COMMUNITY FORUM

sharlene

03:47AM | 11/17/05
Member Since: 11/16/05
7 lifetime posts
Bvmisc
Any ideas why I am hearing popping sounds in the house? They seem to be coming from outside during different times of the day. Hearing them for years but no problems have shown up. Also, my floors have started to snap, crackle pop throughout the house. Could the 2 be related? Any ideas. Really quite baffled.

k2

09:01AM | 11/18/05
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Hi Sharlene, welcome to the BBS.

Curious question. Every house I've ever had seems to make noise.

Have you tried the "Foundations" forum? Sometimes the pros will get on over there and get some good discussion going.

I know that houses do seem to have a life of their own. Ours seems to pop most as outside temperatures heat up and cool down. In the past I used to be able to 'tune them out'. But lately I seem to hear all of them (well, I think I hear them all!)

Building materials are definitely affected by temperature, moisture, gravity, wind, what-have-you. Wood shrinks over time, picks up moisture and expands. Metal definitely can make noise as it expands and contracts. Houses also tend to sag over time--and I would guess that microscopic sagging can bring with it the occasional pop.

So as for the floors, could be the same thing there. Floor materials shrink, dry out, etc. Our oak floor is 24 years old and pretty squeaky in places. I think it could also be that if more flooring nails had been used, the popping would've been reduced.

So, from my inexpert perspective, yes, houses make noise. And it's always made me a little uncomfortable as well! And if you get a good thread going over in Foundations, would you please let me know? I don't often have time to check other forums.

Good luck!

Regards,

-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum

http://www.bobvila.com/BBS/Miscellaneous

sharlene

11:03AM | 11/18/05
Member Since: 11/16/05
7 lifetime posts
Dear K2 in CO. Thank you for your response and everything you said makes sense. In fact I spoke with a state building inspector this morning and he said the exact same thing you said. These noises are such a nuisance but as long as there are no structural problems, I guess I can rest assured.

k2

12:05PM | 11/18/05
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
You're welcome Sharlene, hope it eases your mind a bit. Glad to hear confirmation from the inspector as well.

Also Sharlene, as you mention: "as long as there are no structural problems." What I've heard is that pops and stress cracks are generally OK--but BIG POPS and BIG CRACKS (like materials tearing or breaking) need closer inspection. I heard this from an expert carpenter--but now that I think about it, I guess it kinda falls under the heading of "DUH!" too. :)

We've got a patio door that pops pretty loud in the evening as it cools down. I've heard that this isn't really good--that it can lead to compromised thermopane glass over time. The glass is probably 8 yrs old, and still, knock on wood, looks OK.

So, yes, nuisance is right. And can be alarming, too, esp. in the middle of the night!

Take care; hopefully they'll become part of the background noise :)

Regards,

-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum

http://www.bobvila.com/BBS/Miscellaneous

sharlene

12:18PM | 11/18/05
Member Since: 11/16/05
7 lifetime posts
Dear k2....I have inspected this house (8 yrs old)inside and outside (like Sherlock Holmes) Nothing concerns me in terms of foundation issues. No cracks over doors, windows, doors operate fine, no nail pops in corners, no patio/porches pulling away from main structure, no cracks in our brick to frame, no cracks in brick front, caulking not pulling away. I see nothing to account for these pops so gonna assume its temp changes as you said. Its a 3 story home so I guess we are even more subject to envinronment influences???? The floors, between you and the inspector, I will sleep tonight, but I won't stop cussing at them. What is the foundation forum you mentioned?

k2

12:33PM | 11/18/05
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Dear Sharlene,

From what you describe I would try and relax about the sounds--but as I mentioned, I am just as susceptible and find myself startled as well.

It being a 3-story house would, I believe, have an effect. I'm not an engineer, but I have read enough to know that, as you build higher, that you reach the limits of a given building material. The governing factor is the same one that allows trees to only reach a particular height (for its species). Obviously 3 stories is nowhere near "the limit", but you get the idea.

Wind also has an enormous effect on structures. Just look at how trees blow around in the wind--and realize that they are a primary ingredient in most homes! My wife is pretty good about thinking, this is a natural material, and it moves about, settles, and sways.

The Foundations Forum is moderated by Glenn Good, who is a real pro (unlike myself, LOL!). They get some good discussion over there; 0ther pros get on as well. Here is the link. You might even try some searches, or poke around at some of the other posts.

http://www.bobvila.com/BBS/Foundations/flat-page1.html

Till next time!

Regards,

-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum

http://www.bobvila.com/BBS/Miscellaneous

sharlene

01:39PM | 11/18/05
Member Since: 11/16/05
7 lifetime posts
Thanks again for all your good info. I will post the question in foundations and see if I come up with anything different. You've been a gem of input.
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