Don't Ignore These Six Strange Sounds in Your House
Things That Go Bump in the Night
A poem by “Anonymous” reads: “From Ghoulies and Ghosties, and long-leggity Beasties, and all things that go bump in the Night, Good Lord deliver us.”
It’s not logical but strange sounds in the house do seem louder at midnight than at noon. Upon hearing a bang, a moan, a rhythmic thump, little children might scream and run into Mom and Dad’s room seeking a haven from the “boogie-man”. The parents will have nightmares as well but not from some monster under the bed but rather the scary prospect of an expensive home repair related to the strange nocturnal sounds.
Most household noises are innocent. Cat owners can expect a few sounds as “Fluffy” paces the floor looking for intruders. Wind from the house is a likely culprit of some household noises. But some noises indicate trouble is brewing somewhere in the structure that needs to be remedied.
Sounds of Trouble?
Let’s explore a few of those troublesome household sounds:
1. The sound of a waterfall is peaceful and sleep-inducing, but the sound of running water of an unknown source in your house is not a cure for insomnia. Check the faucets and make sure that the “flapper” in the toilets fit securely over the exit hole at the bottom of the tank. Next check the dishwasher and washing machine to see if there is a broken pipe or water line.
If the sound is coming from outside, a perimeter check of your yard and any crawlspace is advised. If all else fails, turn the main water valve off and see if the sound stops. Then call a plumber.
2. Babies and kittens will squeal and meow to the delight of most everyone but when your HVAC system begins to make similar sounds or make a banging noise, you need to act soon. The obvious choice is to check the filters and clean or replace them. Dirt in the filters blocks the flow of air much the same as it does with a dust-covered surgical mask. It makes it hard to “breathe”.
A loose fan belt can create a squealing noise and if you hear a gurgling sound, the AC unit might be low on refrigerant. If changing the filters fails to quiet the unit, have it serviced by a professional and purchase a service plan. A service plan will save you money in the long run.
3. An unbalanced washing machine or dryer can jump around likes it’s possessed by a demon. No need to call a priest equipped with holy water, the solution is to load them properly, check out the belts and for new appliances, check for shipping bolts that were not removed during installation. Your refrigerator works on the same principle as the AC unit so make sure the coils are clean and that the freezer door closes properly. And be sure to regularly clean the dirt, lint and other debris that accumulates behind any appliance.
4. Many “urban myth” movies involve a strange scratching noise and a bevy of screaming attractive teenagers running directly into the path of the danger. An occasional squirrel scurrying across the rooftop is not serious but a family of rats who finds your house the perfect place to breed is something you need to deal with as soon as possible. Some rodents have an affinity for the insulation on electric wires putting you and your family in danger of a house fire from a shorted out live wire.
5. The scary noise caused by an infestation of raccoons and bats will be the hysterical cries of owners of vacation homes when they return to their seasonal dwellings now occupied by unwanted guests. Just like rats, a raccoon also has a set of “family values” in that they see an attic as a perfect place to raise a family. Imagine what a 30 lb. mama raccoon can do attic insulation as she tramples about nursing her offspring and gathering food for herself. Is there any need to elaborate on the damage caused by urine and feces from a relatively large animal?
Bats even have a special name for their excrement: guano. The main diet for bats is insects that they digest and deposit as guano many times daily in their new abode. Guano is odorous and that will attract other vermin. Everyone should know by now that bats can carry dangerous pathogens.
6. Never ignore a hissing sound especially if comes with the distinctive odor of natural gas. If you find the source of the gas leak first shut off the source valve and second, ventilate the area. Another area of potential gas accumulation is a furnace combustion chamber where the ignition system could fail. The result of this is not just a “bump in the night” but a much louder “Boom” that will cause damage and possibly injuries to anyone near the explosion.
Teach Your Children Well
Teach your children that if they are alone in the house and hear a strange sound with the smell of gas or fire they need to run outside as fast as possible with a cell phone and call 911.
The best action is prevention by calling a professional exterminator, HVAC person, plumber, or a qualified electrician/handyman to prevent those things that go bump before they keep you awake all night.