Noise in my attic

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
User avatar
graveday
Posts: 509
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:03 am
Location: Upstate Calif. near Sacramento

Post by graveday » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:03 pm

Those are some amazing bangs. If it is indeed caused by friction release of moving parts, it must be wearing away material and causing its own demise. Only problem is the demise might take years or decades. We have tapping sounds in the morning, but I know for a fact it is a bluejay feeding on god knows what. I feel for your plight.

User avatar
OnFire
Posts: 352
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:48 pm

Post by OnFire » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:34 am

Two suggestions. First, DEFINITELY get those little roll up ear plugs you can buy at Home Depot. Use them. Also, get the big ear muff hearing protectors and wear them at the same time. I have a one year old who likes to scream, a dog who likes to bark, and a small house. Wearing both, I can damn near sleep through a tornado. I'm surprised how well I can sleep with those big ear muff style protectors on.

Second, I would SERIOUSLY try to contact Holmes on Holmes, Ask This Old House, or similar TV shows for help. Maybe include a link to your YouTube video. They usually fix this sort of thing for free. You've got a few thousand people intrigued and following your thread over many months. I bet they'd like that sort of level of interest for their shows. I'd watch.
Where are all the customers yachts? | | “The most powerful force in the Universe is compound interest.” -Albert Einstein

User avatar
mas
Posts: 1461
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:54 pm

Post by mas » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:26 am

OnFire wrote:... Wearing both, I can damn near sleep through a tornado. ...
What about fire alarms?

snoopdoug1
Posts: 247
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:53 am

Post by snoopdoug1 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:45 am

OnFire wrote:Two suggestions. First, DEFINITELY get those little roll up ear plugs you can buy at Home Depot. Use them. Also, get the big ear muff hearing protectors and wear them at the same time. I have a one year old who likes to scream, a dog who likes to bark, and a small house. Wearing both, I can damn near sleep through a tornado. I'm surprised how well I can sleep with those big ear muff style protectors on.

Second, I would SERIOUSLY try to contact Holmes on Holmes, Ask This Old House, or similar TV shows for help. Maybe include a link to your YouTube video. They usually fix this sort of thing for free. You've got a few thousand people intrigued and following your thread over many months. I bet they'd like that sort of level of interest for their shows. I'd watch.
I like the second idea - I'd definitely watch as well!

Call_Me_Op
Posts: 6933
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:57 pm
Location: Milky Way

Post by Call_Me_Op » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:37 pm

Cody,

Did I hear you say that the disturbances tend to occur around 3AM?
Best regards, -Op | | "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Einstein

User avatar
FrugalInvestor
Posts: 4797
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:20 am

Post by FrugalInvestor » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:50 pm

Call_Me_Op wrote:Cody,

Did I hear you say that the disturbances tend to occur around 3AM?
If you 'heard' him say that then you're hearing things too. :lol:
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

Call_Me_Op
Posts: 6933
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:57 pm
Location: Milky Way

Post by Call_Me_Op » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:28 pm

FrugalInvestor wrote:
Call_Me_Op wrote:Cody,

Did I hear you say that the disturbances tend to occur around 3AM?
If you 'heard' him say that then you're hearing things too. :lol:
Not really. I believe I heard him say that in his Youtube video.
Best regards, -Op | | "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Einstein

mitchstrachan
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:23 am

happens to me every night

Post by mitchstrachan » Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:33 am

Hey Cody I just read your entire pages tonight as I am looking for answers as well. I live in Medicine Hat, Alberta in Canada. We have had abnormally cold and long winter with loads of snow. Spring was insane with rain and flooding around our city. My Roof/attic makes very very loud popping noises as well when it is cold, which is all the time lately. Same noises from your video. We hit a -36 C without wind chill one night and I slept all of half an hour. This was the first time it was very very loud for me. I'm pretty sure its narrowed down to improper insulation, causing expansions and contractions everywhere it seems like.

My anxiety level for this winter has gone through the roof haha! and my sleep times have gone waaaaay below the norm! I am just awaiting spring time so i can work on it without freezing! Listen for more times when the noise happens. Mine will occur once the cold comes at nights. We drop from -10 Celcius to about -20 or -25 celcius .. once it hits about 2-3 am my noises stop. The warmer it is the softer the sound!

I am pulling for you up here Cody! And wish the best for you! All the people helping you (or trying) makes me feel better and maybe give me the ability to sleep through it tonight ;)

Mitch from Alberta!

richg
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:17 pm

Post by richg » Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:26 am

Cody,

I am absolutely stumped, and the only things that come to mind are:

A. as stated before, have the entire attic shot with spray foam insulation. Attic floor, roof sheathing, trusses, just nuke the flipping place. Closed cell foam goes for about a dollar per board foot (12 inches by 12 inches by 1 inch deep). It wouldn't be cheap, but it would serve the dual purpose of lowering your heating and cooling bills dramatically.

