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Popping/creaking noises in interior walls
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Truss uplift. Drywall should have been glued and screwed to the ceilings. As the truss expands and contracts as well as bows from the movement the sheetrock on the ceiling is slipping on the lower chord of the truss.

I would expect to see nails pops and cracking along the edges where the walls meet the truss.
Posts: 1933 | Location: New Jersey | Registered: 31 January 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Would love to hear of any additional resolution to your original issue.. We are having the same issues in a house which was built in 2005.. We are the second owners, and this is the first time we are seeing the issue, so not sure if it has been here all along or if it is something new.


Posts: 1 | Registered: 26 August 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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HI There -
I had the same thing happen to me just in the past 6 months. I have a 2 story home in the master bath area. We had to fix some cracked travertine tile due to cracking (first signs). After we fixed these tiles and redid the shower and tub with ceramic tile,..we noticed that each time we stepped into the room, the non load bearing wall popped. This pop came from the floor and radiated up to the ceiling. At first it happened slightly,..then got worse over 3 weeks.
I hired an PE Engineer to do load calcs. The house was designed for 20 lbs dead load,..40 lbs live. The home initially had light weigh concrete floated on the 2nd floor (by the builder),..then when we added the travertine, the PE Engineer estimates we were close to 30 lbs dead load. We have TJI-230 Joists, 14" spanning 14.5 ft and spaced at 19.2 on center. The PE Engineer's calculations showed that although the floor could handle 30 lbs dead load,..that it did allow for a max deflection at center (right where you walk into the room)..of .7". Thats alot! The option was to leave it and live wiht the bounce,..or reinforce the floor.
I decided to add additional joists TJI-230's by opening the ceiling below. PE Engineer showed that adding additional joists would improve the max deflection at center to .17". This is much better than the .7". We added new TJI-230's between exiting ones, now I had TJI-230 at about 9-10" spacing. I walked upstairs and - popping sound still was there!
We decided to open the wall upstairs and pull some of the nails which secure the non load bearing wall to the floor. Upon pulling one,..the creaking and popping sound was quite pronounced. Removing 4 or the 7 nails,..reduced the noise significantly!. Today we are removing all nails,..and replacing them with wood screws.
It is our assumption,
..that the floor prior to reinforcement sagged,..deflected downward,..causing the nails which secure the non load bearing wall to be under tension forces. Stepping on the floor,..facilitates the release of tension forces,..- hence the "popping". Reinforcing the floor improved the max deflection of the floor at center,..but obviously would not relieve the tension or if the nails where pulled out from the prior deflection,.did not fix them.
Reinforcing the floor was not cheap - $5,000. The PE Engineers professional assessment - $500
What I did gain is the knowledge that my floor now only deflects .17" max and is not stiffer. This is also good for my travertine floor. I dont know what the future will bring,..if the popping will come again,..but I do know that structurally I have a sound floor,..assessed by a PE Engineer in writing.
Posts: 1 | Location: California | Registered: 22 October 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by JayinMinnesota:
I still believe this is truss uplift because any floor sagging that would tear studs loose would seem to be pretty obvious. If it were me or my job, I would go into the attic and find some way to unattach the top of the interior wall from the rafter, then put some kind of L bracket on each side of the bottom chord of the rafter, attaching it to the top plate of the stud wall but not to the rafter, this will brace the wall with the rafter without attaching it so that the rafter has room to move up and down without tearing the studs away.

In fact, I'd try it in one or two places to see if it works and if so, then go back and do the remainder. You'd still have to pop the sheetrock as I mentioned in a previous post.

Jay, Did this ever get resolved? I think you are correct. However, I think the truss uplift is actually pulling the wall up off the floor joist. The nails through the bottom plate into the floor system would create that popping sound. If there is no evidence of truss uplift at the drywall inside corner, that would explain why, it's pulling the wall up instead of separating the ceiling. That would also cause the loose studs in the wall. Is this house in a cold climate?

We hang all of our drywall with floating corners. This method is recomended by National Gypsum Installation Manuel. Problem is non existant now. If you want this method let me know.
Posts: 9 | Location: Michigan | Registered: 13 October 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am having the same exact issues in my house which was built in 1968.

Would love to hear if there is any solution or the root cause of the popping, creaking and squaking noise.

The noises are from a number of locations from floor to ceiling not specifically at the same location at any given time. Also, it always in morning or when first walking by and then periodically during day when a timelapse has occurred.

Based on Foundation Engineer, my house foundation is settling at a couple corner as much as 1 - 1 1/2 inch lower. By leveling the foundtion, he thinks that it should stop the noises. Have not decided to fix yet since not sure if it'll solve the noise problem? Any suggestion would be appreciate?

Posts: 2 | Registered: 19 May 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you have an egineers report saying the foundation is settling, I would tend to believe that is what is causing the movement. I would also find out what is causing the foundation to settle. Fixing it without knowing the cause could be pointless.
Posts: 9 | Location: Michigan | Registered: 13 October 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for your reply, EZHang Door!

