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Old 12-30-2011, 02:45 PM   #1
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2nd Floor Sagging


Hello...first post here and I'm sure many more to come....

I live in a townhouse that was built in 1987.....the entire second floor seems to be sagging or bowing one way or another.....the outside edges near the walls seems raised and then as you move closer to the center of the floor you can feel that it's sagging....the best description would be that the floor is like a bowl.....There are cracks in my walls....horizontal between the door frames and one horizontal going straight up to the cieling right above one of the door frames....

I do know that the sag is worse in the winter and in the summer the cracks basically close up....

Are my joists in my house just undersized? My 2nd floor isn't going to collapse in the middle right?

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Old 12-30-2011, 03:34 PM   #2
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2nd Floor Sagging


Best to get someone (an engineer) to look at it, hard to say lots just from a description.

If the cracks open and close that means things are shifting if it is on a wall.
If it is where the wall and ceiling meet it could be truss arc.

As to how serious it is - hard to say.

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Old 12-30-2011, 04:23 PM   #3
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Is there a basement?
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Old 12-30-2011, 04:29 PM   #4
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All your neighbors' townhouses should have been framed the same way. Have you asked them if their floors sag also?

The only way your floor could collapse is if something went really wrong in 1987: the framers did something really stupid and the inspector didn't catch it: unlikely but possible.

Did you buy the house from a collector of anvils?

All floors sag. I can't tell whether you're extra picky (no offense meant) or whether there's a real problem with your floor. If you let a ball roll from a wall towards the center, how fast is it going by the time it reaches the bottom of the bowl? If you stretch a string from one end of the house to the other end against the floor, how far up from the floor is the string in the center?
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Old 12-30-2011, 04:32 PM   #5
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2nd Floor Sagging


There is a basement....half of it is a garage and the other half is a room and a laundry room...

I have 15ft cathedral ceilings.....There are cracks where the ceiling and walls meet,however, the cracks between the doors are completely different
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Old 12-30-2011, 04:43 PM   #6
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Good idea abra....I'm going to do your two tests later on tonight....My neighbors also have the same problem, I think mine might be a little worse....I'll keep you posted on the results....Thanks
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Old 12-31-2011, 06:57 AM   #7
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I have 15ft cathedral ceilings.....There are cracks where the ceiling and walls meet,however, the cracks between the doors are completely different
The cracks on the walls shouldn't be related to any floor sagging. They are most probably caused by the frame not being dry when the drywall was installed. When the frame eventually dried out, it cracked the drywall.
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Old 12-31-2011, 09:04 AM   #8
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My first guess would be- was there a bearing wall someone took out at some point..

Checking with your neighbours is a good idea. I'd have a look and see if they have a wall you don't.
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Old 12-31-2011, 09:47 AM   #9
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I know no walls have been taken out.....I spoke with my neighbors and they stated that the main support bar underneath has been undersized.....expansion and contraction during the summer and winter is the reason for the floor leveling and then sagging.....assuming this make sense......if not I will be falling through later....
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:50 AM   #10
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Btw.....I did the string trick and it looks like the sag is a about a half of an inch or even less at the biggest dip.....
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Old 12-31-2011, 03:50 PM   #11
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Btw.....I did the string trick and it looks like the sag is a about a half of an inch or even less at the biggest dip.....
If the room is 12 feet wide or wider, I'd call that a very small sag, something to be expected. It would not worry me.
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:18 AM   #12
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yeah i've seen a lot worse than that, pretty common
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesAvery View Post
Hello...first post here and I'm sure many more to come....

I live in a townhouse that was built in 1987.....the entire second floor seems to be sagging or bowing one way or another.....the outside edges near the walls seems raised and then as you move closer to the center of the floor you can feel that it's sagging....the best description would be that the floor is like a bowl.....There are cracks in my walls....horizontal between the door frames and one horizontal going straight up to the cieling right above one of the door frames....

I do know that the sag is worse in the winter and in the summer the cracks basically close up....

Are my joists in my house just undersized? My 2nd floor isn't going to collapse in the middle right?

If you have a condo-association, then you, and any other owners with similar issues, should bring this up at the very next meeting. Whether or not similar conditions are present in other units, this is something that the condo association should be made aware of addressing & reviewing = asap.

I'd suggest getting either a Licensed GC/Builder or an Engineer (my preference & recommendation) out there to evaluate the areas with an official report (including conditions at any other condos - if applicable). Based on the final report, this may also be something to discuss with your insurance companies (if your policy coverages were to apply) - or with other legal entities.

It is obvious that you have visible signs that something is amiss (different) on your specific 1987 condo. The conditions that you list, are highly unusual, and not the least bit common, for a unit of that age (having been built with modern construction design controls, standards & codes).

Based on your description of not just the floor, but the visible signs in/on the connected walls = I would be concerned about the structural aspects of the location, in addition to anything else that is "sitting" on the area.
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:40 AM   #14
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:47 AM   #15
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Pictures would help us greatly; How to resize photos to post them here.

Of the beam in the basement (if not finished), joists (and size: depth and span between supports), cracked walls from 8' away, one of exterior roofline. Cathedral?

Gary

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