Knowledge Builders

why does my roof pop in cold weather

by Monica Kirlin Published 1 year ago Updated 1 year ago

When it gets colder, your roofing materials are exposed to the cold while the inside of your house stays warm. This means roofing materials are contracting while the interior is not. This creates pressure changes that lead to movement and noises like popping or cracking sounds.

Full Answer

Why does my roof pop when it gets hot?

It’s thermal expansion and contraction. The sun hits your roof and heats it up. As the lumber expands, it moves, and it will rub against other pieces of wood that aren’t moving at the same rate. This movement creates the popping noise. When the wood cools down after sunset, the same thing happens in reverse.

Why does my roof make noise when it gets cold?

If the noises are simply a product of expansion and contraction in hot and cold temperatures, the best course of action is to improve the insulation in your roof to better moderate temperatures and even insulate your home from the sound. To get to the bottom of roof noises contact Park Heights Roofing today.

Why does my house pop when it's Cold Outside?

In addition to that, temperature differences between the cold outside and a home's inside warmth — heat causes materials to expand — also contribute to the contracting. Demerly says those building materials, nailed together, move at different rates and have to a tendency to create friction, which causes the popping sounds you hear.

How do I Stop my Roof from popping in the wind?

Roof Popping Noise TIPS. Roof popping in the wind is flexing the rafters or trusses. Popping in the morning and evening is thermal expansion. Diagonal braces almost always stop the noise. Residential structural engineer is the pro to get for a consult.


Why is my house making popping noises in extreme cold?

That loud popping noise you've noticed your house or deck making isn't a poltergeist or structural issue. Instead, it's the friction between your home's building materials as they contract and expand at different levels. Extreme cold air reduces the moisture content in the building materials, causing them to shrink.

Why do I hear banging on my roof at night?

It's thermal expansion and contraction. The sun hits your roof and heats it up. As the lumber expands, it moves, and it will rub against other pieces of wood that aren't moving at the same rate. This movement creates the popping noise.

How do you fix a popping roof sound?

I've stopped these noises by adding diagonal bracing to the roof rafters or trusses. It's best if you can incorporate 2-by-6 material and use large timber screws instead of nails. You want to place at least two 4-inch-long timber screws through the 2-by-6 where it passes over the underside of the roof rafter or truss.

Why do I hear banging in my ceiling?

House Noises A loose shutter on an attic window or loosened attic vents can cause a banging sound if it's windy, as can branches hitting the roof. Heating ducts as they cool also make banging noises, as do radiators. Water pipes can make loud noises known as water hammers.

Why do I keep hearing loud bangs in my house?

The knocking or banging noise you hear coming from your walls usually occurs when air pressure builds in your water pipes. This pressure builds up and causes your pipes to vibrate once the pressure is released (when your faucets are turned on or your toilet is flushed).

Is it normal for a roof to make noise?

If you've recently had a porch or room addition, it's natural for the roof to make sounds, as it adjusts. The cracking and popping could also be from the joists or beams, as they contract and expand. In very rare cases, the sounds are a symptom of undue stress and you will need a professional roof inspection.

How much does roof popping cost?

Average Cost to Raise a RoofLowAverageHigh$15,000$70,000$125,000

How much does it cost to pop a roof?

$5-$8 per square foot | Removing the roof structure. $14.00-$21.50 per square foot | Cost of extending gable walls. $16.00-$22.00 | Building the new roof structure. $15.00-$20.00 per square foot | Installing roofing and siding.

What makes a knocking sound at night?

The most common animals to make these sounds are squirrels, rats, mice, and raccoons, although others will do so as well.

How can I tell what animal is in my ceiling?

Look at photos of Raccoon Feces, or Squirrel Feces, or Rat Feces, or Mouse Feces, or Bat Feces. You can also look at the animal tracks left in the dust in the attic. Check on almost any surface not covered by insulation, and there should be a layer of dust with animal tracks. Or you can check for muddy footprints.

What causes knocking on the walls at night?

But, before you call the ghostbusters, know that there's usually a simple explanation for why your walls are making a knocking sound. Most often, it's your home's plumbing system. Sometimes it's due to fluctuating water pressure issues, loose plumbing pipes, or a faulty valve.

What happens to the air in the attic during winter?

As soon as the sun sets in a typical sunny Manitoba winter, the air temperature within our attics can drop suddenly with the lack of solar radiation. This temperature drop can cause rafters and ceiling joists, especially those built of very dry, brittle, older Douglas fir, to suddenly shrink. This may put pressure on the fasteners, or even wood components that are adjacent to each other. This pressure may continue to build, and suddenly release at any time, as minute movements occur between building components. Often, this movement will happen in the middle of the night, as the framing has reached its coldest temperature and minimum dimension.

Why are old homes so dry?

Also, older homes have more smooth nails used to secure these wooden members, which may be very dry due to age. These nails may allow more framing movement than modern mechanically fastened systems. To compound these issues, older attics are typically stick-framed with individual rafters, as opposed to stronger truss systems used in the last several decades. With your flat roof system, the various plies of the roofing membrane may be impregnated with black bitumen, which will absorb even more heat from the daytime sun. When significant expansion — or more commonly contraction — happens, loud noises can suddenly be omitted from the offending materials.

Why does my framing make a noise?

As the framing shrinks with the cooling night temperatures, it builds up pressure against bordering materials, held together by mostly metal fasteners , which can be even more susceptible to thermal expansion. Once this pressure exceeds the maximum, sudden, slight movements can release large amounts of energy, in this case causing loud noises. The cracks or bangs you are hearing are the manifestation of this sudden release, which just as quickly abates, as the pressure suddenly drops.

Why do I hear cracking noises in my house?

Most noises in our homes are due to loud music being played, rambunctious kids, annoying appliances, or excessive traffic noise outside. While these are easily explained and remedied, some other offensive sounds are not. Your complaint of unusual cracking noises during the winter is a common one from occupants of homes built pre-1980’s. Just this week I had a call from the parent of a client with the same concern. He, like yourself, was wondering if there was anything seriously wrong going on with the loud banging noises he has heard during the long, cold winter nights. While he has experienced this for many years in the home, it appeared to be recently getting worse or louder. I suspect that the problem may be slightly worse than before, maybe due to more extreme weather recently, or he is getting more perceptive to the sounds.

Why are walls susceptible to movement?

When the temperature inside or outside changes dramatically in a short period of time, significant shrinking or expanding can occur.

Why does my roof make a loud noise?

If you are awakened by unusual creaking and popping sounds from your roof on cold night, you are not alone. During the cold winter it is normal for homes to do this, it is just basic physics. The reason why these creaking and popping sounds are so loud can also be explained by physics. The cold dense air and the lack of activity in ...

Why does my basement make a popping sound?

When it is cold, water pipes will contract. When hot water passes through them, they will rapidly expand and these movements could cause the noises you hear in the basement. Water in the pipes will freeze in the cold weather. When water freezes it expands instead of contracting. When water expands in the contracting pipes it causes pressure that could lead to bursting pipes. When the pipes burst you will hear a loud popping sound.

What causes noise when building materials are heated?

According to physics, when matter is heated it expands and contracts when cooled. When the temperatures are low, the exposed building materials will rapidly shrink causing the noises as they rub against one another.

What happens when water freezes?

When water freezes it expands instead of contracting. When water expands in the contracting pipes it causes pressure that could lead to bursting pipes. When the pipes burst you will hear a loud popping sound. Creaking sound in cold winter nights are nothing to be worried about.


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