Yes, the cause for the foundation to settle is due to moisture (poor down spout) gets into and makes the soil around the foundation unstable. Also, there are some horizontal cracks along the foundation.

I guess I am tending to believe also this is the cause of all the movements and noises then...
Posts: 2 | Registered: 19 May 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If your foundation is moving as you say by some water from a downspout, you have more issues then you think..
Foundation settlement does not come from moisture issues. It can cause undermining of the foundation itself, but not failure. This of course assumes that the foundation was properly dug, poured with enough re-bar, and was left to properly harden before they put up the block walls.
Foundations when they crack normally do so in a short period of time and then stop. Unless the underlying soil is shifting as you would find on a hillside home. Once the inital movement happens and causes the crack. It moves so slowly that the resultant crack or creak you hear would be so far apart in time you would never even notice it.

If your hearing this noise and mostly during the later evening hours when things cool down a bit outside. The the following may help pin down a reason for this common but anoying noise.

Creaking of homes come from many issues. Of course settlement is one of them, however, if you foundation is moving as much as you say to cause this noise, you have a bigger issue then some creaks.

Most noise comes from issues such as,
siding nailed on to tight if vinyl was used.
poor nail pattern on sheathing when the house was constructed. Not enough nails to secure the wood to the framing.
Truss uplift.
Improperly insulated and ventilated attic areas. This causes expansion and contraction of framing within the attic and movement of walls and ceilings.
Poor fastening of sheetrock on walls.
Poor framing methods.
Green lumber used to construct the home. ( a good way to tell this is if the doors all over the home are sticking opposit of the door hinges)
In general lousy construction methods.

What can you do to help stop this?
This would depend on what causes it. Siding and sheathing issues require the siding to be removed and things properly nailed back.
Under ventilated attics can be repaired by properly installing soffit vents and perhaps a power vent system.

This is not meant to say that you do not have an issue with the foundation. By all means if you belive the cracking and movement is being caused by a downspout then you should address this issue. But I do not think this is the total cause of the noise you hear. Nor the reason. Get the foundation checked out by a professional engineer. If the house is newer find out if there is any state warranty in place on it. Each state has their own rules and policys on such warranties.
Posts: 1933 | Location: New Jersey | Registered: 31 January 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi all,

I know it has been a long time since the O.P. but I'm currently experiencing a similar problem with my internal non-load bearing walls. I'm in a 3 storey Townhouse (4 years old, built by Taylor Wimpey) and the top floor is so noisy when walking around. When we walk through the rooms there is a terrible amount of creaking coming from the internal walls. Just as the O.P. stated, when I push on the wall I can recreate the same creaking. My baby Daughters bedroom is the worst, so much so that when we put her in her cot and walk away the creaking from the Walls wake her up!

I've no experience in this but I thought I'd have a go and find out if I could fix it! I started by taking the skirting board off in my Daughters room and chiselling a hole through the plasterboard at the base where 2 plasterboards joined. This meant I could see the soleplate (or floorplate) and the stud at the same time. I wasn't surprised to see that it's a metal framed wall as that's the cheapest option nowadays.

My initial guess was that as the floor flexed, the soleplate was being pulled down and the screws holding the soleplate down were making the creaking noises. I split some wooden dowels and used them to shim the soleplate up in the hope that this would minimise the movement of the floor relative to the soleplate. It did seem to help somewhat but it didn't remove the noise completely. I then chiselled holes at all the stud to soleplate joining locations and found that none of them were screwed together. (I would have thought they needed to be?)

I've ran out of time for today but from what I have found, my reckoning is that the noise can be caused by one of 3 things - a) floor flexing causing soleplate to pull on it's fixing screws. b) floor flexing causing soleplate to move and rub on studs that aren't screwed together. c) floor flexing causing soleplate to move and rub against the plasterboards that are hard up against it.

Did the O.P'er ever get to the bottom of their creaking walls and how was their walls constructed? My guess is that as the wind blows a similar movement could be experienced when the roof flexes. Or in a timber framed house the exterior walls could flex creating a sideways movement which would still give the same 3 symptoms I've listed above.

When I next get a chance I am going to try and get a hacksaw blade in between the soleplate and the floor and cut through the screws to see if releasing the tension and movement of the soleplate cures it. Watch this space!

Democracy, where any 2 idiots outvote a genius!
Posts: 2 | Location: North East England, UK | Registered: 24 February 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'd just like to add that I copied and pasted my previous comment from another similar site I posted it on and I should have deleted the bit about the O.P'er recreating the noises by pushing on the walls!

Can anyone see a problem with me cutting through the screws that hold the soleplate to the floor? I know it would weaken the wall with regards to sideways loads but I'm not expecting any sideways loads to be placed on the wall. Of course I will make sure it's just screws I'm cutting through and not pipes or cables!


Democracy, where any 2 idiots outvote a genius!
Posts: 2 | Location: North East England, UK | Registered: 24 February 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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