Your House Isn’t Haunted…

It just needs some TLC. It’s easy to start believing in ghosts when you’re alone in a new house at night. Suddenly, each bump and creak sounds like an echoing harbinger of doom.

Old House

Many of us just get used to the noises. Or, we get ourselves a white noise machine to block out  the sounds. But sometimes, those sounds are your house crying out for care.

There’s one category of sound that you’ll just have to get used to: the pops and creaks that every house makes as it “settles.” Your house is made up of many different kinds of materials. All of them are expanding and contracting in the heat, and then cooling, daily. Since the different materials are absorbing and releasing heat at different rates, they’re all moving and rubbing against each other, causing pops and creaks to echo through your house.

These other sounds, however, are usually worth taking a closer look at.

Noisy Garage Door

This is hands-down the biggest cause of heart attacks among young, scared babysitters. In a calm, quiet house, the sudden shuddering screech from the garage is deafening. Fortunately, it’s usually just someone coming home late from date night. Unfortunately, the noisy door can wake up anyone who’s already drifted off to sleep. There’s plenty that you can do yourself to tone down the noise from your garage. If your garage door is simply too old to change its tone, think about investing in a new one. It will make your house feel brand-new.

Water Drop From Water Tap

Running Water

If you hear water running, even though no one is using it, pay attention. Running water could be a sign of leaky pipes, which can waste a lot of water, and cause structural damage to your home! However, first check the most likely causes: a dishwasher, laundry machine, or sprinkler system. Next, check your toilets. A common necessary repair is the flapper in the toilet tank, which opens when we flush to rotate the water. Sometimes this flapper doesn’t close and seal all the way, so the tank will just keep trying to fill and water will keep running. If you’ve looked in those places, and you’re still hearing running water, call a plumber to make sure that your pipes are in proper order.

Scratches and Rustling

Rodents love the insulation in your walls. But the feeling isn’t mutual. Critters hiding in your walls can spell disaster for your wall integrity, and your electrical system. Not to mention, it’s unpleasant to think of the pests scurrying around your house as you sleep. If you’re hearing rustling in the walls, put out some traps, and do a sweep of your home, checking for holes and cracks. Consider calling an exterminator if the problem persists.

Loud Pipes

If you’re hearing banging or rattling in the walls, it often has to do with the pipes. Pipes run throughout the house and can make noise anywhere along the way. The noise could be caused by a few things:

  • Shaking and rattling: Fix this by insulating your pipes better, and then securing them to the wall joists at regular intervals.
  • Banging sounds: This is usually caused by air pockets stuck in the pipes. This can be a particularly noisy and alarming problem. Think about turning off the water main and draining all the lines, which should get rid of the pocket.


Squeaky Floor

A squeaky floor is usually just a loose floorboard, but especially in the kitchen and bathroom, it could also be a sign of a leak. Before you secure down the floorboards, check underneath. Look around the pipes, and under the sink to make sure there’s no water damage or warping wood.

Noisy Furnace

The sounds that old furnaces create can be dramatic and terrifying. Even worse, if it needs maintenance or repair, those sounds could signal expensive and dangerous problems. Sediment build-up and delayed combustion can damage your furnace, and get worse and worse as time goes by. If you can’t locate the exact cause for the noise, but you know it’s coming from your furnace, call in a professional.

Whistles, and Chilling Drafts

First, check your air ducts and see if they’re the source of the airflow. Even when the temperature control is off, you might experience drafts from the vents. If your air conditioning unit is whistling or rattling, you may need to secure screws, add some insulation, or change the filter. If the draft isn’t coming from the temperature controls in your house, take a good look at your windows and doors to make sure that the weather stripping is all secure. Finally, take a look at all of your outlets and light fixtures. If the covers aren’t secure, air can sneak through into your house.

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