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Old 03-09-2010, 06:47 PM   #1
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Popping noise in the flat roof


We have just closed on the house that was build in 1961 and planning on doing a complete remodeling.

There seems to be an issue with a flat roof framing as we hear a very load popping noise in the ceiling most of the time we are in that house (we currently don't live there). Noise seems to be more in the mornings and less during the day and there is absolutely no noise in the overcast and rainy days which tells me that this noise has something to do with sun hitting the roof and some kind of expansion.

Roof seems to have 2 layers and it looks like 2nd layer was not installed properly so I would to do the re-roofing as part of remodeling.

What I wanted to ask if what could be the nature of this noise? What steps do I need to take to trouble shoot this issue?

Also, it sounds like this noise does travel from one side of the house to another. Other words it can pop in the living room and then continue popping all to the to the end of the house. Currently our ceiling is open so I can see 1 x 6. It looks like above them I have a 6 inches of roof sheathing which could be 2 x 6 and then on the roof itself I have 1 x 6 again (no plywood) on which the roofing material is residing.

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Old 03-09-2010, 11:01 PM   #2
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Popping noise in the flat roof


Unfortunately there's no way to diagnose a sound's source online, despite your good description. I'd look at the attachment of the flat roof's sheathing...Nails can pull in and out with thermal expansion of the roof I suppose and could cause some popping noise. I'd also check for foundation settlement that could be leading to movement in the structure.

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Old 03-09-2010, 11:12 PM   #3
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Popping noise in the flat roof


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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Unfortunately there's no way to diagnose a sound's source online, despite your good description. I'd look at the attachment of the flat roof's sheathing...Nails can pull in and out with thermal expansion of the roof I suppose and could cause some popping noise. I'd also check for foundation settlement that could be leading to movement in the structure.
As far as foundation goes we are on the raised foundation and there are no signs of settlement. Also, I had an engineer do a visual inspection and he told me that the house framing seems to be very strong... So the only thing I can think of is really something is wrong in between ceiling 1 x 6 and the roof 1 x 6 which is I think (not 100% sure) in our case is 2 x 6. Some general contractor told me that installing blocks of 2 x 6 in between those joists should strengthen the whole thing.

Another thing I was thinking is that a 2nd layer of the roof was added recently (although the roof was done badly and I would need to redo it) and I'm thinking that this added an extra stress/weight to the roof joists so this could be the cause too because I really doubt that people who lived there before would have lived with such a noise...
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:05 AM   #4
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Popping noise in the flat roof


I want to know what you find out because I'm dealing with the same problem. My flat roof pops and crackles like someone is walking across it. It's a scary noise.

Sometimes it sounds like someone is walking, sometimes it sounds like they are running... its a terrible thing to hear footsteps on your roof.

Last edited by princessjanjan; 03-15-2010 at 11:07 AM. Reason: more details
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:18 PM   #5
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Popping noise in the flat roof


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I want to know what you find out because I'm dealing with the same problem. My flat roof pops and crackles like someone is walking across it. It's a scary noise.

Sometimes it sounds like someone is walking, sometimes it sounds like they are running... its a terrible thing to hear footsteps on your roof.
I'll try to keep you posted. Have you had anyone come out and inspect the roof?

Did you install a new roof on the top of the old one or they removed the old roof before?
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:17 PM   #6
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Popping noise in the flat roof


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I'll try to keep you posted. Have you had anyone come out and inspect the roof?

Did you install a new roof on the top of the old one or they removed the old roof before?
I live in Texas so when Hurricane Ike came through it caused pretty extensive roof damage. They installed the new rolled roofing on top of the old one and I had it inspected. Even before this happened the roof made noise but I'm really noticing it increasing this year. This morning it was popping so much it sounded like I had 10 men walking around up there. Now its night and the roof is quiet, with only an occasional twitch.

This roof covers 2 rooms in my house, the den and my bedroom. The den is paneled and I don't see any wall or ceiling damage. I did find cracks coming down from my bedroom windows to the floor... not sure if this is related.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:18 PM   #7
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Popping noise in the flat roof


I bet your issue is exactly the same as mine! I'm not a roofer but in the past 2 months I have learned a lot about roofing! It is never a good idea to install a new roof on top of the old one... especially if your old roof leaked before and was damaged. Of course not all flat roof constructions are the same, but I think in your case your issue if the damage from the leaks. Does the noise come only from the roof/ceiling and never from your walls? Are you on the raised foundation or on the slab? If you can post pictures of your roof it would help.

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