07 Aug Why Is My Roof Creaking? (How to Fix)
Tops Reasons Your Roof is Creaking
Do you hear a weird creaking or popping noise in your house at night? Are you constantly wondering if your roof is going to cave in on top of you? Trying to sleep when these thoughts are in the back of your mind is quite difficult and something you should never have to lose sleep over. There are a few reasons why your roof may make these sounds, but it’s a good idea to have a professional come out and make sure there isn’t a bigger problem. Keep reading to find out why your roof creaks at night.
Why does my roof creak? There are two main reasons why your roof may creak:
- Temperature and Humidity Change
- Windy Weather
Houses are built according to a set of codes and must pass an approval process before allowing a person to live there. This should give you confidence that your house isn’t going to fall down, but to reassure you, let’s talk about why temperature change and windy weather can cause your roof to creak.
Creaking Roof at Night: Temperature and Humidity Change
The wood framing in your attic under the roofline experiences temperature changes throughout the day. When the sun hits the roof, the wood expands as it gets warmer and at night it contracts when the temperatures drop. As the wood contracts, it can make a popping noise or creak.
Attic spaces don’t typically receive much heating or air conditioning, which can make the temperature change and creaking noise more likely. Even though it may seem as though something is wrong when you hear a creak, your house is just fine and is just settling as the temperature changes.
How to Fix a Creaking Roof due to Temperature and Humidity Changes
If the creaking and popping just drive you crazy or makes you anxious, there are a few things you can do to reduce the noise or cover it up.
- Spray foam insulation: Adding insulation to your attic will help regulate the temperature as well as absorb noise. You can choose to apply spray foam insulation, which is slightly more costly but often more effective, or regular insulation in your attic. Both processes don’t take very long and can improve your situation easily.
- More bracing: Though your house is completely solid and able to withstand different weather, adding diagonal bracing to the attic can help mitigate the creaking noise. Too much support is not necessarily a bad thing, so if you’d feel more comfortable with more bracing – go for it. This process can take a little bit longer than installing installation and can be more costly if you have a professional do the work, but for peace of mind, it may just be worth it.
Creaking Roof: Windy Weather
If you’ve been at home during a windy day and have noticed a creaking noise from the roof, it could mean something different than just the roof settling from temperature change.
Chances are, the wind causing the roof to creak may be a little more involved – there could be damage to the roof or it could just be that there isn’t venting in the attic.
Before calling a professional to find out what the problem might be, go outside and look at your roof. If you notice warping, missing shingles, or damage, you should call a roofer to come to fix it.
If you don’t really notice anything from the outside, go into the attic and look for vents to the outside – if there aren’t any, that could be causing the problem.
How to Fix a Creaking Roof due to Wind
Luckily, the fixes for this problem are relatively easy to address:
- Have a roofer come out to fix the damaged spots
- Add support beams to the attic
- Add ventilation: soffit vents, ridge vents, etc. – helps with temperature/moisture control and wind noise
Get a Professional Opinion
The truth is, there are pretty easy fixes to a creaking roof; however, it is never a bad idea to have a roof inspection. A remodeling professional can tell you if there is a bigger problem or solutions that are time and cost-effective.
Your home was solidly built and experiences aging similar to how we do – it settles and needs repairs every now and then, and that’s okay! The creaking noise can be scary when you’re trying to sleep at night, but don’t worry, your roof isn’t going to come crashing down on you.
Why Do I Hear Footsteps in My Attic?
If you have an unfinished attic, chances are you could have some critters taking up residence there – especially during the winter season. Don’t worry, it’s not a ghost! These animals find their way inside the attic, likely through the venting, and take shelter in the space. Though this is better than a ghost haunting your house, it could be problematic.
Animals such as rats, mice, bats, and other small creatures taking shelter in your attic could turn into a major issue. Bats are protected animals and cannot be killed, so you must have a professional come in and remove them – it’s costly and they like to come back. Rats and mice can chew through wires in the attic causing a whole host of other problems. Not only are the animals themselves problematic, but their waste and smell can be disease-ridden and cause health issues with your family.
Footsteps in the attic should tell you to take a look to see what’s making their home in your home. Oftentimes, it’s better to call a professional to remove the inhabitants. Take action right away – you don’t want the problem to get out of control.
How Do I Know When It’s Time to Get a New Roof?
Nowadays, roofs are made with durability to withstand strong weather and last longer. They can now last up to 20 years! This is good news for people who own a new build – they won’t have to worry about replacing it anytime soon. For those with older homes, however, it’s important to know the telltale signs that it’s time to replace the roof.
If you start noticing bald spots on the roof, cupped shingles or curled shingles edges, chances are it’s time to replace it. Another way of gauging whether it’s time to get a new roof, is whether your neighbors are! Houses built in the same time period often go through the same wear and tear, if they start the new roofing process, it would be good to have a roofer come check your roof as well.
Whenever you buy a house, there is an inspection done and you will know how old the roof is. This can help you determine when you’ll need to buy a new one, or if you can negotiate that into the purchase of the home. Most of the time, age is the main reason for needing a new roof, so as long as you don’t experience extreme weather continuously, you’ll probably be okay for a while.
I Have A Leaking Roof, What Do I Do?
A leaking roof is one of the scarier things you might experience as a homeowner. The best thing you can do is have a professional come out as soon as possible. They can diagnose where the leak is coming from and what needs to be done to fix it.
If you notice a leak, make sure you move anything that could experience water damage away from the area. Do your best to contain the water – use buckets to collect it, towels to absorb it, and fans to help dry. Consider taking pictures to send to the insurance company before the professional comes out, this way repairs can be accommodated for.
Do your research on repair companies, no one wants to have to fix a leaking roof more than once – you want to make sure it’s done correctly the first time.