While all houses have some noises that come and go over the months as walls and floors shift and settle and appliances whir, etc., you may find that your place seems to be getting increasingly noisy. If you hear a stack of squeaks and creaks, groans and whirs, and whooshes around your home, it’s time to pay closer attention.
You’ll likely need to invest some time and perhaps money into fixing or replacing items or simply maintaining them better. Read on for some of the common noises you need to pay attention to and how to deal with them.
One of the frequent sounds people hear around the house that annoy them is doors creaking. If you don’t want to feel like you’re in a horror film constantly, you’ll want to work out which door is making the noise and why. Dry or rusted hinge pins in the door frame are usually to blame for such problems. Happily, this isn’t too hard to address.
Purchase and apply WD-40 or another lubricant. Try to stick with a helpful joint lubricant such as petroleum jelly, or try surfboard wax. Apply lubricant to the top of the door’s pin and allow it to drop down to the hinge. Cover the hinge with a paper towel to clean up any runoff or other items and check the door several times to see if the creaking has stopped.
Squeaky floors happen in plenty of properties, too. While you might not mind these noises if you have a teenager who tries to sneak out of or into the home and a sound alerts you to their movements, in most cases, it’s time to take action. Hopefully, your floor might be open from below so you can more easily find the exact source of the squeak.
Have a helper walk or jump up and down on the area that makes noise from above while you stand below on the lower level of your property. Listen and watch for subfloor movement. Keep an eye out for loose nails that could be contributing to or creating the noise or areas where wooden boards are rubbing up against each other and making sounds.
Similarly, if there’s ductwork or piping nearby, this could be the culprit, if it’s sitting too close to wooden floorboards. A squeak can arise from only a tiny amount of movement since floors amplify sound so much. If your floor isn’t open from below, you’ll likely need to take more of an educated guess about where precisely the problem stems from.
There can be different solutions according to the problem you’re having. If there’s a gap between a joist and the subfloor, you can often use a wood shim solution (available at lumberyards and home centers, among other spots) to stop movement and noise. You could also fill gaps with a thin line of construction adhesive to glue the wood together and minimize sound. This option can be a good one if you’re not 100 percent sure about the location of the noise, too.
Fans are handy for hotter or muggy days, but if you have to put up with them creaking the whole time the run, you’ll be frustrated very quickly. To address this issue, start by examining the top of the blades to see how dusty they’ve become. Too much dust gets a fan out of alignment. This can then lead to a squeaking motor in your ceiling fan. Clean the blades and see if this rectifies the matter.
If the issue remains, the blades may be noisy due to being unbalanced. You can purchase a user-friendly fan-balancing kit from your local hardware store or another supplier to get rid of the annoying sound. Fans can also start to squeak when loose light bulbs are in them, or they have worn-out motor bearings. It’s wise to get an electrician to examine the unit and fix problems.
You may also need to hire a plumber if your home is noisy due to rattling pipes. While sounds can stem from a little bit of movement that isn’t caused for alarm, whining pipes may need addressing ASAP as they can be noisy during to a lack of secure anchoring to floor joists. In this situation, address the noise by wrapping the pipes in rubber insulation and then nailing this to joists with specially-designed pipe straps. Do this in numerous spots, and you shouldn’t have much more rattling occurring when water runs through the pipes in your home.
Call a plumber if you think the problem is due to excess water pressure, pipes without enough cushioning, or if you can’t work out where the noise stems from or why. You don’t want to have a big leak occur or for the pipes to burst completely and flood areas, so it’s best to have a specialist take a look soon.
Noises in the home can be distracting and sometimes costly to fix. However, the quicker you investigate sounds and their origins and causes, the sooner you can fix problems and avoid minor issues turning into much bigger ones.