B. an active noise control system. In a nutshell, this system consists of a microphone, control box and a set of speakers that broadcast "anti-noise" which cancels out the original sound. this technology is used in noise cancelling headphones. Put the system in your attic and it should greatly reduce any sound.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 46837
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:13 am

richg wrote:B. an active noise control system. In a nutshell, this system consists of a microphone, control box and a set of speakers that broadcast "anti-noise" which cancels out the original sound. this technology is used in noise cancelling headphones. Put the system in your attic and it should greatly reduce any sound.
Welcome to the forum. I don't think that technique will work because the sound is an impulse ("bang") and not steady-state ("constantly making noise"). It has to be timed for when the noise occurs.

Also, it won't be effective over all frequencies. Background: Active noise control. And then there's the cost and complexity of the installation.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

Call_Me_Op
Posts: 6933
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:57 pm
Location: Milky Way

Post by Call_Me_Op » Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:44 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
richg wrote:B. an active noise control system. In a nutshell, this system consists of a microphone, control box and a set of speakers that broadcast "anti-noise" which cancels out the original sound. this technology is used in noise cancelling headphones. Put the system in your attic and it should greatly reduce any sound.
Welcome to the forum. I don't think that technique will work because the sound is an impulse ("bang") and not steady-state ("constantly making noise"). It has to be timed for when the noise occurs.

Also, it won't be effective over all frequencies. Background: Active noise control. And then there's the cost and complexity of the installation.
It can be made to work with an impulsive sound. You would need a powerful speaker in the attic, and a microphone close to the listening location. Then you would need to use a high-speed controller driving the speaker, to produce the impulsive sound from the speaker in such a way that the acoustic signal arriving at the microphone is substantially nulled.

But I would do this only if the problem persists after the exorcism.
Best regards, -Op | | "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Einstein

Minot
Posts: 419
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:35 pm

Post by Minot » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:52 pm

I have nothing to suggest about getting rid of the noise. Is there anywhere in the house where the noise is far enough away that you could sleep through it?

richg
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:17 pm

Post by richg » Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:42 am

Another idea on the noise generation front: I used to live in this absolutely tragic attic apartment in an uninsulated house. I could literally hear the downstairs neighbors talking as if they were in the same room with me (ok, ok, it was my first place after college and I dind't have much money :oops: ). What I did was purchase a couple of noise generating machines from Sharper Image....they went for about $40.00 each and broadcast various sounds including white noise, a river, a rainstorm etc etc etc. I placed both of them on "river" at opposite ends of the apartment, and it dramatically reduced the downstairs noise as well as my stress level. It took a couple of days to get used to, but after that, it was smooth sailing.

Neil 'A'
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:54 pm

Post by Neil 'A' » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:34 am

I have actually read thru every post! Some pretty unique suggestions here. None of which I mean to 'put down' in any way. This particular problem is one I am sitting here listening to in my own home right now! And will be listening to for as long as I continue to live here.

