From basement noises to creaky floors, you often hear a variety of sounds in your home. Some of these noises are normal while others may be a warning sign. It is important to know the difference between which sounds you can disregard vs. which noises you should never ignore.
#1 Rushing or Dripping Water
Rushing water noises may indicate that water is consistently moving through your pipes. This could be a sign of a leak. It is a good idea to check your sinks for a leak, look for puddles or pooling water, and check your water meter to see if it is spinning. Dripping sounds should always be investigated to prevent water damage that is costly to repair.
#2 Running, Squeaking, or Scratching in the Walls or Attic
Whether it’s running, squeaking, or scratching sounds in the walls or attic, it’s time to act. If it sounds like mice, then you can set some traps and take matters into your own hands. If it sounds larger like a squirrel or racoon, it is time to call pest control.
#3 Electrical Humming or Buzzing
Electrical humming or buzzing sounds can mean different things. Buzzing sounds from lights may mean the light bulb is about to go or there is a discrepancy between the bulb wattage and that of the dimmer or switch. If the issue persists with a new bulb of the correct wattage, then it may be time to call an electrician. If humming sounds are coming from a switch or outlet, then a wire may have come lose. It is definitely time to turn off any connected lights and call an electrician.
#4 Whistling or Hissing Noises
Whistling or hissing noises from gas appliances could be a sign of a gas leak. Whistling from a water heater is a sign it is time for a new one before the current one blows. Ratting or whistling noises from your windows could be a sign of an improper seal and warrants further investigation.
#5 Gurgling Toilets
A gurgling toilet is an indication of a possible backup or lack of flow due to poor ventilation. You need airflow to flush. It is time to call a plumber.
#6 Thumping in the Washer or Squeaking in the Washer & Dryer
Thumping in the washer can be simply due to an unbalanced load or it could be a warning sign of a balance ring problem. If you catch it early, the fix is likely a part repair and a minor expense. If you let it go and the balance drum damages the control board, then it is time for a new washing machine.
A squeaking sound signals metal rubbing on metal. Washers and dryers have many moving parts. It is better to replace a part then risk replacing the whole machine or further damage to the surrounding area.
#7 Furnace Noises
You are likely familiar with the noisy sounds your furnace makes. If you notice a new or unusual sound, it is a good idea to have it checked by an HVAC contractor. Squealing may indicate that the motor needs to be oiled, while popping could signal a clogged gas line.
#8 Fridge Noises
If you hear odd sounds from your fridge, it is better to be safe than sorry. A flapping sound may indicate the ice is building up around the fan. This can eventually lead the fan to stop working and for the fridge to warm up. A buzzing noise could signal the compressor is going.