Creaks, groans, bumps in the night. Houses make all kinds of strange sounds, some of which can be downright unnerving if you're a first-time homeowner.
Our REALTORS® have heard them all. Some really are "the house settling," just like your parents always told you. Some are common (but often irritating) noises that you can get rid of with little more than a few turns of a wrench. But a few household noises might represent a serious issue that needs professional attention.
- Whistling Windows
Few household sounds are more unsettling than the wind whistling through leaky windows at night. Luckily, this is generally an easy problem to fix. Just use caulk or weather stripping to seal up the gaps around leaky windows. You'll put an end to the ghostly whining, and probably make your home a bit more energy-efficient in the process.
- Running Water
It's normal to hear running water in your pipes when someone runs the shower, flushes the toilet, or turns on a water-using appliance like the dishwasher or washing machine. But you should never hear water running if nobody's using anything. If you do, turn off the main water valve and see if the sound stops. If it does, you have a leak somewhere.
- Scratching in the Walls
This is one you don't want to ignore. If you hear a sound inside your walls or roof that sounds like scratching or scurrying, there's a very good chance you have one or more uninvited guests. Mice, rats, squirrels, and raccoons are often to blame. If you suspect a pest problem, it's best to call an animal control expert before it gets worse. They're not just annoying; they can chew through insulation, siding and even electrical wires.
- Banging Pipes
Chances are you've been in a house with a steam radiator that makes those incessant banging and clanging sounds when the heat turns on. As frustrating as those noises are, they're usually easy to fix. Banging in your radiator is usually caused by the water not draining properly, in which case you can fix the problem by putting wooden shims under one side to level it out.
- Water Heater Sounds
The strange sounds that sometimes come from an old water heater (usually described as bubbling, popping or crackling) are usually the result of sediment buildup. A lot of sediment can accumulate in water heaters over time, and you may hear it bubbling or cracking when the cycle starts. This sound isn't a death sentence for your water heater, but it often means it's nearing the end of its lifespan. Ideally, the best way to prevent this sediment buildup is to drain and flush the tank a couple of times a year.
- Mysterious Hissing Sounds
Hissing sounds could have many possible sources, but a gas leak is one possible cause. It can be hard to pinpoint the exact source of a mysterious hissing sound, especially if it's coming from a hard-to-reach place, so it's usually best to err on the side of caution and contact a professional.
- Furnace Noises
Furnaces all have their quirks, but if yours starts making a new and persistent sound, it's usually best to contact an HVAC professional. Squeaking, squealing, banging, popping, clanking, and whistling could all indicate potential issues, and it's always best to nip problems in the bud before they become more serious. Furnaces are expensive to replace, and it's wise to have it serviced every six months or so to keep it healthy and avoid potentially costly repairs.
Contact us today to learn more about the ins and outs of homeownership. We can help you find the right place to call home among the many Nassau County homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for sale on Long Island.