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Old 12-18-2010, 03:49 PM   #1
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Popping and snapping sound from wood I-Beam ceiling joists when gas log fire place in


My home was built in 2002 and framed using engineered 12" wood I-beam floor joists on both floors of 2 story house. Besides the plywood flooring being nailed down an adhesive was also utilized in attatching the sub flooring.
During the A/C season but very much more so now during the heating season when I use my gas log fireplace I get some very loud popping and snapping sounds coming from the ceiling in the same room as the fireplace is located. There is no sign of any cracking of the sheetrock ceiling anywhere in the house. Other than being annoying how could such a situation be remedied?
P.S. : I doubt it make a difference but the mentioned fireplace is of the ventless design and produces a good bit of warmth on a cold day.
Thanks...
Okjtm

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Old 12-18-2010, 09:48 PM   #2
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Popping and snapping sound from wood I-Beam ceiling joists when gas log fire place in


It would be wise to invest in a "cost effective" (I don't like the word cheap) thermometer and check the temperature differential at floor level and at the ceiling in this room when this popping starts. I'm betting it is due to thermal expansion of the I-beams of some manner. It would not take enough expansion to make a "pop" sound and this also would not be enough to cause any cracks within the sheet rock ceiling. Now-is there a ceiling fan in this room to move air around so you do not have a "hot-spot" near the ceiling?

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Old 12-18-2010, 10:02 PM   #3
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Popping and snapping sound from wood I-Beam ceiling joists when gas log fire place in


My thoughts are running the same as Thurman's. It's all about expansion and contraction due to temperature changes.
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Old 12-18-2010, 11:10 PM   #4
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Popping and snapping sound from wood I-Beam ceiling joists when gas log fire place in


I am of the same thought as you gentlemen as to the expansion of framing I-joists above this room. Also, there is a centrally located ceiling fan in the room as you mentioned. I don't usually operate it in the cold months but have read that run in reverse will help equalize the warmth that is present.
I just seem to have a problem with this condition and don't understand why it occurs with this type of joist construction. I have lived in homes with fireplaces before constructed with solid lumber framing and never experienced a similar condition.
Do you have any thoughts on any corrective measures or do I just put up with the snapping and popping ?

Thank you, Okjtm




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Old 12-19-2010, 12:15 AM   #5
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Popping and snapping sound from wood I-Beam ceiling joists when gas log fire place in


^ Another person, far more knowledgeable than me, will have to give you GOOD answers.

I suspect that a joist or a brace my be installed so tightly that any expansion or contraction causes it to actually shift a tiny little bit, causing the popping sounds.

What do to about it? I don't know. Finding the actual source will probably prove very difficult.
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:05 PM   #6
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Popping and snapping sound from wood I-Beam ceiling joists when gas log fire place in


I've been dealing with a similar problem -- but no fireplace. Our home was built in 2002 also, but we moved in last September. It is on a slab, one-story. Our popping/snapping seems to occur most often when the temp changes throughout the day and night. So, you can almost set your watch to some popping around 9-10am, 4-5pm, and midnight-2am. It makes me want pull my hair out!!
If this goes on un-corrected, will it eventually cause damage? We don't have any cracking in the drywall, either. But, we do have cracking in the caulk where the walls meet the ceiling.
Since the popping seems like its just above the ceiling, I wonder if its something going on underneath the insulation.... Its also been suggested to me that we may want to try adding more ventilation in the attic. It does get quite hot up there during the summer, but if that were the cause of the popping, I don't understand why it would sound worse during the cold months....
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:13 PM   #7
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Popping and snapping sound from wood I-Beam ceiling joists when gas log fire place in


Also, I've noticed in the last few months that the popping occurs some when a good gust of wind comes by.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:00 PM   #8
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Popping and snapping sound from wood I-Beam ceiling joists when gas log fire place in


This is an interesting case. Wood, whether it be plywood, OSB, Glulam, solid lumber, or particle board, does not move much due to temperature change. Wood movement is almost entirely due to changes in relative humidity, which normally takes a long time to effect the wood (days, even weeks). Your case seems to be almost instantaneous, and certainly sounds heat related.

I suspect there is some other material which is susceptible to dimensional change due to heat which is either making the noise by itself, or perhaps is attached to the I joists, and the differential movement is creating the noise. An obvious candidate would be metal, which changes dimension due to temperature, not humidity. Possibly metal strapping, perhaps piping rigidly attached to one or more I joists, possibly metal ducts.

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