Restumping is the process of removing rotten timber stumps under the house and replacing them with new ones. These stumps are there to provide a level surface on uneven ground or to raise the house above flood level. The problem is only likely to get worse, so how do you know when it's time to call in the professionals?
Although there can be many reasons for a sloping or uneven floor, it can easily be an indicator that your timber stumps have rotted and are no longer supporting the house properly. You can use a spirit level to check if your floor is sloping, or you can just use a marble and see if it rolls along without any help, as you may not notice the problem until it has become severe.
Another sign that something is wrong is if your doors and windows start to stick or become creaky. Although it may seem that this is a problem with the doors themselves, it can also be due to a sagging floor. This would stop the house from being level and would mean that the door and window frames are no longer plumb and square. This is a very good indicator that there is a problem with your stumps.
Cracks in the wall
Cracks can appear in both the interior and exterior walls and can develop in plaster or brickwork. This can be due to a lack of support under the house so that one side has started sinking and is no longer level and square. Replastering or painting will not fix the underlying problem — the rotten stumps underneath will need to be replaced so that the house is once again properly supported.
Damage and decay
Finally, rotten stumps can cause numerous small problems. Damaged or loose tiles can be caused by slowly sinking walls; you can also find damp problems in the house that have been caused by the same problem that caused the stumps to rot (you should especially be on your guard if you have recently had excessive rain or flooding). Anything that might be due to damaged stumps should be checked out as soon as possible.
Restumping needs specialist skills, knowledge and equipment. If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, just get in touch with a professional contractor who will check for damage and carry out the necessary repairs.