Fall has been laying some unseasonably cold and blustery weather on us so far this year, and winter’s just getting started. This not only means branches and shingles flying, it can also mean mysterious popping and banging noises from our roofs and attics. Those weird noises from above can range from annoying to a little scary and often get us wondering whether something might be wrong with our roof. The noises in your attic are sometimes (but not always) roof-related, and they don’t always mean something needs to be fixed. But if attic noises persist, it’s usually worth calling a pro to make sure everything is battened down. And if there is something loose or damaged, there’s likely a simple solution for a problem that’s literally keeping you up at night.
Are Cold Weather and Roof Noise Connected?
You may have noticed that your normally quiet roof starts getting a little louder as temperatures drop–especially at night. That’s because building materials expand and contract as temperatures change. When it gets colder, your roofing materials are exposed to the cold while the inside of your house stays warm. This means roofing materials are contracting while the interior is not. This creates pressure changes that lead to movement and noises like popping or cracking sounds.
What Causes Noise on the Roof?
Those mysterious noises from the top of your house can have a range of causes:
- Rafters and trusses, the beams that support your roof, may shrink as temperatures drop at night. This can cause them to move at joints where they’re connected by nails or metal plates. Usually this doesn’t mean a big structural problem, and builders and roofers put up roofs with this kind of contraction in mind.
- Loose attic vents: vents are key to protecting your home from the elements, allowing circulation of air through the attic. Soffit vents under your eaves or ridge vents along the ridge of your roof can help regulate temperatures and keep snow from piling up. But If they become loose, they may be responsible for some of the overhead banging that has you concerned.
- In some cases, wind may loosen shingles or other materials outside. Flapping or rubbing roofing material may be the source of those unexplained noises.
What Are Some Other Causes of Attic Noise?
Your home’s HVAC system may be behind some of the bangs and groans in your attic. As you crank up the heat when temperatures drop, the airflow affects the metal ducts, and hot air coming through a cold duct causes the metal to expand. HVAC units tend to make a certain amount of noise as a general rule. But you want to be on the lookout for problems like loose fan blades or obstructions in the ducts. If our team suspects an HVAC issue, we’ll recommend contacting a pro.
Vent pipes for the plumbing system can also get creaky. These pipes run through the attic to the roof to let out gases from your plumbing system. If they get loose, they simply need to be secured. Our team has quick fixes for safely repairing loose vent pipes.
What Should I Do About Attic Noise?
With winter just around the corner, ‘tis the season for creaks, bangs, groans and things that go bump in the night. With the crazy winds and dropping temps we’re seeing, some noise from the attic and roof are completely normal. However, if loud or unexplained noises from upstairs are a consistent problem, it makes sense to call in a pro to make sure everything is tightened up and secure. At DryHome our team knows all the boxes to check to make sure those pops and bangs aren’t the sign of a bigger problem. We’ll check rafters and trusses, joints and vent pipes and take a look on top to make sure shingles and vents are shipshape for winter. It probably won’t keep every creak from happening but should help you sleep a little better at night.