Things That Go Bump In The Night: Strange Noises In Your Home Solved
Do you keep hearing strange noises in your home? Don’t call the paranormal investigators just yet – there may be a logical explanation. Within the walls of our homes, there are all kinds of things going on that we might not be aware of. These can sometimes be the cause of unusual banging and gurgling and scratching noises. Here are just a few factors to check off that could help you to identify and stop the noise.
Rodents, birds and other animals
Scratching noises in the walls are almost always a case of mice. This is common in old or rural houses and may require calling up a pest control service or laying down some traps. Other animals can get into your home and cause noises. Birds may get into the loft or fly into a blocked chimney to nest. Wasps may set up a nest resulting in a faint buzzing. Big bugs like cockroaches may even make hissing noises.
If you keep hearing a banging noise in the walls, it could be a sound commonly known as water hammer. This is caused by water in pipes crashing loudly against closed valves, usually triggered after a tap has been turned off or after a toilet has flushed. Pipes are meant to have a certain amount of air as well as run-off pipes that help to cushion slamming water and prevent this sound. Turning off your water at the mains and turning all the taps on until the pipes are drained could solve this issue. If not, you may want to call in a professional to take a look at your pipes.
A gurgling or creaking sound or even a knocking sound could be the result of trapped air in a radiator. Radiators have to be regularly ‘bled’ in order to let out this trapped air. There are lots of guides on how to bleed radiators online. Old radiators may suffer from this problem more commonly.
Water heater sediment
Bubbling and popping sounds are likely to be caused by a fault with your water heater. Water heaters often collect a sediment with can start to bubble as you heat up water and create strange sounds. Check whether the sound occurs when the heating is on or when hot water is being used – this may be a clear sign that it’s water heater sediment to blame. To solve the sound you will need to drain your boiler.
A popping or hissing sound could be a leak in an internal pipe. This could be in an internal wall and may not always cause a damp patch (although it could be rapidly ruining the inside of your wall or soaking your home’s foundations). Such a leak may require a plumbing company to locate and fix. Leaks may also be caused by rainwater leaking in through a roof or a crack in a wall.
Unclean air conditioning filters
A whistling noise could be due to a faulty air conditioning filter. These filters may be blocked with dirt or dust is they haven’t been cleaned for a while or there could be some damage to the filter itself. It’s best to call out a HVAC repair service to take a look at it and solve the fault.
Another source of whistling could be wind trapped within the walls of your home. This may have got in through an exterior crack and may be then blowing around the wall cavity. A small crack might be easily repairable with caulk if you can find it. If it’s a big crack, you may need to call in a professional labourer to fix it.
Expanding and contracting
Another possible explanation for creaking and popping could simply be materials in your home expanding and contracting with the change of temperature. Wood, plastic and glass all expands and contracts with heat and this can cause creaking as each material warps. Such noises are hard to prevent without keeping a constant temperature in your home. You should only be concerned if noises are accompanied by visible cracks emerging – during construction it’s possible that not enough room may have been left to account for materials expanding in the heat.
Not sure that any of the above are to blame? You could always try hiring a surveyor to try and get to the source of the sound if it’s bugging you. Or you could accept that there may well be a ghost in your home!