Why Your House ‘Creaks and Pops’ In the South Dakota Cold
Rest assured that your house is probably not possessed and instead it's just reacting to thermal changes
It's another South Dakota winter and with that comes everything we would expect; freezing cold temps, wind chill, snow, and your house creaking and popping. The winter of 2022-23 has been especially rough on buildings. When they start growing it sounds like they are protesting the cold temps.
At my place, the colder the temps fall, the more noises I hear from the building. During our first winter, we would hear a loud bang on the roof. It would happen at random times; scared the crap out of us the first time it happened. Still don't know what that is but it's kind of annoying when it happens at three in the morning.
Experts say that noises can be anything from nails contracting into the wood causing a pinging sound to pipes expanding and contracting in the walls. If you hear similar noises from your house then know that you aren't alone. You might think your house is protesting the cold weather, but there is actually a scientific reason for the sounds.
What is the reason a house makes noises?
According to an article on Cleveland.com, the sounds have to do with building materials and their reaction to temperatures. Norbert Delatte is a professor at Cleveland State University and the chairman of the civil and environmental engineering department.
According to Delatte, the explanation is simple. He says, "Pretty much all building materials – wood, concrete, steel – expand with heat and contract with cold," Delatte said. "The foundation of a house stays at a more normal temperature where the outside of the house is trying to shrink against it, so whatever connections there are between the foundation and home, they would be making some noise."
So rest assured that your house is probably not possessed and instead it's just reacting to thermal changes.