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As a commercial property owner, one of those things you cannot have complete control over is your subfloors. It can be pretty difficult to know what goes on in the subfloors underneath your laminates, tiles, carpets, or hardwoods. Usually, this part gets attention during renovations or full-blown problems. 

Don’t wait for escalations as they are more expensive to fix. When in doubt, call your flooring experts. The subfloor is the structural sheathing that spans the floor joists. Usually, subfloors have a very long lifespan. However, commercial properties receive a lot of traffic, causing faster deterioration. And the damage is also possible due to leaks and flooding. Recognize these five signs that show your subfloor is in poor condition. 

Unusually Loud Squeaks

It is not uncommon to have a few squeaks in your commercial flooring. Most of the time, your staff just ignores it. However, if the squeaking sounds irritating, like chalk on a blackboard or the Tin Man without oil, you need to pay attention. This can happen when wood on the subfloor rubs against a nail. Ideally, nails should anchor the subfloor to the joints to prevent squeaks. If your subfloor begins warping, especially for softwood materials, nails will become loose, and squeaks will happen. 

Sinking Sections in the Office

When you stroll through your premises, and you feel the uneven ground, you’ve got a problem. Sinking areas are a major sign of subfloor failure. This can be caused by improper installation or moisture deteriorating the wood. Upon installation, the end-to-end joints of the subfloor boards must meet on top of a floor joist. If this joint is off even by just a minuscule inch, it will sink in time due to the weight of foot traffic. 

Cupping in Floorboards

Your commercial property looks polished professional with hardwood floors. However, even a tiny area of cupping can diminish its aesthetic appeal. Cupping happens when hardwood curls along the length of the board akin to a taco. This is usually due to moisture issues beneath as any sign of dampness has been known to warp wood. When this happens, a licensed flooring expert can help you arrest the problem. 

Crackled and Popping Tiles

When you see these things, it is a sure sign that something is off. Properly installed tiles will last for a long time. However, if the back of the loose tiles has dried thin set covering with no trowel marks, it is a sign of a subfloor issue. Moisture is one suspect. Another culprit is the wrong material was used for the subfloor. A cement board should have been placed over the top of the subfloor for any tile project. The cement provides strength, removes bounce, and makes the tile stick better. Popping or cracking tiles need immediate attention from a flooring professional. 

Watch Out for Water Damage

Water is always a floor’s enemy. If water is sitting sandwiched in between your floors and subfloors, most likely, you will encounter damage. If you have a burst pipe, leaking drain, faulty roof, or flood due to a natural disaster, your subfloor may have taken in some water. Ask your flooring experts for advice to mitigate the damage. 

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