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All homes have some noises that come and go and are often more noticeable during the quiet of the night, such as humming fridges, creaking floorboards, or settling walls. However, sometimes there are squeaks, creaks, drones, whirs, whooshes, groans, and other sounds that we need to pay attention to.
Certain noises indicate issues we must take care of sooner rather than later. Here are some of the most common ones to keep an ear out for.
Ceiling Fan that Creaks
Many of us have ceiling fans in our homes that we appreciate not just in summer but during many warmer months of the year. However, sometimes these appliances start to creak too much and can be frustrating to listen to, especially when watching TV, chatting with family, concentrating on work, reading, etc. These noises can also be a sign of an issue.
You may need to clean the tops of the fan blades if they’re really dusty, as this debris can lead to the fans getting out of alignment and causing a squeaking motor. If you clean the blades and this doesn’t fix things, the cause may be unbalanced blades. Rectify this issue by buying a fan-balancing kit from a hardware store, fan shop, or online supplier.
Other times when fans can creak and otherwise get noisy are when products with lights in them have loose bulbs or if you have worn-out motor bearings. The sounds may alert you to the fact that you need to buy a windmill ceiling fan, smart fan, chandelier fan product, or another type of ceiling fan to replace the old one. It’s best to hire an electrician or other specialist contractor to examine the unit and let you know what will be required to fit it. Often, installing a new unit can be cheaper than trying to repair the old one.
Floors that Squeak
Something else that can get very annoying in the home is squeaky floors. While it’s a prevalent issue and can be helpful at times, such as when you want to know if your kids are moving around late at night or if there are intruders, it’s wise to try and locate the source of the sound.
If your floor is open from below, it’s easier to fix things as you can have someone else in your family walk along or even jump up and down on the noisy area. Stand below, on the lower level, and see if you can spot any subfloor movement. You may spot loose nails causing a problem or wooden boards rubbing up against one another to create the noise. Be on the lookout, too, for piping or ductwork that could be sitting too close to floorboards and leading to squeaking as movement occurs, even if just a tiny amount.
If you live in a property that doesn’t have floors that you can examine from below, you may need to make an educated guess about the problem. For instance, there might be a gap between the joist and the subfloor, which you could fill with a small amount of construction adhesive. This glues the wood together and will minimize the sounds in turn.
Doors that Groan or Grind
You might have noticed lately that one or more doors around your home groan, grind, or otherwise seem too noisy. Often, these kinds of sounds stem from dry or corroded hinge pins in the frame of the doors, which is a problem that isn’t hard to remedy, happily. You can purchase some WD-40 or another type of lubricant to apply to the pins to help everything work smoothly and minimize noise.
Joint lubricants like surfboard wax or petroleum jelly tend to be the best options, but there are multiple ones you can try. Place grease on the top of the door pin. You want some to drip down so that the oil covers the hinge. Wipe up any excess runoff with a cloth or paper towel and then open and shut the door multiple times to see if this has stopped the noises you were previously dealing with.
These are some of the most common noises to pay attention to around your property, but there are many others. For example, note pipes and faucets that rattle and clank (noises could be alerting you to a lack of secure anchoring of pipes to floor joists, too little pipe cushioning, or excess water pressure), and a fridge that’s excessively loud (potentially indicating a busted fan, compressor, defrost timer, or other electrical issues).
All of these sounds can be distracting, annoying, and potentially costly to see to, but they do also alert you to issues that need taking care of. Don’t ignore the problems, and they shouldn’t turn into bigger and more expensive ones.