Houses are never completely silent when your family is home, as different systems are kicking on and off and feet are going up and down the stairs. This is particularly true for creaky older houses that are known for their noises. However, there are some sounds that you should never ignore at your property. Here are the most common noises you should investigate immediately if you hear them in or around your house to prevent an insurance claim on your homeowners insurance policy.
Thumping in the Attic
Animals can gain access to your home in a variety of ways, and they often end up in the attic. If you are hearing strange sounds from the attic like chewing, scratching, thumping, or scurrying, it’s a sign that there may be pest activity. A pest control professional can enter your attic to determine what is present and remove it. You should never allow wildlife or rodents to stay in your home, as they spread disease. This type of activity is not covered by your homeowners insurance.
Dripping Behind the Walls
One of the most worrisome sounds to hear in your house is dripping water behind a wall. If you hear the water running in your home and you are not currently using it, you should start by checking each faucet and toilet to ensure that they are not running persistently. After you’ve ruled out plumbing fixtures around your house, there’s a good chance there could be a leak. Check around the house for signs of water damage and call a plumber.
Thumping in the Washing Machine
Sometimes a thumping emanating from your washing machine means that there is an unbalanced load, but it can also indicate problems with the machine itself. If the thumping persists after you balance the load again, the machine itself may be unbalanced. When a machine is unbalanced for an extended period, the control board can be permanently damaged.
A little creaking is normal, especially if you have an older home. Homeowners insurance is particularly important for old properties, as many different situations can arise when your home has been around for longer than you! Squeaky floors can be an indicator of a termite problem. If you notice that your floors are slanting or that you hear a soft tapping sound behind the walls, termites may be the culprit.
Hydraulic shock, or a water hammer, is a common problem in plumbing systems where the water in your pipes suddenly changes directions or stops entirely. It can occur in any pipe, not just the toilet or shower. If you notice clanging or banging pipes that line up with turning a faucet off, you should call a plumber to have the system examined.
A whistling sound or noticeable draft through your windows can indicate a few different problems, including:
· The weatherstripping for your windows is damaged or worn
· Your windows were not installed properly
· The windows are getting old and may need to be replaced soon
Whistling windows are sometimes just a nuisance, but they always signify that warm air is leaving your home. Investing in energy-efficient new windows can eliminate energy leakage—just remember to update your home insurance to reflect the increased value of the windows!
Humming sounds can be normal depending on what appliance they are originating from. For example, older fridges often hum as they kick on or as the ice maker works. However, a grinding or humming sound from your dishwasher could mean that something is stuck in the blades. Any time that you hear a humming sound coming from an outlet, you must immediately contact an electrician. This may be a sign that a wire is loose, which presents an imminent fire hazard.