I am not an engineer but am a Certified Inter-Provincial Journeyman Consultant in the building trades-35 years with extensive experience in both residential and commercial construction. Consequently a lot of one- on- one interaction with a myriad of structural engineers and architects. Architects, God bless 'em, are the bane of my existance! :lol: I have built and renovated many homes and buildings over this time. I am not- a know-it -all. Just wishing to pass on some of what I have learned in the process to you, Mitch, and anyone else who is bothered by these noises.
Unfortunately, there is no real 'fix'. I caught something in one of your early posts cody, and others here have touched on it as well. I'm surprised that your inspecters haven't twigged to it! Your plywood sheathing is installed tight together. it is a MUST to space sheathing at least 1/8 of an inch all around to allow for expansion/contraction of the plywood. The idea behind H-clips is so that the sheathing can not be install tightly! Also. how well is the sheathing attached with nails? Go up on your roof and look carefully for nails which may be working loose. Should have been no less than 2 " ring nails every 5 ". There is a fix for this part of your problem. Going to be expensive tho. Remove all the shingles, set the depth of your circular saw 1/32 of an inch deeper than the thickness of the roof sheathing. Cut around every sheet and you now have the correct 'expansion joint'. Re-nail the sheathing. Repaper & reshingle. That is only
part of your problem. That will cut down the noise considerably. The other, lesser part of the problem, unfortunately cannot be 'fixed'. Your attic like mine, and most everyone elses is vented and unheated. As it should be. Consequently the wood-trusses & sheathing absorbs moisture from the air, and as well, from your home if your vapor barrier is faulty,causing the wood to swell, however minutely. At the very same time this is happening, temperatures are dropping. metal contracts. Nails, of course are metal. The nails are, for lack of a better description 'shrinking'. So, at this point the wood has expanded and along with it, the 'nail hole'. The nail has, on its own terms, become smaller. You now have a 'small nail in a big hole'. The joints that were nailed together now have become loose., however minutely.That has now allowed the wood joints which were nailed together under ideal weather conditions to move as the wood expands and contract. I have, actually seen lumber which has absorbed a lot of water which then freezes split in 2 along weak mineral or 'grain lines'.
Some 'creaking and cracking is normal in all houses. Also normal is the fine cracking in the drywall joints and screw/nail pops.
I am in the process of major rebuild of my home. Built in 1920. Completely gutted, trusses all sistered, every joint possible renailed/rescrewed, An appropriate amount of construction adhesive Every step inspected and passed. We have pretty stringent building codes here in Alberta. The original lumber used is all true 2x4 lumber so I reused as much of that as possible in the rebuild. Still, I had to use a lot of new dimensional material. The nails used during this time, and for many years after are 'common nails'. So called because they are not treated with phosphorus which acts as an anti-corrosive as well as helping the nail to 'grip and hold' better. Still, my home POPS , not quite as loudly as yours due to the fact that I insulated to the max, so as well as realizing a heat saving, it also does muffle the noise 'a bit'. This is a constant noise. I have lost track of the 'count' as I have been here typing this.As the temperatures drop the popping is more frequent and louder. To the point that we have accepted if not gotten used to it. Except for the sudden drastic drops in temps which cause loud enough BANGS to awaken me/ my dog, who (who to me! :lol: ) ,If I should happen to sleep thru, makes sure to wake me and 'tell me' all about it!

To help muffle the sound you can insulate with another layer of R-40 fibreglass or have at least 12 inches of celulose blown into your attic.

As to the 'Mike Holmes' reference, Personally I think that it would make an excellent show! Mr. Holmes, from what I have seen is an extremely knowledgeable man. I find everyone of his shows to be informative. However, the producers of his show do charge what I consider to be a nominal amount. They price out the job, and then charge the homeowner only 10% of the total.

I hope this helps out somewhat. For the most part though, in your case, my case, Mitchs' case, we just gotta 'live with it'! :D
Last edited by Neil 'A' on Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:36 am, edited 2 times in total.

mitchstrachan
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:23 am

Post by mitchstrachan » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:40 am

Great post Neil. Said it absolutely perfect. lately the temperature has only been around -20 celcius for us overnight. Which is fantastic. The pops have gone down alot but have always been there as before. Now its all mental.

Cody the sounds are eerily familiar to what I get. And like Neil points out sometimes just have to live with a little. You have however said it is a newer area, and newer "properly" built areas do always have those h clips put between the roof sheets to give it space. It did look like you had alot of insulation in the ceiling so I wouldnt pin it to loss of heat from the house to the ceiling which I have. But there definitely is expansion or something happening there like that. Mine only happen at night as well, than once it has adjusted to the new temperature it stops. Check to see if the temp changes more overnight if it still happens. one way to check which might be hard is to try to regulate the temperature in the attic somehow overnight, not heat it entirely but try to regulate it and see if the noises are still there!

User avatar
FrugalInvestor
Posts: 4797
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:20 am

Post by FrugalInvestor » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:50 am

Neil...it's very good information that you provide.

I do have a couple of (relatively insignificant but potentially interesting) factual corrections.

First, the significance of the designation of "common" in a nail's nomenclature relates to it's diameter, not the coating that may or may not be added to it. The two typical kinds of framing nails are "box" and "common." A common nail has a slightly larger diameter than a box nail and, therefore, better holding power due to a greater area of contact between it and the wood it is driven into. Box nails actually tend to be more common than common nails. If you go into a typical building supply store and ask for a particular size nail without specifying you'll usually end up with a box nail.

Also, phosphorous coating is typically used on drywall nails. With a common or box nail you typically have the option of either "hot dip galvanized" or "electro galvanized." Hot dip galvanizing is much higher quality as it is both thicker and rougher, so the nail that is hot dip galvanized will both last longer and have greater holding power. It is much more common for box nails to be galvanized than common nails but this could vary by geographical area as do many building practices and materials.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

Neil 'A'
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:54 pm

Post by Neil 'A' » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:11 pm

FrugalInvestor wrote:Neil...it's very good information that you provide.

I do have a couple of (relatively insignificant but potentially interesting) factual corrections.

