Top 4 Reasons Why Your Kitchen Floor Is Sinking

Top 4 Reasons Why Your Kitchen Floor Is Sinking

A sinking kitchen floor has five common causes. They include pest damage, soil settlement, problems with the foundation, poor structural design, and the supporting structures failing due to water damage.

A dipping floor is a serious matter. Here’s everything you need to know to identify the 4 main causes for your sinking kitchen floor.

The Common Causes For A Sinking Kitchen Floor

When you notice that your floor is going in the wrong direction, the moment can be alarming. And rightly so. A sinking floor, no matter how minor, is never normal. Needless to say, another reason why you should never brush off a sinking floor is that dips like these tend to only get worse. The sooner you can identify the problem, the sooner it can be fixed. Waiting will only lead to bigger and more expensive repairs. 

So what caused the crater on your floor? Let’s have a look at the top 4 reasons.

  1. Water damage is causing support elements to rot and fail.
  2. The floor has a faulty or poor structural design.
  3. There are problems with the foundation of the house.
  4. The floor is being damaged by pests.

Water Damage Can Cause Support Elements To Rot And Fail

Water damage is always a risk when you have a floor that is either entirely constructed of wood or even just partially. But the signs of rotting is not always clear. Sometimes the insidious process is munching away at your floor’s support elements where you cannot see it. Some of the most commonly affected parts are the joists and other supports. 

Top 4 Reasons Why Your Kitchen Floor Is Sinking

How Do I Recognize A Rotten Floor?

  • The Floorboards are squeaky or they move when you step on them. (Here are other reasons why your floorboards are squeaking).
  • The room or floor has a musty smell.
  • There are wet or moist spots on the floor.
  • The rotting or moisture is visible when you remove a floorboard.

How Do I Fix A Sinking Floor Caused By Water Damage?

First, you must find out what caused the water damage in the first place. There is no sense in replacing the floor only to have the same thing happen to the new flooring. Once you have identified and eliminated the source of the water, the kitchen must be assessed by a professional. They will investigate the extent of the damage and what part or how much of the flooring has to be replaced.

How Do I Know When Poor Or Faulty Structural Design Is To Blame?

You will get a lot of the same “symptoms” that we discussed earlier for the rotting floorboards. Only this time water is not the culprit. A lack of moisture means that while your floorboards are still sinking or wobbly, the floor will not show signs like a mouldy smell or wet spots. If your floor is concrete, a poor design can drop clues like cracks, loose and noisy tiles, and dips in the floor. 

How Do I Fix A Poorly Built Or Faulty Floor Design?

Nothing about a damaged floor is simple. For this reason, there is not much you can do to correct the situation with DIY tricks. When a floor design is faulty or poorly constructed, it cannot do its job and the situation will only deteriorate. There is no saving such a floor. Unfortunately, the whole thing needs to be replaced. To avoid trading one bad floor for another, make sure that you only use a reputable building company to fix your kitchen flooring. 

There Are Problems With The Foundation Of The House

Most new houses gradually sink into the ground. This is called “settling.” Although it is considered to be a fairly normal process that stops at some point, sometimes it can cause a lot of damage. A sinking floor is just one sign that you are dealing with a settling foundation. 

Top 4 Reasons Why Your Kitchen Floor Is Sinking

What Are The Other Signs Of Foundation Settling?

It is important to know the signs. Why? They might warn you that the dip in your kitchen floor is more serious than it looks. Here are the most common signs that your home is experiencing abnormal foundation settling.

  • There are cracks in the walls and floors of your home, especially near the foundation, door and window frames. 
  • Floors other than the one in the kitchen are showing dips or sinking.
  • Doors and windows get stuck or cannot close properly. 
  • A damp crawl space or basement.
  • Floors or foundation that break upwards. 

I Think I Have Foundation Issues. Now What?

The key to preventing more damage is to act fast. Harmful settling only gets worse and as the situation deteriorates, the more costly the repairs will be. The moment you realize that you might be dealing with a settling foundation, call a professional company to have a look at your home. They will advise you on the best steps to take but it will typically involve professional repairs to level the foundation.

The Floor Is Being Damaged By Pests

This usually happens to wooden floors but concrete is also prone to certain burrowing insects. The most common pests include rodents and termites. Although keep in mind, if you do suspect that unwelcome critters are staying rent-free under your kitchen floor, then you might want to call a pest control company to correctly identify the pests (since there can be others besides rodents and termites).

What Are The Signs Of Rodents?

Rats and mice can cause structural damage by nibbling away at crucial wooden supports. If you are dealing with rodents there will be other clear signs like the following.

  • There are sounds of scurrying under the floorboards or walls of your home.
  • You find rat or mouse droppings.
  • A urine smell is sometimes present. (Here are more reasons why there is a urine smell fouling up your home).
  • Some rodents leave chewed bits of wood or other building materials in plain sight.  
  • You hear more activity at night, like running and squeaking.
Top 4 Reasons Why Your Kitchen Floor Is Sinking

What Are The Signs Of Termites?

Rats look good against termites. These industrious insects are famous for gnawing their way through almost anything. While they do not eat concrete, they can burrow tunnels through it. This weakens a floor to the point where dips or sinking can be observed. If you have wooden floors, then a termite infestation could get worse – they love dining on wood!

These are the tell-tale signs that there are termites in your home.

  • There are sounds coming from the walls. Almost like clicking.
  • The floor or walls sound hollow.
  • Flying ants. These are termites leaving the colony to set up their own nests elsewhere.
  • Small heaps of grains near walls.
  • Sinking or buckling flooring.
  • Doors and windows that stick to their frames or won’t close properly.

Here are the best ant killer product reviews.

A Quick Summary On Why Kitchen Floors Sink

A dip in your kitchen floor is never normal. The most common causes include pest damage, water damage, poor design, and foundation settling. Unfortunately nearly every case of a sinking floor must be repaired by a reputable and professional building company.

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About the Author Harry Thompson

Involved in home renovations throughout his life, Harry is an expert in everything to do with home and garden DIY. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and tending to his garden.