignment and depth-control fixture allows you to drive the specially-scored screw safely through the carpet and into the joist where the squeak exists. The screw will tighten the flooring back onto the joist, stopping the movement and squeaks. The alignment fixture has a screw gripper on one side that, when placed over the head of the screw, will snap off the screw head so there is nothing left to see or step on in your carpeted floor. On hardwood floors the screw breaks below the floor, leaving a small hole that can be easily concealed with wood filler. For more information, visit www.floorsqueaks.com.
Doing away with creaky floors can be a big aid when it comes time to sell a home. There is nothing more unattractive to prospective homebuyers than noisy squeaks and creaks coming from the floor. By eliminating squeaks, you’ll be able to keep potential buyers’ attention focused on the beauty of your home and not on the noises.
Parents with babies or small children will also appreciate giving their little ones a good night’s rest, free from loud creaks. More importantly, hungry members of the household will finally be able to reach the refrigerator at midnight without waking up the entire household.