First, the significance of the designation of "common" in a nail's nomenclature relates to it's diameter, not the coating that may or may not be added to it. The two typical kinds of framing nails are "box" and "common." A common nail has a slightly larger diameter than a box nail and, therefore, better holding power due to a greater area of contact between it and the wood it is driven into. Box nails actually tend to be more common than common nails. If you go into a typical building supply store and ask for a particular size nail without specifying you'll usually end up with a box nail.

Also, phosphorous coating is typically used on drywall nails. With a common or box nail you typically have the option of either "hot dip galvanized" or "electro galvanized." Hot dip galvanizing is much higher quality as it is both thicker and rougher, so the nail that is hot dip galvanized will both last longer and have greater holding power. It is much more common for box nails to be galvanized than common nails but this could vary by geographical area as do many building practices and materials.
Technically speaking, you are 100% correct Sir. I was only trying to keep the complete explanation in simpler terms. Easier for the layman to understand. :sharebeer

mitchstrachan
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:23 am

Post by mitchstrachan » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:13 am

Hey Cody i guess the noises have hopefully stopped? Mine in my house have. Its most definitely due to the weather. Cold weather at that. We are 2 celcius now and no noises! roof repairs this year to avoid it next year now haha!

let us know how its going!

Cody
Posts: 865
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:19 am
Location: Stillwater, Mn

Theory 42

Post by Cody » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:30 am

Wow! Incredible reading - my humble thanks.

Yes I still have the big bangs (although somewhat less due to some warming).

Here is Theory 42 - maybe the problem comes from the outside wall top where the ceiling sheet rock is fastened.

Here's the deal - the noise seems to come from the spot about 1-2 feet into the room from the outside wall. But maybe it is actually coming from the outside wall itself. I can point to it specifically but can not actually catch in the attic when it happens. Remember nothing, absolutely nothing, has actually changed the volume or frequency in 41 different actions taken by me.

Well (out of frustration) I decided to wedge a two by four from the floor to the ceiling in that spot. I forced into lift the offending (hopefully) truss with vigor.

Yes it banged later that day but the noise may have moved 1-2 feet left (still along the lines of that truss.) This may be the first ever action that has caused changes. Maybe the wedge actually changed the dynamics of the outside wall unbeknownst to me.

So then I put another 2 x 4 wedge from floor to ceiling at that spot of the new moved noise (which still appears to be about 18 inches into the room along the truss). And that night "bang" but it may have moved again 18 inches or so. And possible quieter but I'm not sure. (Sound is a funny animal).

Now remember this in about 18 inches in from the outside wall (gable end) and I may have moved the sound parallel to that wall foot or two. But again maybe I was accidentally changing the dynamics of the outside wall.

A brief building lesson: When an outside wall is built and nailed in place there is no surface to screw the ceiling sheetrock to (it just butts up against the wall). The rest of the ceiling is screwed to the trusses above. So a board is nailed to the top to the wall that extends over the wall top plate into the room. This board hangs into the room at the top of the outside wall for a screwing surface of the sheetrock ceiling.

So I added a third 2 x 4 wedge at the new spot of the bang but this time I made a "T" at the top of the wedge and ran it from the outside wall to the first truss in the ceiling. The "T" goes perpendicular to the outside wall. So in essence it supports two "trusses" - the first truss 18 inches into the room and the lip (above) of the outside wall (I say lip because it provides a screwing board for the sheet rock on that wall).

No noise yet but it has only been one night. Am I expecting this to work or move again? My Theory 42 states that "the problem may be at the top the outside wall where the lip (at the top of the wall) extends out to make a screwing surface for ceiling sheet rock." Why the bang? I have not idea.

So we have three "cool" 2 X 4's from floor to ceiling in our den. I like to think of them as columns. :wink:

What to do if this is it (finger's crossed) I have no clue. But certainly that lip and wall top needs to be inspected, re-nailed, insulated better or ?

If you have any ideas on Theory 42 please post. I am not ignoring any of your ideas. Sorry to get so technical on this post.

Sleepless in Stillwater (Mn),
Cody

User avatar
Rosebud
Posts: 386
Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:31 pm

Post by Rosebud » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:47 am

Cody - Good to hear from you again and to learn that something you've done is at least changing the location of the noise. And, one night without noise is progress at least. Thanks for the update.

User avatar
BigFoot48
Posts: 2567
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:47 am
Location: Arizona

Post by BigFoot48 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:57 am

As soon as nighttime temperatures get above about 60F here, my roof/ceiling pop noises pretty much go away. I see we'll be at that mark Friday, so it's bye-bye pops until next winter for me. (I bought the house in May and the previous owner never choose to mention this "feature".)
Retired | Two-time in top-10 in Bogleheads S&P500 contest; 12-time loser

User avatar
NAVigator
Posts: 2457
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:24 am
Location: Iowa

Post by NAVigator » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:54 pm

Cody,

Thanks for the update with the progress you have made. Is there any location (where you are now supporting some of the trusses) where you suspect some movement? It might be beneficial to mark the location with a pencil and see if this changes after the "bang".

