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Unsettling House Sounds That Could Spell Trouble

Unsettling House Sounds that could Spell Trouble

Houses can make many noises. Some are benign, while others point to potential issues that require immediate attention.

Here are three house-settling sounds, their possible meanings and steps homeowners should take to address them effectively.

Creaking Floors and Stairs
Creaking floors and stairs are common occurrences in many homes. These noises can result from the natural expansion and contraction of wooden materials due to temperature and humidity changes, as well as the shifting of the house’s foundation over time.

Actions to take:

  • Check for signs of pest infestation and damage or shifting in support beams.
  • Apply appropriate lubricants to wooden joints to minimize friction and noise.
  • Tighten any loose screws or nails contributing to the noise.
  • Muffle creaky sounds with rugs or carpets.

Seek professional help if there’s any visible damage to your floors or stairs, or if you notice any structural instability. Also, if creaking persists despite attempts to address it, this could indicate other safety concerns, such as wobbling stairs or sinking floors.

Gurgling Noises in Drains
Gurgling noises from drains can indicate poor drainage, venting issues or larger problems within a plumbing system. Water backup isn’t always covered by homeowners insurance and can be costly to cover.

Actions to take:

  • Determine which drains are producing the gurgling noises. Check sinks, showers, toilets and other plumbing fixtures.
  • Inspect drains for visible blockages and debris. Slow drainage or standing water can cause gurgling.
  • Poor plumbing ventilation can lead to gurgling. Check vents on your roof or exterior walls for potential blockages. If a minor blockage is causing the noise, use a plunger to try and clear it.

Seek professional help when gurgling noises persist despite clearing visible blockages, when multiple drains or fixtures are gurgling simultaneously, or you suspect ventilation issues or complex plumbing problems.

High-pitched Ringing or Buzzing
High-pitched ringing or buzzing sounds can indicate electrical issues like loose wiring or a malfunctioning electrical component. These noises can lead to safety hazards if left unaddressed, increasing the possibility of house fires.

Actions to take:

  • Immediately turn off the circuit breaker associated with the area where the noise is heard. This precautionary step can prevent electrical accidents or fires.
  • Carefully inspect the area for visible signs of electrical issues, such as flickering lights, burn marks or damaged outlets.

Seek professional help if the high-pitched ringing or buzzing continues after turning off the circuit breaker or you identify visible signs of electrical issues.