Floor joists moving under

John:
J > I've recently moved into a 20-yo ranch home with a generous crawl J > space (more like an unfinished basement). After I moved our massive J > entertainment center into the living room I've noticed that the floor J > around the ent. ctr. has become flexible enough to where any adult can J > walk near the it and the entire ent. cntr. shakes. From below I can J > see the floor joists flexing downward slightly when my petite wife J > walks in the area. There are metal braces installed between the J > joists, but they don't seem to help in this regard. J > J > So to conteract this I have nailed two 8' 2x4s to double the floor J > joists under this area, which may have helped a tiny bit, but not J > much. I have considered adding a series of vertical 2x4s or 4x4s J > under the joists that serve as load-bearing pillars under the joists, J > but I don't want this to look like I've cobbled together some J > amaturish solution to the problem. To be more specific, I don't want J > a potential buyer to see the posts and think that the floor is weak in J > that area, because I don't think it is weak. It's just holding a big J > load in a high traffic area. J > J > Any advice on how to fix this without creating some sort of Rube J > Goldberg would be greatly appreciated!! :)
My parents had this sort of problem some forty years ago. The original living room was l-o-n-g; Dad put in dividing wall to create a den. Later he built what is now termed an entertainment center containing the TV, reel-to- reel tape deck, records, books -- totalled to being rather heavy. My mother noticed the "ceiling was pulling away from the crown molding" -- actually the floor was sagging. Dad got a metal support pole made for the purpose. Has a telescoping body and a screw top piece which was *slowly* cranked up over a period of weeks (months?) until the floor was again in its proper position. The support column is still in place to this date.
I'm not sure how long it took to get the floor back up to level but you want to do it slowly. Maybe a quarter-turn per week. Quite sure there are instructions on the box the support column comes in.
My parents' basement has a cement floor; you indicated you have a 'generous crawl space' so I'm assuming dirt. I'm thinking a cement support to the post would not be sufficiently sturdy ==> would crack. Perhaps a steel plate a foot in diameter would be sufficient (assuming the dirt underneath is hardpacked).
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