Then again, if it is fixed, you just have to disguise your columns

Good luck!
Jerry
"I was born with nothing and I have most of it left."

User avatar
CABob
Posts: 4570
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:55 pm
Location: Southern California

Post by CABob » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:41 pm

Then again, if it is fixed, you just have to disguise your columns
Stripper poles? :twisted:
Bob

User avatar
CaliJim
Posts: 2871
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:47 pm
Location: California, near the beach

Re: Theory 42

Post by CaliJim » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:42 pm

..
Last edited by CaliJim on Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
-calijim- | | For more info, click this Wiki

Cody
Posts: 865
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:19 am
Location: Stillwater, Mn

42 did not work

Post by Cody » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:47 am

Well Theory 42 did not work.

But we have had 6 nights now of quiet with Theroy 43. Out of frustration I super insulated the last two trusses. I mean I may now have two plus feet of insulation on the last two trusses at the gable end.

For those of you following all this from the beginning remember back when we were thinking the wood stove (in another room) seems to quite the noise. It provided more warm air in the addition at the ceiling. So maybe we were on the right track and the insulation (just like the extra heat from the wood stove) is providing a a thermal "thing".

We have not heard a peep. The longest we have ever gone noiseless is about 9 days. Why this would work I don't know.

The addition (where the room is) is very active (like if you took your figure and struck done on a desk top). Not nearly as bang as the big bag.

I checked fall temps when we first got bangs and it was actually warmer then then now (and I was younger then then now - The Byrds?). It seems all the right conditions are there now for the bang to happen. And yet quiet.

Oh dare to dream!
Cody
Last edited by Cody on Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

Cody
Posts: 865
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:19 am
Location: Stillwater, Mn

CaliJim

Post by Cody » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:51 am

CaliJim
Great drawing. We do not have this type of attic structure. We have long 2X4 roof trusses (triagnle shaped) not joists. I am now learning that I should not have used the term joists all along.

Is the any chance you have a similar picture for a truss built house. You know the triagle kind of stucture.

It would be agreat aid to me if you've go it.

Thanks,
Cody

User avatar
HomerJ
Posts: 11454
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Re: 42 did not work

Post by HomerJ » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:53 am

Cody wrote:Well Theory 42 did not work.

But we have had 6 nights now of quiet with Theroy 43. Out of frustration I super insulated the last two trusses. I mean I may now have two plus feet of insulation on the last two trusses at the gable end.

For those of you following all this from the beginning remember back when we were thinking the wood stove (in another room) seems to quite the noise. It provided more warm air in the addition at the ceiling. So maybe we were on the right track and the insulation (just like the extra heat from the wood stove) is providing a a thermal "thing".

We have not heard a peep. The longest we have ever gone noiseless is about 9 days. Why this would work I don't know.

The addition (where the room is) is very active (like if you took your figure and struck done on a desk top). Not nearly as bang as the big bag.

I checked fall temps when we first got bangs and it was actually warmer then then now. I seems all the right conditions are there now for the bang to happen. And yet quiet.

Oh dare to dream!
Cody
Quick! Sell the house before the noise comes back!

Cody
Posts: 865
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:19 am
Location: Stillwater, Mn

Post by Cody » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:03 am

I could call the exit hole I cut in the ceiling (2 feet by 2 feet) a catherdal ceiling - its all the rage! The ladder might be heard to explain though.
Cody

User avatar
daniel
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:18 pm

Post by daniel » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:42 am

This is an amazing thread with all the theories. :o

I listened to the youtube recording and I am almost 100% sure that these are squirrel sounds (or some similar sized critter). I had squirrels in my house for a while and normally you couldn't hear them at all until it was night. They can make a lot of noise for example by dropping down between walls, or on top of an air pipe, or ripping insulation apart. I think in your video, it seems that they drop down or pull on something.

What I would do, is to *very* carefully check for entrance points to your attic and house where a squirrel can come in -- I found lots of them once I knew what to look for. Entry holes can be as small as 1" in diameter. Look for example for air vents where the wire mesh is missing or damaged. They may come in from the crawlspace too and go up in between the walls.

Good luck!

