I have a four year old house, each year the popping noise gets worse in the ceiling/truss bottom cords. my contractor has made a valiant effort to no avail. we removed all insulation to identify the noise and have not been able to do so. the popping is loud enough to wake you at night. We added gussets, used lag bolts to tie down the trusses from movement. again to no avail. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I suggest that you get the manufacture design engineer out there that designed and built the truss for the home. Not the installer, or the rep from the lumber company that sells to the builder. They have no interest in helping.
You do not want to be nailing, bolting the truss in any fashion as it may void any warranty on them from the manufacture. Because there are several types of Truss for roof/attic areas there are also several methods of repairs.
Doing these repairs wrong can cause damage to the truss which can cause a host of other issues.
Did the builder properly install the truss over the weight carrying areas of the truss? Being off just a little can put loads on the bottom chord that can cause a host of issues. Were the truss repaired on the site. Many times truss get damaged by incorrectly lifting them with the crane. There are special methods for repairs that must be done when this happens.
Did the contractor Glue the ceiling on before they screwed it? Is the ceiling suffering from nail pops or cracking along the exterior edges?
I was pretty good about taking photographs through the construction of the house. At this point the ceiling does not appear to have been glued to the truss or bottom cord. There has been some nail pops which I am inclined to believe is possibly some truss arching. Around the ceiling at the exterior walls the contractor has removed all sheet rock screws. they have been out for about a year. We have not made repairs until we find the problem but removing the screws did not help the popping. It is interetsing to note that there is no cracking whatsoever. I did contact the truss supplier about the lag bolts and nails before starting and at that point he assured me while it may not help, it would not hurt anything to try it. I will talk with him again about having his engineers come up from California to look at the issue. This came up (however breifly) in a conversation between myself the truss supplier and the contractor. One more note... I can at any time induce the popping to begin by turning on my gas fire place or turning on my heat pump to generate more heat in the house. It actually pops louder as it cools down once we turn the heat off. At times it makes "runs" as each truss pops in sequence for about 5 to 8 trusses. Its just crazy. Thanks for the information and please keep it coming. I will contact my truss supplier and keep you posted.
Stay away from the truss supplier.. Their only interst is selling product, they have no engineering background at all. Got to the engineer of the manufacture. The builder of course wants the cheep fix so he does not end up spending a lot of cash to fix the problem.
The popping noise as you explained is caused by the ceiling sheetrock expanding and contracting becaues of the heat gain and loss at the ceiling. Had the glue been applied or the builder perhaps using more screws to hold up the rock I do not think you would have this issue. My guess is the rock is improperly fastened with to little screws or nails and what your hearing is the expanding material against itself.
You may hear similar noise with the siding if its vinyl. When the sun hits the house perhaps after being cloudy the heat will cause the siding to grow causing popping noises like your having in the ceiling.
If you can induce it by introducing heat, then you have the problem half diagnosed. My suggestion would be to go into the attic to where you think it may be coming from, then have someone turn on the heat and see what you can observe from up there.
My gut tells me that it's not the sheetrock simply because the popping repeats itself - sheetrock screws will pop once, and once they are free, will not pop again. Also if you hear popping that loud, the sheetrock would show signs of cracking or the mudded joints would develop hairline cracks.
Because you said the problem is progressive over the years, my guess is that as your house settles at the exterior walls, the interior walls are putting upward pressure on the bottom chord (as HCC noted above) where there shouldn't be little to no pressure. If I'm right, you will need to identify these areas by the method above and cut away a section of the top plate of the interior wall where it meets the bottom chord of the truss (assuming it's not a bearing wall), then possibly install a L shaped bracket to "re-stiffen" the interior wall. I'd also venture to guess that you will find the popping is coming from the area where the bottom chord meets a diagonal truss brace, which is in within a few feet of where an interior wall meets the bottom chord.
By the way, not all contractors are looking for a cheap fix and are not interested in helping you - some of us realize that if it'd done right then we don't have to come back to fix it again.
General Contractor/Home Builder
I agree not all contactors are looking for the cheap fix, but those who are typically are the ones with the homes with the problems in the first place because of cutting corners to save a few bucks.
...and then there are a few who have no clue, and do things backwards, or make unwarranted modifications because they have no structural knowledge. A hammer and a pickup truck does not a contractor make, even if he has chrome diamond-plate toolboxes on the truck. Example: I can't count the number of times I've seen a contractor installing insulation in a crwal space upside down and most times, when I've said something, the answer is "ahhhh go on, we've been doing it that way for twenty years." Well, buddy, you've been doing it wrong for twenty years...what can I say?
No, they are not ALL like that, thank goodness, but there are a few that are, and the average homeowner, unfortunately, will not likely be able to tell the difference.
Architect (NY) and Home Designer (PA)
Great information and consistant with some of the isssues I am looking at now. Example: If we leave the house for a short getaway 4-5 days during the winter time and turn the heat down while we are gone (65 Degrees) when I get hoome and walk close by the interior walls (6-12 inches)the ceiling will pop. And where the interior wall crosses 4-5 trusses they will pop in sequence. I believe this adds strength to settling theory. I have also or will begin discussions with the drywall contractor about installation of the cieling. I work at a school district that one of the high school classes is constructing a new house each school year, the instructor mentioned the sheetrock theory and we have not (but will) test that. The contractor I selected to build my home was born and raised locally and has been here for doing business 30+ years. I am inclined to give him (cautious) support as no discussion has come up about costs or charges. I figure he is into this for about 5-7 thousand between the materials and insulation costs. At this point he has communicated his willingness to correct the problem but wants (as much as possible)a "planed attack" rather than throwing money at it. I believe and will double check but the supplier in this case is the manufacturer. I believe the engineers are located out of state and submitt the specifications to the local manufacturer for construction and supply. If I can get an image on this I will supply a photo of the installation of the sheetrock and or the bottom if the truss cords. As they say a picture tells a thousand words.
JAY - I installed "Simpson" Truss Clips to try and solve this problem. They squeak like you wouldn't beleive! IF I ever pass frame inspection I plan to remove them and put 2x6 flat on top of interior 2x4 wall to screw sheetrock into. I would let ceiling "float" at least 14-16" before any screws go into bottom cord. The bottom cords will be free to move up and down but not sideways (due to 2x6 block between each cord).
Will this work? Better way? (5:12 pitch spans 28')
I can't beleive how controversial this subject is. Thanks for any help anyone.
Hey, be thankful...one joker here built two houses with steel roof trusses...one collapsed, and the other had a 20-ton jack holding it up for a while. He attempted fabricating the trusses himself, on site. Maybe he thought it was like his erector set...who knows?
Architect (NY) and Home Designer (PA)
There are so many things wrong with that, I wouldn't even know where to start asking questions....
General Contractor/Home Builder
Did runnysmacker find a solution to his truss popping?
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