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Old 01-06-2014, 07:25 PM   #1
hillbillypolack OP
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New (to us) house - cold weather making popping noises in cold weather

New house as many of you know is giving me fits. Built in 1997, this POS was put together by a bunch of untrained chimpanzees.

Regardless, it's 1F outside, and probably will be colder by morning. The roof or areas in the upper bedrooms makes a noise that sounds like a loud pop or a crack. Nearly as loud as someone hitting a stud with a hammer.

Went outside and checked the roof for cracked shingles / open areas thinking a truss was giving way. Back inside again, another pop came from the other side of the house.

I understand the expansion & contraction of materials, but does this sound familiar or normal?
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:39 PM   #2
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Yes.

-Grew up in a house from 1900 on the coast of Maine
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:47 PM   #3
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Sister's house is about 125 years old and sure cracks....pops...and everything else in between. Not insulated very well....!

Other sister's house, old schoolhouse also 125 years old is almost scary for the loud crackings. Not much insulation and what's there hasn't been blown in very well, I even brought the borescope over to have a look where I could, nothing good.

Family home back then....50 years old and sure popped a lot. Again not insulated well.

My log house is quiet...almost 100 years old and well insulated.

Bring in someone with a thermal imaging setup, you'll see in colors where they screwed up insulating.
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:53 PM   #4
hillbillypolack OP
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Like I said, this house doesn't give me much confidence seeing as how its assembled otherwise.

But since it was made in 1997, I'm at least hoping it has better structure than a 100 year old house. . .

Seems a quick Google search shows it's not uncommon and happens in extreme cold and when the weather swings from warmer moist to frigid and dry.
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:59 PM   #5
Motornoggin
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Normal. Mine is 114 years old and fairly well settled, and it sounds like a bowl of rice krispies when it gets really cold.
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:59 PM   #6
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With newer construction it's very common for them to use "green" wood and seal up wet lumber because they're on a timeline.

I suspect you're dealing with a moisture related issue more than sounds caused by swings in temperature.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:15 PM   #7
RideThePig
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Yup, normal stuff.

I used to wake up in the night wondering "what the hell was that noise?" pretty often. 100 year old farmhouse. Happens even more now that we had a whole new foundation poured. I suppose it will still be popping and cracking in another 100 years. As Guy Clark sings, it's just the house settling down after holding itself up all day.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:25 PM   #8
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I get it here too in extreme cold, say -30c. My house was built in 2006 and it is well made. It's just the materials freezing and the letting go. Nothing to be concerned about.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:36 AM   #9
katbeanz
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Mine was built in 1944, a mix of native lumber and kiln dried. It only pops when it gets below zero like the last few days.
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Old 01-07-2014, 04:33 AM   #10
DC2wheels
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In 2000 we built our own home from a log home kit. No noise from the home itself but the back deck (uncovered) makes all kind of loud snapping sounds when the temperature drops radically. Sounds like small arms gunfire.

So yours sounds pretty normal, especially if you have a cold roof- that is the insulation is in the top floor ceiling and not in the roof itself.

-or-

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Old 01-07-2014, 06:39 AM   #11
shakeybone
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happens in my house built in the 1980,s.
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:17 AM   #12
kantuckid
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that place is hainted! get out while your still alive...
seriously, that's what wooden buildings do in temp extremes-materials move.
the comment about the new house being better built than an old one-depends on who built what & how, not age based!
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:21 AM   #13
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All materials expand and contract, not worries. Try living in a new log home. The logs "check" and you'll jump out of bed.
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:07 AM   #14
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If the pop is a light one and only heard, not felt, it's likely your siding--usually vinyl but also metal--expanding/contracting. If it's a heavier pop and can occasionally be felt, it's the wall studs or roof trusses/rafters moving relative to the sheeting. Not a problem unless the movement is severe enough to admit water/weather.
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:53 AM   #15
kantuckid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proveick View Post
All materials expand and contract, not worries. Try living in a new log home. The logs "check" and you'll jump out of bed.
If built from green logs vs. dead standing(as common in the west) a log house(mine is SYP from the KY woods- not a kit) dries for ~6-10 yrs and walls will settle ~ 3-4" in height. Thats why headspace is built into door & window openings & allowed for. The 100 penny,12" nails in my walls were pre-drilled by yours truly to allow this to happen more easily. I suppose mine has quieted down since 1979-80 when I built it?
My timber frame addition is 6 yrs old and still "noisy".
Even "dry" wood moves-ask any woodworker. thats why good joints in cabinetry allows for movement.
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