User avatar
Cosmo
Posts: 1193
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:46 pm

Post by Cosmo » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:31 pm

daniel wrote:This is an amazing thread with all the theories. :o

I listened to the youtube recording and I am almost 100% sure that these are squirrel sounds (or some similar sized critter). I had squirrels in my house for a while and normally you couldn't hear them at all until it was night. They can make a lot of noise for example by dropping down between walls, or on top of an air pipe, or ripping insulation apart. I think in your video, it seems that they drop down or pull on something.

What I would do, is to *very* carefully check for entrance points to your attic and house where a squirrel can come in -- I found lots of them once I knew what to look for. Entry holes can be as small as 1" in diameter. Look for example for air vents where the wire mesh is missing or damaged. They may come in from the crawlspace too and go up in between the walls.

Good luck!
Squirrels? Really?

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 46837
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:38 pm

Cosmo wrote:Squirrels? Really?
Same here. I don't think it's squirrels. Get a good set of closed headphones (no outside noise can get it) and turn up the volume. There are no "scampering" sounds. Squirrels and raccoons don't pull in confined spaces, they claw and chew. To me, it sounded like something creaking along, like expansion / contraction, followed by the bang when it hit the end of the line.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

User avatar
mas
Posts: 1461
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:54 pm

Post by mas » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:05 pm


User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 5104
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii😀 Northern AZ.😳 Retired.

Re: Noise in my attic

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:32 pm

Several months ago DW and I experienced what might be a sonic boom. We have never experience that before. I don't know what it's supposed to feel like,. We are in our home in Northern Arizona. Not Hawaii.

It was a dark and stormy night.
We were sound asleep.
A huge boom sound and a thump hit the south side of the house. The house shuddered. It was as though a giant had slapped his fist against the side of the house. We had a hard time going back to sleep.

We have 3 story home and I thought of maybe if a huge gush of wind might have rushed through the attic. Much as the OP's might have come from the attic. I don't know.

Has anyone experienced a Sonic Boom before?
Did it seem to come from the attic or roof?

Actionably: Is this something that can damage a home?

This really happened.
This is not a thread bump.
j :D

*disclaimer: DW asked me to ask this.

TwstdSista
Posts: 917
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:03 am

Re: Noise in my attic

Post by TwstdSista » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:48 pm

Have you checked your electronics?

Our house actually made a very loud noise the other night as well -- or so DH told me, I slept through it apparently. He actually searched the house and basement, and even checked the backyard for fallen trees (even though we don't have any trees).

No dice. Never did solve the mystery.

User avatar
fishandgolf
Posts: 341
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:50 pm

Re: Noise in my attic

Post by fishandgolf » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:38 pm

Quite interesting.........had a strange noise occur this past week...during the sub-zero temps (Wisconsin).

Getting ready for bed, DW and I heard what sounded like something falling off the kitchen counter or shelf and crashing to the floor; it was kind of a loud noise and startled us. I took a flash light and checked the kitchen, basement and garage....nothing. A few nights later....this time we were in bed....another banging noise....only this time it sounded like it came from outside....very near the house. So...outta bed (in my skiviez...which is not a pretty sight :shock: ), grabbed the flash light....nothing. Checked the snow for footprints---thinking we were being burglarized.....nothing; but we were relieved ( :)

So, last week on this forum, someone started a thread entitled "Effects of Extreme Cold Weather". I began to read the posts and to my amazement, someone posted a comment about their deck boards freezing and making a popping noise. Not sure if that might have been what was the source of our noise (we still don't know for sure :?: ) but the furnace exhaust vent is near that area. So my theory is, that the warm air from the vent is blowing warm air onto the logs (we live in a log home) which may have caused the logs to freeze, expand and crack.....thus creating the noise. It only happened twice.....at night around 10:30 PM when temps dipped to -10-15 below zero. We are still in a quandary as to the source of the noise. This week however, temps have warmed up so we are sleeping better....... :)

User avatar
Doom&Gloom
Posts: 2098
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 3:36 pm

Re: Noise in my attic

Post by Doom&Gloom » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:53 pm

Sandtrap,
I haven't heard a sonic boom in decades, but if memory serves, if that was what you heard, some of your neighbors would certainly have heard it as well.

Spirit Rider
Posts: 8375
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:39 pm

Re: Noise in my attic

Post by Spirit Rider » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:36 pm

fishandgolf:

What you probably heard was the effect of temperature/humidity change and different contraction/expansion rates of disparate materials. In your case this is probably aggravated by the contraction/expansion rates of the logs differing from the other timber in your house construction.

I call these "house earthquakes", a rapid shift of joining surfaces in the house. I have been in my house almost 30 years. This has happened several times with my house. It usually happens with severe cold, but have happened a couple of times when there was a 50 degree warming over a very short time frame.

