What causes your house to creak?


Whether you were housesitting or in your own home, you’ve probably heard a creak or bang and immediately thought there was a serial killer inside with you. The good news is that’s highly unlikely, so what makes houses creak?

While some serious problems could occur, house creaks are much more likely to be related to weather and temperature.

When temperatures change in a home, a phenomenon known as thermal expansion and contraction occurs. Warmer temperatures during the day can cause it to expand, and then when temperatures cool, it contracts. The materials in a house, whether they are metal, wood or something else, will respond to changes in temperature that these noises produce.

ring video doorbell

In case you’re still a bit scared of noises, a Ring camera can’t hurt.

But it’s not just the temperature. Time also plays a role. Hot, dry weather can cause the soil under your home to shrink and pull away from the foundation. As for rainy weather, the ground expands adding pressure. This is a noise you’ll want to keep an eye on, though, as it could become damaged over time.

Finally, there is the settlement. You’ve probably heard someone say that a house “sits down”, and this is actually true. Essentially, it means that the ground under a house has shifted, and when that happens, the foundation sags a bit. While this can be totally normal, if you hear the noises frequently and if it’s combined with sticking doors, uneven floors, and cracks in the flooring, you’ll want to bring in a professional to check out your foundation.

If you’ve ever run to the kitchen to grab a steak knife to protect yourself while home alone, don’t be so tense. The creaking in the house is mostly normal, but you know, always lock the doors just in case.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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