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Cohiba 05-03-2011 07:55 PM

ceiling popping and cracking noises
I bought a mid 70's house in California a few months ago and have noticed that the ceiling makes "cracking" or "popping" noises -- especially late at night /early morning, but during the day as well.

It happens in most of the rooms and turning on the heat (or extreme changes in temp) exacerbates the problem.

IS THIS THIS KEY? I have also noticed that I can apply pressure to the ceiling with my hands to "manually" make it "crack."

The seller did not disclose to me that the house made these noises, and it wakes me and my baby up.

I assume that this is caused by expansion/contraction due to changes in temperature, but it happens so much.

HELP HELP HELP -- is it the drywall ceiling, lack of enough insulation, trusses in attic?

Anything we can do?

DangerMouse 05-03-2011 08:07 PM

Hi and welcome to the forum. Please post one time only in one section. Your questions will be answered quickly.
For more info on your problem, see here: to start with, if it does not help, use the search feature for threads with the keyword 'popping', there are more.


Cohiba 05-06-2011 03:50 PM

No help from anyone on this??

Willie T 05-06-2011 04:37 PM

What can really be added to the links that DangerMouse provided?

titan7 05-06-2011 06:10 PM

I think that's pretty normal for a 70s built home. I am in Southern Ca and my home does the same thing 2 story built in 1978. We have had weather in the mid 90s and it's cooling down to the mid 50s at night. That a huge temp spread and I think that's whats causing the expansion/contraction. Our attics are getting up to about 110-120 during the day and then cooling down 50-60 degrees at night. There is just no way you will avoid this. 30 yr old homes have make noises. Now they don't wake me up. If if make any difference, I toured some brand new $1 Million homes last weekend that had creaking floors too. I don't know of a fix for this, I just let it go as it's not that big of a deal. Now if I could stop drywall cracks I would be happy :laughing:

Cohiba 05-06-2011 06:13 PM

do you have thermostat contolled attic fans, think wouldl will help?

Cohiba 05-13-2011 09:22 AM

possible reason for ceiling popping and cracking noises
i tend to believe the major popping sounds are made by expanding and contracting of wood due to temp, may be same with trusses as well. YOU WILL REALY HEAR THIS LATE AFTERNOON, NIGHT AFTER SUN HAS GONE DOWN AND VERY VERY EARLY MORNING

think sometimes this expansion rubs against the drywall to make the sound. it sometimes travels along the ceiling, and again if i push on the ceiling i hear a similar noise

Now -- how do i fix it -- possible to insulate between drywall and wood?

any suggestions?

toggymack 09-01-2011 12:12 PM

Hi Cohiba,

So I was following up on an acoustics research project we completed last year into unexplained noise events in ceilings, and I found the amount of threads across different websites asking about this problem quite worrying!

Your description of the noise and when it occurs sounds similar to what we encountered during the project. A report on these cracking events has now been published by the UKTFA online at the following website address:

Whilst it doesn't provide all the answers and its a small sample, in the five sites that were investigated for the cracking noise the standard gypsum ceiling boards were removed and replaced with resilient bars (metal channels) and higher-density gypsum boards (15 mm, ~12.5 kg/m2). No further instances of the noise has been reported since these remedial works, so this could be an option for you if you're going to try and stop the noise.

Anyway, read the report and see if it rings any bells!

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