User avatar
fishandgolf
Posts: 341
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:50 pm

Re: Noise in my attic

Post by fishandgolf » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:51 pm

Spirit Rider wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:36 pm
fishandgolf:

What you probably heard was the effect of temperature/humidity change and different contraction/expansion rates of disparate materials. In your case this is probably aggravated by the contraction/expansion rates of the logs differing from the other timber in your house construction.

I call these "house earthquakes", a rapid shift of joining surfaces in the house. I have been in my house almost 30 years. This has happened several times with my house. It usually happens with severe cold, but have happened a couple of times when there was a 50 degree warming over a very short time frame.
Spirit Rider..........thanks for the insight. We've lived in the log home for 17 years and being in the country we're hearing weird noises all the time. We have hardwood floors in the great room and they are forever cracking and banging.....especially in fall when the furnace goes on and in summer when the humidity sets in; Idiosyncrasies of life in a log home I guess.

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 5104
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii😀 Northern AZ.😳 Retired.

Re: Noise in my attic

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:40 am

TwstdSista wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:48 pm
Have you checked your electronics?

Our house actually made a very loud noise the other night as well -- or so DH told me, I slept through it apparently. He actually searched the house and basement, and even checked the backyard for fallen trees (even though we don't have any trees).

No dice. Never did solve the mystery.
The whole house shook. This was huge.
And my house is rock solid, 3 stories, stucco and cement. But it is out in a large acreage type area of homes. I thought it might be a freak wind gust but never that powerful. Have felt earthquakes but that was not it.
Very very spooky.
Not "menehune's" as they are playful, not threatening. :shock:
j :D

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 5104
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii😀 Northern AZ.😳 Retired.

Re: Noise in my attic

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:44 am

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:53 pm
Sandtrap,
I haven't heard a sonic boom in decades, but if memory serves, if that was what you heard, some of your neighbors would certainly have heard it as well.
Very possible.
We are in Northern Arizona (not Hawaii home) and once while UTV'ing in the mountains, a Stealth Fighter screamed up the canyon from out of nowhere, about 200 feet above the ground all the way. Flocks of black helicopters once in a great while.

We might be on a flight path between military testing grounds, Nevada to N/E somewhere, Maybe New Mexico.
Doing secret things . . . secretly. :shock:

Thanks.
Puts me at ease. I will inform DW.

j :D

User avatar
celia
Posts: 8106
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:32 am
Location: SoCal

Re: Noise in my attic

Post by celia » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:05 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:32 pm
Has anyone experienced a Sonic Boom before?
The sonic booms in my area were due to the Space Shuttle breaking the sound barrier when coming in for a landing. It sounded like 2 loud claps. If I knew a shuttle was scheduled to land at Edwards Air Force Base, I would look at the clock while everyone else at work said "what was THAT?". "The shuttle is landing today."

I miss the shuttle. :(

Here's a list of alternate landing sites.

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 5104
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii😀 Northern AZ.😳 Retired.

Re: Noise in my attic

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:24 am

celia wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:05 am
Sandtrap wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:32 pm
Has anyone experienced a Sonic Boom before?
The sonic booms in my area were due to the Space Shuttle breaking the sound barrier when coming in for a landing. It sounded like 2 loud claps. If I knew a shuttle was scheduled to land at Edwards Air Force Base, I would look at the clock while everyone else at work said "what was THAT?". "The shuttle is landing today."

I miss the shuttle. :(

Here's a list of alternate landing sites.
Thanks "celia".
Did the house shake?
Or does the house have to be directly in the path of the sonic boom?

Reassuring DW that this is so because of the experiences shared by others is "actionable".
j :D

Thesaints
Posts: 1390
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:25 am

Re: Noise in my attic

Post by Thesaints » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:46 am

We didn’t hear any boom, but the other day we found a box with a few 8mm movie reels and a projector we had never noticed before. They probably belong to the family living here before us. Should I watch them ? Feels like intruding in their lives.

User avatar
Frugal Al
Posts: 1692
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 10:09 am

Re: Noise in my attic

Post by Frugal Al » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:17 am

Thesaints wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:46 am
We didn’t hear any boom, but the other day we found a box with a few 8mm movie reels and a projector we had never noticed before. They probably belong to the family living here before us. Should I watch them ? Feels like intruding in their lives.
Perhaps you should first watch the movie "The Ring."

flyingaway
Posts: 1773
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:19 am

Re: Noise in my attic

Post by flyingaway » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:29 am

Looks like we have some noise in our house. I suspect it is because of the structure, as the noise might be caused by the start of the air-conditioning system.

goodlifer
Posts: 360
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:50 pm

Re: Noise in my attic

Post by goodlifer » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:41 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:32 pm
Several months ago DW and I experienced what might be a sonic boom. We have never experience that before. I don't know what it's supposed to feel like,. We are in our home in Northern Arizona. Not Hawaii.

