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Is your home making strange noises? Before jumping to conclusions and assuming your home is haunted, it could be worth considering some of these common factors that often cause strange noises in the walls.
Radiators are one of the more obvious sources of noise. They can gurgle, bang and clank – usually as a result of trapped air. This builds up in radiators over time as fresh water is circulated through them. Radiators have to be regularly bled to let this trapped air out. There are many guides on bleeding radiators online. This could solve the problem.
If there’s a banging sound in the walls, it could be water hammer. This is caused by water in the pipes slamming against a closed valve. Pipes are usually designed to have air pockets in that cushion this slamming and prevent this noise. However, over time these pockets of air can disappear. To get rid of water hammer, you may need to turn off the water at the mains and then drain all the pipes, allowing air to get back into the pipes. If this still doesn’t work, you may need to hire a plumber to see if an accumulator or special valve can be installed.
Scratching sounds in the walls could be the result of mice or rats. This is common in old homes and rural properties. You can hire pest control services to check for rodents in your home. You may even be able to use traps and pesticides to get rid of them yourself (there are humane versions out there that don’t harm the animals).
If there’s a strange whistling sound in your home it could be an unclean HVAC filter. These filters can get blocked with dust, restricting air flow and causing this whistling sound. You should clean out your HVAC system once a year – unclean air conditioning units can also become breeding grounds for bacteria and sometimes cause all kinds of respiratory diseases if not regularly cleaned.
Whistling sounds could also be the result of drafts. This could be wind getting through cracks in the walls or under cracks in windows and doors. It could even be wind getting into the walls. Putting draft protectors beneath gaps in doors and filling cracks in walls with caulk could help to prevent these drafts getting in and stop these whistling noises.
Expanding and contracting
Sometimes creaking noises can simply be the result of materials in houses contracting and expanding. Drops in temperature or heatwaves could be causing floorboards and window frames to make these noises. This is normal and usually not something that can be prevented. If the noises are loud and you’ve noticed cracks growing, it could be worth hiring a surveyor to check that there’s no subsidence or worrying structural movement.