Keep hearing strange sounds in your home? Before you call up a paranormal investigator, it could be worth looking into a few other explanations – those things that go bump in the night may not be ghosts after all. From trapped air in pipes to rodents, there are many things that can create unusual noises in our homes. Here are just a few strange sounds solved.
Scratching in the walls
Scratching in the walls could be a sign that you have animals living in the wall cavities. Mice and rats are some of the most common culprits – they may nest in the walls and the sound could be them scurrying or chewing. You can get rid of rodents by laying traps yourself or by hiring pest control. If it’s a constant scratching, it could even be termites – this may require hiring a specialist termite control service to get rid of the infestation. Other creatures such as roaches, birds and even bats get into walls and cause similar scratching sounds. A pest control service will likely be able to figure out the cause and get rid of the noisy pests.
Banging in the pipes
Banging noises in the pipes could be the result of ‘water hammer’. You may notice this after turning off a faucet – the banging is the sound of water slamming against the valve as it closes. Most modern pipes are designed to have air chambers to cushion water and prevent this noise, however these chambers can get filled with water over time. Draining your home’s water supply by turning off the main water valve and running the taps can help air to get back into these chambers. Alternatively, if your pipes don’t have air chambers, you may be able to get a plumber to install them.
If you hear clunking noises when your heating is on, it could simply be the natural sound of pipes expanding as they heat up. These pipes could be fitted too close to a wall or floorboard, causing this clunking noise – in which case you may be able to do some work to reposition them. Alternatively, the sound could be due to limescale or sludge build-up in your boiler, which may require the help of a boiler technician to fix.
Radiators can start to produce groaning sounds when there is air trapped in them. This air can be released by ‘bleeding’ your radiators. This is a job that can be easily DIYed by buying a radiator key – you can then use this to open the vent valve in your radiator. Radiators typically need to be bled at least once each year.
Whistling air con
Air conditioning systems can sometimes produce strange noises including whistling and hissing. This could be because the filter is blocked and needs cleaning, however it could be due to other faults. A duct leak is one such problem that can result in air escaping through the ductwork. An air conditioning repair technician should be able to fix this fault
It’s normal for electrical appliances and outlets to hum, however they can also produce louder buzzing sounds when there is an electrical fault. This could be due to a wire not being connected properly or possibly carrying too high a voltage. You should hire an electrician to look at your electrics and diagnose the fault as soon as possible – the buzzing could be an early sign that an electrical appliance or circuit is about to fail or that there may even be an electrical fire. Do not attempt to fix the problem yourself unless you’re professionally qualified to work with electrics.
Random popping noises from windows can be alarming, but could simply be due to the expansion or contraction of cladding/siding. Aluminium siding which is used in many windows can sometimes create a popping noise when it is heated up as a result of it expanding quickly. Old or poorly fitted windows are more likely to create popping sounds – if you find the noise irritating, you could consider hiring a window installation expert to take a look. Popping sounds may also come from window frames, floorboards and beams as they naturally expand and contract as a result of a change in temperature.