Why Does My Roof Sound Like it’s Cracking?

I'd want to know what you think of my roof. I'm concerned that it will collapse since the wind makes a frightening popping sound when it blows across it. It sounds like the roof could come off the house. I've also heard similar noises on days when the weather isn't particularly windy or stormy. Is this something to be concerned about? Is there someone I can contact for a professional evaluation so I may rest well on windy nights? — Billie A., Lawton, Okla.

I think I can provide you with some comfort right now. Based on the pictures you submitted, it appears that your roof framing is rather substantial. The only way I'd be completely comfortable with it is to go up into your attic and check each junction where one piece of timber connects to another. Fortunately, it appears to be rather simple to go about up in your attic since the roof is higher and was generally framed instead of relying on prefabricated trusses.

Perfectly laid out gray shingle roofing of a huge beige painted wooden siding, Why Does My Roof Sound Like it's Cracking?

Your problem is not uncommon, and it reminds me of a home I saw in New Hampshire not long ago. The wife had the same problems as you, but the popping noises were heard every sunny day in the morning. After that, everything would be silent until after dark.

A roof, or the entire home, may be subjected to a tremendous amount of wind pressure. You may easily demonstrate this to yourself by attempting to carry something massive and flat on a windy day. When I was a younger builder, I nearly fell off a roof after attempting to carry a sheet of 4-by-8 plywood. On the third day, a sudden wind gust knocked me down and the plywood sheet flew out of my hands from the roof. The only person harmed in this event was the plywood.

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From your photograph, I can see that you have a typical gable roof with at least one end of your house having a flat gable wall to receive the full force of the wind. Imagine the pounds of force pressing against the whole sidewall when a strong wind strikes it. If the whole roof system isn't firmly braced, it can and will flex to absorb this push. The popping noise is caused by this bending.

The popping noise in the morning and evening is caused by a different mechanism. It's due to thermal expansion and contraction, as I said earlier. Your roof heats up as a result of the sun. The timber expands as it moves, and it will rub against other pieces of wood that are not moving at the same speed. A popping noise is produced as a result of this movement. When the wood cools down at night, it does so in reverse.

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Gray shingle roofing with a black static air vent

By adding diagonal bracing to the roof rafters or trusses, I've been able to prevent these noises from happening in homes. If you can, use 2-by-6 material and large timber screws instead of nails. Where the 2-by-6 overhead passes over the underside of the roof rafter or truss, you should drive at least two four-inch-long timber screws.

The diagonal bracing absorbs the focused wind pressure all at once and helps to dampen the movement.

The best way to build a peak is to utilize two diagonal braces in different directions, forming a V or W on the underside of the rafters. You want to start as low as feasible near the rafters' intersection with the bearing exterior walls and work your way up to the roof ridge as high as possible.

The roof joists are fastened to the inside of the box using an I-beam. For each piece of roofing wood to move as a single unit, rather than independently, the top plates are braced at 45 degrees. You could have fantastic success simply installing one set of diagonal bracing on each side of the roof. That's before I'd go across all the rafters.

Roof joists membranes with visible screwing plates on every corner

If you want to get a professional opinion before beginning any of this work, you should contact a structural engineer. The knowledge and understanding that these skilled professionals have been extensive. They are well-versed in wind loads and how to combat them. This is an essential component of their education.

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I prefer to deal with engineers that specialize in residential construction since they are familiar with the finest practices and wood frame nuances. Other structural engineers may specialize in structural steel and concrete, but they may not provide you with the most appropriate guidance to obtain excellent outcomes for the lowest cost.

A gray shingle roofing with sidings painted in beige

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When you have established the most likely cause for your problem, get quotes from a local roofing contractor. When it comes to determining what may be causing your crumbling walls, keep in mind that moisture is not the only thing that causes wood to rot. If you're feeling especially brave, try fixing the issue yourself before hiring someone! This is where your roof will detach from the house.

The engineer may advise you to use simple metal fasteners. Make sure you use the appropriate structural screws, which are made particularly for these connections. The screws might be a little more expensive, but they will last much longer than nails.

Huge house with black galvanized roofing

If you have a cordless impact driver, you'll be fine installing the screws. To stabilize my outside deck, I had to do this as well. There were no structural connections at all when my deck was constructed before I moved in, and the builder who created it did a terrible job. The impact driver did an excellent job and saved me a lot of time, money, and my wrist!

If your roof sounds noisy and you’re not sure why there are a few potential reasons for this noise. The most common reason is that the house has settled or shifted as it settles over time. This settling can cause cracks in the framing because of uneven pressure on walls from shifting materials inside your home. Asphalt shingles also make noise when they contract from cold temperatures after being installed during warmer months.

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