Squeak-Relief FAQ’s and Installation Tips

First a quick look at how floors are constructed:

Details of an Older Style Hardwood Floor
Why Squeaks Occur in a Hardwood Floor

Now here are some frequently asked questions and simple tips on how to maximize Squeak Relief’s performance...

My home is only a few years old and it already has squeaky floors. What causes them and can I cure them?

It really doesn’t matter how old your home is: squeaky floors can develop at anytime for just about any reason. Some of the most common include; poor workmanship, inadequate design and use of materials, inadequate use of fasteners and something that may surprise you - Mother Nature herself.

The second part of the question is simple. YES you can cure them. However, how much time and effort you spend fixing them is completely up to you.

I can understand poor workmanship and maybe the builder not using enough fasteners, but Mother Nature--please explain!

It’s simple. Wood is a very porous material (especially construction grade pine) which continuously expands and contracts with changes in moisture content. With climatic changes constantly occurring (dry winters and humid summers) together with our continual use of heating and air conditioning systems, wood actually expands and contracts on a regular basis, which can cause virtually any fastener to weaken over time. Keeping this in mind, you can actually say that Mother Nature is probably one of the most common reasons squeaky floors develop.

What do I need to do to eliminate my squeaky floors?

Simply speaking, what needs to be done is to permanently re-attach the floor to the joist. Once you recreate the original bond, you stop the floor from moving and you eliminate the squeak. Our new Quick-Tack pin allows anyone to instantly place the brace in the proper position for the power drilling of the Squeak-Relief screws. All hardware comes with each kit.

What are some of the ways to repair squeaky floors?

Squeaky floors can be repaired using shims, cleats, bracing, gluing, re-screwing or a combination of all the above. Or you can simply use Squeak-Relief to provide permanent re-attachment.

If you don't have access to the joist and sub-flooring ...we now carry the Squeeek-No-More® product line that works from the top surface! Squeeek-No-More makes quick second story floor repairs and works right through carpeting or other floor coverings.

Shims sound like an easy repair, something I could do in a matter of minutes. Does this method really work?

Not really. When you use a shim and place it between the floor and joist, what you’re actually doing is only filling the gap that caused the squeak, however, you're not really re-attaching the subfloor back to the joist. While this method may appear to fix the squeak, it is usually a short term solution. In addition, if you’re not careful, you could easily insert the shim too deep and actually cause more damage by raising the floor. You could also cause damage to the floor by creating a noticeable "hump" in the floor where the shim was inserted.

Your product also incorporates a shim, what gives?

You're right. Our product does incorporate a small shim as part of the design, however, unlike a wooden shim which is quite long and thick, our patented micro-shim design provides a shim that is both super thin and limited in length. Unlike the wooden shim which is used primarily to fill the void between the joist and subfloor, our micro-shim was designed primarily to a) correctly position the brace for installation and b) to allow the brace to be held in position while being installed. We now have a brace "Quick-Tack" pin to help hold the bracket in place while drilling. Our "micro shim" also eliminates some of the gap that may exist between the floor and joist but because of its limited size it will not damage the surrounding area as would a wooden shim.

What makes Squeak-Relief the preferred method of repair?

What makes our product so effective and virtually foolproof, is the fact, that Squeak-Relief not only adds additional structural support and fasteners to the damaged area, but it also takes advantage of the original nail (which was installed during the floor’s construction) to make the bond permanent. It’s not just foolproof, it’s idiot proof!

How does Squeak-Relief use the original nail to make the repair?

In about 99% of all construction (that used nails as fasteners), the nails are simply installed vertically into the subfloor and can now freely move up and down (vertically) every time you walk on the floor. With the Squeak-Relief system adding support and fasteners all working at a 30 degree angle, once the brace is installed and fastened, the floor would actually have to move in two different directions at the same time to ever break its bond (up vertically along the shaft of the nail and off at 30 degrees along the shaft of the screws). With the laws of physics dictating that no one object can move in two different directions at the same time (excludes California for obvious reasons), it’s virtually impossible for the floor to work its way loose to start squeaking again.

What’s the best way to find the area needing repair?

The easiest way is to have someone walk in the area as you look at the floor from below. Once you hear the squeak, you should see some movement such as the floor being pushed against the joist.

Should I pre-drill the holes to make putting in the screws a little easier?

Absolutely not! As most joists are usually made of a soft wood such as pine, the screws usually have little problem being screwed in place. In addition, if you were to pre-drill the holes, going in too far could cause serious damage to your floor covering. If you have difficulty in screwing in the screws, an easy solution is to add a little soap to the screw before installation.

Are there any secrets to getting good results?

As the brace and screws were designed to do most of the work, all you really need to do is locate the exact position of the damaged area. And as locating the squeak is sometimes the most difficult part, we even made that easier by designing a product which can easily be removed and re-installed in an adjacent area if you have difficulty in locating the exact position of the squeak. Our only other recommendation is that you have someone stand in the area during installation, to help compress the floor to the joist as the screws are being secured.

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Squeaker from SqueakyFloor.com