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Old 12-10-2007, 01:24 AM   #1
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House makes loud popping sounds at night


Its a 1973 single story wood framed stucco exterior with crawl space in Northern California. The house makes popping sounds late at night/early morning ( when temps drop/or forced air heating kicks in- cant tell which). Not coming from floors, but confined to east side of house, from what sounds to be the ceilings or walls. Shingle composite roof and stucco is merely wire mesh with concrete (no foam or OSB/etc/ wrap).

On the west side of house we think there is a late 70's bumpout since it has just a slab and vaulted ceiling, unlike the rest of the house. However, there is a hugh 12X 6 beam across what appears to have been the exterior wall they bumped out. And the bumpout's exterior wall look in good shape and no sagging. House footprint is a simple rectangle.

ANYONE KNOW WHAT MAKES THESE SOUNDS??

SHOULD I BE CONCERNED??

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Old 12-10-2007, 06:07 AM   #2
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House makes loud popping sounds at night


Your Trusses (older side of your home)?

Link: http://www.askthebuilder.com/169_Tru...g_Cracks.shtml


Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 12-10-2007 at 06:09 AM.
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Old 12-15-2008, 06:02 PM   #3
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House makes loud popping sounds at night


About 3-4 times a week, we are awakened by loud popping sounds in th house. It sounds like someone is in the attic pounding the walls with a hammer. It knocks pictures off the walls and is very disturbing. It is a 1973 wood frame home in SC. It happens when the temps change and has been happening every night lately. Do you know what this could be? It is driving us nuts. Thanks. Michelle<><
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:43 PM   #4
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House makes loud popping sounds at night


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Originally Posted by michelle slate View Post
About 3-4 times a week, we are awakened by loud popping sounds in th house. It sounds like someone is in the attic pounding the walls with a hammer. It knocks pictures off the walls and is very disturbing. It is a 1973 wood frame home in SC. It happens when the temps change and has been happening every night lately. Do you know what this could be? It is driving us nuts. Thanks. Michelle<><
Poltergeist?
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:59 PM   #5
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House makes loud popping sounds at night


Michelle:
This is an interesting, and I am sure to you a perplexing question.
It sounds as though you might have framing members moving very slightly in relation to one another. This would cause noise, although I cannot say I have ever heard such a thing myself. Does it sound as though it could be something like this?
Do you have a plumbing stack in the vicinity of the noise?
Do you have a woodstove with an insulated chimney there?
Do you have a heating pipe or duct there?
Are you able to physically get into the area from which the noise is coming?
If you can, check carefully to see if all the framing is securely nailed together.
It wouldn't be the first time loose framing has been found.
Has this been going on for a long time, or has it just recently started. If it is recent, did you make any alterations in any way to the house?
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:39 AM   #6
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House makes loud popping sounds at night


Would there happen to be a deck attached to the house on the side which is making noise? In the North East we've seen that if a composite deck gets installed incorrectly, butting of the deck boards, they will make a huge popping noise at night when there are any temp fluctuations. This is due to the expansion of the deck and no place truly to expand.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:02 AM   #7
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House makes loud popping sounds at night


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Michelle:
This is an interesting, and I am sure to you a perplexing question.
It sounds as though you might have framing members moving very slightly in relation to one another. This would cause noise, although I cannot say I have ever heard such a thing myself. Does it sound as though it could be something like this?
Do you have a plumbing stack in the vicinity of the noise? It happens in at least two places I think. However- there are plumbing vent pipes close to at least one of the places. When we hear it we are usually asleep and it wakes us up.

Do you have a woodstove with an insulated chimney there? No

Do you have a heating pipe or duct there? our ductwork is in the attic and is all around the areas that make the noises.

Are you able to physically get into the area from which the noise is coming? Yes.

If you can, check carefully to see if all the framing is securely nailed together. I will- thank you!

It wouldn't be the first time loose framing has been found.
Has this been going on for a long time, or has it just recently started. For over a year.
If it is recent, did you make any alterations in any way to the house? Not in that area.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:04 AM   #8
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House makes loud popping sounds at night


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Would there happen to be a deck attached to the house on the side which is making noise? In the North East we've seen that if a composite deck gets installed incorrectly, butting of the deck boards, they will make a huge popping noise at night when there are any temp fluctuations. This is due to the expansion of the deck and no place truly to expand.
No- we don't have a deck there- That does make sense though. Thank you.
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Old 12-18-2008, 01:42 PM   #9
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House makes loud popping sounds at night


Michelle:
If the noise sounds metallic, it is quite possibly related to the ductwork. When wood moves against itself, it tends to sound more like a rubbing or squeaking noise. I would be inclined to lean toward the ducts being the source of the noise. Perhaps if you are brave enough, you can send hubby up into the attic when the ruckus starts up. It would be fairly easy to pinpoint the noise then.
I don't know how to stop that noise - my mum's house does the same thing when the heating system cuts in and out. I can only assume that it is the sheet metal expanding and contracting. And this would be more exaggerated at night when the temperatures are colder. The metal would be going through a greater expansion/contraction with the larger temperature difference caused by the lower temperatures at night, and the more or less constant temperature of the warm air of your heating system. I think you may have found your problem.
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Old 12-29-2008, 12:27 AM   #10
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House makes loud popping sounds at night


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sell sell sell
Why??
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:10 PM   #11
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House makes loud popping sounds at night


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Why??
popping is never a good sign, especially when it is knocking pictures off the wall, i have been a gc for 30 years and usually this means some kind of wood is breaking either the beam you spoke of or the roof rafters can you get in the attic or is the beam exposed?
I would either sell before you have to provide a non disclosure form or i would have a professional take a look at it maybe it can be fixed? an exposed beam wouldn't be that bad to replace, but taking apart the roof to replace trusses could be. This is not merely shifting wood.
Be careful

peace

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Old 03-09-2010, 06:05 PM   #12
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House makes loud popping sounds at night


michelle slate, did you ever figure out your noise problem? We have just purchased a house and seem to have the same popping noise. It seems to be more in the mornings when sun heats up the flat roof. On the rainy and overcast days we dont seem to have this noise.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:20 PM   #13
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House makes loud popping sounds at night


sounds like the duct work... except for the pictures falling off the wall though, you should problably crawl up in your attic and make sure every thing is structually sound
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:40 PM   #14
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sounds like the duct work... except for the pictures falling off the wall though, you should problably crawl up in your attic and make sure every thing is structually sound
It is not a duct work in my case and I do not have an attaic. It' a flat roof and I only have about 6" inches in in the area where the noise is coming from. It sounds like joists could be loose and need to be tightened..
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:37 PM   #15
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House makes loud popping sounds at night


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Originally Posted by mtrx View Post
It is not a duct work in my case and I do not have an attaic. It' a flat roof and I only have about 6" inches in in the area where the noise is coming from. It sounds like joists could be loose and need to be tightened..
It could be stress, if it's coming from the joists. And stress on the structure of a building is never a good thing, as Steel Baron (USA) pointed out. But then again, it wouldn't be affected by fluctuations in temperature. One possible reason, as I have experienced, is that part of the ceiling is made up with metal studs. In my house, the (top floor ceiling (not the roof) is from metal studs and I installed a fluorescent fixture in the kitchen area. Every time the light is switched on, for the first fifteen Minutes, there is a crackling noise, which abates after a while. The same thing happens when the light is turned off. This is clearly a result of the change in temperature.!


Last edited by spark plug; 03-09-2010 at 09:39 PM. Reason: Typographical error (Typo)
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