It was a dark and stormy night.
We were sound asleep.
A huge boom sound and a thump hit the south side of the house. The house shuddered. It was as though a giant had slapped his fist against the side of the house. We had a hard time going back to sleep.

We have 3 story home and I thought of maybe if a huge gush of wind might have rushed through the attic. Much as the OP's might have come from the attic. I don't know.

Has anyone experienced a Sonic Boom before?
Did it seem to come from the attic or roof?

Actionably: Is this something that can damage a home?

This really happened.
This is not a thread bump.
j :D

*disclaimer: DW asked me to ask this.
This is similar to what happened when lightening struck our house. Did you check your roof for damage?

Cody
Posts: 865
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:19 am
Location: Stillwater, Mn

Re: Noise in my attic

Post by Cody » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:37 am

OP here.

OMG - I was so surprised to see that this post still has legs. If you check other later cody posts you will see I resolved the problem. It was an eletro magnetic short in a stereo that was throwing the sound off the ceiling (every one thought it was a noise from the attic). So we were ready to sell the house and I unplug the subwoofer and bam! The sound occurs. Problem solved (after 3-5 months of hell).

One of my posts actually has a recording of the noise in my attic. And I had 67,000 viewer of my Boglehead posts as I tried to solve the riddle. I became Bill Murray in Caddyshack.

We are still tramatized by a slamming cupboard door or loud noise.

Best,
cody

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 5104
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii😀 Northern AZ.😳 Retired.

Re: Noise in my attic

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:37 am

goodlifer wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:41 am
Sandtrap wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:32 pm
Several months ago DW and I experienced what might be a sonic boom. We have never experience that before. I don't know what it's supposed to feel like,. We are in our home in Northern Arizona. Not Hawaii.

It was a dark and stormy night.
We were sound asleep.
A huge boom sound and a thump hit the south side of the house. The house shuddered. It was as though a giant had slapped his fist against the side of the house. We had a hard time going back to sleep.

We have 3 story home and I thought of maybe if a huge gush of wind might have rushed through the attic. Much as the OP's might have come from the attic. I don't know.

Has anyone experienced a Sonic Boom before?
Did it seem to come from the attic or roof?

Actionably: Is this something that can damage a home?

This really happened.
This is not a thread bump.
j :D

*disclaimer: DW asked me to ask this.
This is similar to what happened when lightening struck our house. Did you check your roof for damage?
I think it's ok.
It is a heavy concrete/ceramic type of tile roof. No big black burn marks as I can see. 2 years ago a neighbor's house burned down from a lighting strike. It pierced the roof and lit up the attic. Home was split level, 3 stories, on the side of a hill.
thanks,
j :D

Tallis
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:23 pm

Re: Noise in my attic

Post by Tallis » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:03 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:32 pm
Has anyone experienced a Sonic Boom before?
Did it seem to come from the attic or roof?

Actionably: Is this something that can damage a home?
I grew up in Minot, ND, in the 60s and 70s, near an air force base that hosted a squadron of F-106 interceptors. Sonic booms were a weekly occurrence. They would rattle the windows of our wood-frame house, but I don't recall them shaking the house. When you were outside, the sound clearly came from above. You'd automatically look in the sky to spot the fighter plane. It being that time and place, no one complained about them -- I remember more than one adult saying, "That's the sound of freedom." The exception was my grandmother, who was born in 1889, and saw no reason people had to travel in such a noisy manner.

Sonic booms can cause damage, but that is rare. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-28524705

Being in a house hit by lightning is much louder than any sonic boom I've heard. I agree that a lightning strike (nearby, if not on the house) is more likely.

User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 3332
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Noise in my attic

Post by lthenderson » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:09 pm

Cody wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:37 am
OP here.

OMG - I was so surprised to see that this post still has legs. If you check other later cody posts you will see I resolved the problem. It was an eletro magnetic short in a stereo that was throwing the sound off the ceiling (every one thought it was a noise from the attic). So we were ready to sell the house and I unplug the subwoofer and bam! The sound occurs. Problem solved (after 3-5 months of hell).

One of my posts actually has a recording of the noise in my attic. And I had 67,000 viewer of my Boglehead posts as I tried to solve the riddle. I became Bill Murray in Caddyshack.

We are still tramatized by a slamming cupboard door or loud noise.

Best,
cody
I just finished reading this entire thing after being revived. When I listened to the video you posted, it sounded like ghosts. Glad to hear you figured it out. I still have to laugh that after all the holes, destruction, etc., it was your stereo all along.

Post Reply