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Old 05-05-2010, 11:21 AM   #1
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Popping sounds in our house


I was wondering if I could get some much needed insight. We bought a home (in Mississippi) last October. It was built in 2002 (on a slab). When we first moved in, we didn't notice the popping sounds near as much (every now and then, but I know that all houses will make a shifting sound). However, the sounds have gotten much worse.

They tend to occur in the same places, and the majority of them are where the wall meets the ceiling. We have trace ceilings in the main bedroom and the living room, and the house has a large attic. A lot of times, the sounds occur during the same time frame -- when the temperature changes throughout the day. The sounds seem to be the loudest around 11:00pm-midnight. Sometimes it sounds like a muffled firecracker (at their worst). From what I've read about this, it is a result of expansion/contraction of the boards when they respond to temperature fluxuations. This would explain why it seems to do it when the outside temperature changes.

Although the majority of the sounds occur where the wall meets the ceiling, there is one spot in our bedroom where it comes from the inside of the wall. And rarely, but sometimes, I'll hear the sound begin in one area, and "run" across the ceiling.

We had someone come and look at the problem a few months ago. In the attic, they added some more support boards to run across the vertical boards (sorry, my construction lingo isn't up to par). We also noticed that some of the vertical boards had become loose from their nails -- so, they screwed them back in place. Either this particular problem did not exist when the house inspection was conducted, or it went un-noted.

My main concern (and nightmare) is that we'll have to just live with this problem. Other posts I've seen in other chatrooms is that this is in fact the case. If so, my nerves will soon be shot. My other wonderment is that the previous seller knew about the problem, but didn't disclose it. If so, I would obviously be angered -- but I'm sure proving it is a near impossibility. We are waiting on our guy and his crew to come back to reassess the problem. Hopefully they'll be here within two weeks.

So, have any of you run into this same problem, and what did you do to fix it? If fixed, was it expensive/labor intensive?

Thanks.

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Old 05-05-2010, 12:20 PM   #2
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Popping sounds in our house


Do the sounds only come from the upstairs? Is there any visual damage to your drywall...specifically in the tray ceiling? The reason I ask is that if it were due to contracting/expanding framing, I would think that there could be some signs of that in the finished corners. My experience has shown that tray ceilings tend to show signs of wear more often that ordinary corners.

Have you ruled out the possibility of rattling pipes within the walls?

Seems that there are a lot of open questions before you can get right down to trying to figure it out.

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Old 05-05-2010, 01:53 PM   #3
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Popping sounds in our house


With the exception of the area in our main bedroom, the rest of the popping comes from above the ceiling.
Yes, there is slight cracking in the tray ceilings. The guy we've had look at the problem said it was a result of the builders not supporting it properly. I'm not sure how much this contributes to the popping sounds, because my sister just bought a house (built in 2004) in this neighborhood that has the same cracking in their tray ceilings, but they don't have the popping sounds.
There is also a couple places where there appears to be cracking right where the wall meets the ceiling -- one is where the most popping occurs in the kitchen and the other is in the dining room (I've heard popping coming from the dining room, but since I don't spend time in there, I can't pinpoint where it is). I say "there appears to be cracking" because I haven't determined if it's caulking or sheetrock that connects the two (haven't gotten the ladder to inspect yet -- our remodeler was suppose to be here by now).

When my wife gets home from work, I'll try to take pictures of what I'm talking about and post them.
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Old 05-05-2010, 02:54 PM   #4
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Popping sounds in our house


If it is expansion/contraction, I would guess that it has something to due with a combination of temperature and humidity. If it were only in the upstairs (attic area) I would really be sold on it but the fact that it happens in the middle floors makes me wonder. Is the attic finished?

A strange phenomena for sure. I live in a 90 year old house in the northeast and haven't run into this issue.

I am sure others on here will be able to give you some suggestions. An exorcism perhaps????

Good luck and welcome to the board.
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