I moved into a new house a few months ago. 2 story. Original house was
brick colonial. Owners added a frame addition on both floors. I'm
worried that the 2nd floor is going to wind up in the backyard one day
becuase I hear alot of what sounds to be settling noises. This happens
at least once every 10 minutes. Live in midwest so I'm not sure if
weather is playing a part in this. Can someone with experience chime in
here and let me know if there's reason for concern?
Sounds like as if someone taps on the wall with a penny, sometimes a
little more muffled I guess. Now that you mention it, most of the time
it does sound like it's coming from the attic. Attack is just a a crawl
space so I cant really go running around up there. What should I look
for if I suspect the attic?
Unless you see cracks in the walls, the doors don't fit, or other such
things, I wouldn't worry about it just yet. My house is over 60 years old,
and it still does the old crack and pop routine every day, even in the parts
I haven't done work on, though it's more pronounced in the places I've
stuccoed, put new windows or other fixtures. This happens every morning and
evening, when the temp changes and everything is expanding or contracting at
To further ease your mind, find out your state's statute of limitations for
suing homebuilders. If your house does the Titanic, you'll be able to go
Lots of construction lumber is now delivered "green" with much moisture
content which will slowly leave the wood.
Drying of wood causes it to shrink across the grain. This results in
some settling until dimensions stabilize.
My house, 50-yrs-old, sitting on bedrock, still experiences such
phenomenon during the drying out that takes place after summer. Not as
frequent as yours, but kinda like muffled rifle shots.
As others mention, if no cracks open and no other structural problems,
it's just natural. Timber music. :')
Might just be sunlight causing expansion. I've got a 50 year old
brick-on-block rambler that regularly pops around 10am and 2pm during summer
on sunny days. Does yours make the noises at night or on overcast days? If
not then expansion's probably the cause. As for settling, do you see any
cracks in the dryall anywhere? If you've got a long level (not just a 3
footer) you could make note of how the flooring lines up between the old and
new portions. Make note of how it's situated now and then check it over
Thanks for the replies fellas. I do see some cracks on the new side
where the addition was added but nothing major. Should I assume that
there would be absolutly no cracks anywhere or is a minor crack an
indication of impending doom? Regarding patterns with the cracking
noises, I definitly hear it at night alot before bed. I will try to see
if I can determine how often it does it during the day but that will
have to wait til the weekend since I work 9 to 5.
Funny thing about the addition is that it seems to pitch downwards and
away from where it connects to the old part of the house on the 2nd
floor. Definitly a small 2 to 3 foot section seems to be on a small
incline away from the old part of the house, but then seems to level
off in the bedroom. Only have a 3 foot level but so far everything
seems to be pretty level in both of the bedrooms. If anything, the new
bedroom floors seem to level a hair higher when I measure in the center
of one of the rooms. So I'm not sure if its just that "connecting"
section thats a little off or whether or not the addition is really
settling. Like I said, this fact plus the noises has me terribly
If it's just minor cracks in the drywall where old and new meet, it may be
nothing, but keep an eye on it to see if it gets worse.
As others have stated "cracking/popping" noises are common in most homes as
They usually go away with time, as nails pull out or wood dries.
But if they occur at about the same time each day, you could sit an wait and
try to isolate them.
Sometimes just an extra nail/screw or two in a joist or floor can stop it.
If the addition is slightly crooked it may have been built that way, as
some wall framers only rely on their eyes and never bother with a level.
Or they simply want the job done and don't care as long as they get paid
But floors won't shift enough to notice without walls cracking as well, so
recent patching in the area may be a warning.
If it really concerns you, bring in a structural engineer for an evaluation.
His report may help you sleep nights.
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