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Creaking floors are not a phenomenon that is limited to older homes, or houses that have not been occupied in recent years. Even a home that is well maintained can experience a creaking floor from time to time. When creaking floorboards begin to appear, there are several possible ways to deal with the situation.
One of the first things to do when dealing with floorboards that have begun to creep is to examine the boards closely. Often, creaking floors are nothing more than a situation where one or more nails have worked lose over time and are rubbing against the wood. If the heads of the nails appear to be slightly higher than the surface of the flooring, use a hammer to pound them back into position. This approach will only take a few moments, and works in situations where the creaking has not been going on for an extended period of time.
However, there is also the possibility that the supporting floor joists have begun to settle, creating a small space between the flooring and the top section of the joist. The nail may no longer be sufficient to properly bind the floorboard to the joist. In order to handle this type of situation, removing the nail and replacing it with a long countersunk screw will often take care of the problem. As a final touch, cover the head of the countersunk screw with wood compound to blend in with the natural stain of the floor.
Fixing creaking floors may require the services of a professional. When pounding existing nails back into place or replacing them with longer countersunk screws does not eliminate the issue of creaking floors, that is a sign of a more serious structural problem. If the creaking continues, do not hesitate to contact a professional installer. Many will offer a free evaluation that will reveal the origin of your creaking floors, and provide an estimate of what it will take to eliminate the creaking.