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Creak! “What was that?” Groan! “Who’s there!?” We’ve all heard these noises that seem to come from somewhere in our homes.

And usually at night after watching a scary movie. No need to worry about these strange sounds, at least, as far as monsters go.

But, it might be your home trying to tell you it’s time for a professional to take a closer look.

Let’s explore what all these strange house settling noises are, and what they might be trying to tell you. 

While building noises are common, some may indicate there’s something more sinister going on underneath. So climb out from under those covers, and have a listen.

Identifying House Settling Noises

All houses experience settling. If you’re a property owner, you’ll want to learn how to recognize this scary noise, and know when it’s time to call a professional for a complete foundation inspection. 

These sounds can be an indication that your home or commercial building is experiencing structural issues that goes beyond normal setting. 

Recognizing the Sounds of a Settling Structure

House settling noises typically manifest as creaking, cracking, or popping noises that occur throughout the day and night. They may become more noticeable during temperature changes or periods of high humidity. 

This strange noise might include:

  • Banging
  • Scraping or scratching 
  • Tapping or knocking
  • Cracking noise
  • Popping noise
  • Groans and creaky “footsteps”                                                                    

Sometimes it sounds like it’s coming from the attic, or the metal ducts or water pipes. But generally, they don’t seem to come from any clear location.

Watch: What are those popping sounds in my home? Wood friction vs soil movement.

Distinguishing Between Normal House Settling Noises and Structural Issues

All homes settle over time due to natural factors such as soil expansion and contraction, and seasonal weather changes; however, excessive noise could indicate underlying problems with your foundation. 

To determine if your house is experiencing normal settling or requires professional intervention, consider whether:

  1. The noises are relatively new, or have persisted over several months
  2. Visible signs, such as cracks in walls or uneven floors
  3. Doors or windows stick and are difficult to open or close

Causes of House Settling Noises

Expansive Clay: The Curse of Houston Area Construction

In the greater Houston area all the way to San Antonio, one common cause of damage to foundations is expansive clay soil. This type of soil expands when it becomes wet and contracts as it dries out. 

As a result, your home’s foundation may shift or crack due to these constant changes. Over time, this movement can lead to structural damage and those alarming creaks and groans you hear at night. This problem extends to pier and beam designs as well. 


Poor Drainage System

A poorly designed or maintained drainage system around your property can also be responsible for house settling noises. Excess water near your foundation may cause erosion or hydrostatic pressure buildup, which can force walls inward and create cracks in the structure. You should consider installing catch basins or french drains if this applies to your situation.

Natural Settlement Process

  • New construction: Newly built homes often experience some degree of settlement as gravity compresses all the various materials used in the construction.
  • Aging properties: Older houses might settle over time due to natural wear-and-tear on materials like wood framing or concrete foundations. 
  • Ground shifting: Your house is supported by the foundation. Your foundation is supported by the ground underneath. The ground is constantly shifting. This movement is imperceptible to you, but as it moves, the foundation moves with it. And as the foundation moves, so does the rest of the house. 

Some settling is normal, and can continue for 30 years or more. But some settling is not. If you’re concerned about house noises or house settling, contact A-Best Foundation Repair for a free inspection.

Solutions for House Settling Noises

Addressing house settling noises is important to maintaining the structural integrity of your property and preventing further damage. Here are some solutions that can help you deal with these issues:

  • Foundation inspection: The first step in addressing house settling noises is to have a professional foundation inspection. This will help identify any underlying issues, such as cracks or shifts in the foundation, and the underlying cause. This report has more info on concrete foundations.
  • Soil stabilization: Soil stabilization techniques like chemical grouting or installing piers can help create a more stable base for your home’s foundation.
  • House leveling: There are a number of different approaches to professional house leveling. Each home and situation requires a complete inspection before a solution can be offered.
  • Maintenance and repairs: Regular maintenance checks on gutters, downspouts, and landscaping drainage systems prevent water-related problems that contribute to foundation issues. 

If House Settling Noises Have You Unsettled

While some minor settling noises may not require immediate attention, more severe issues can lead to significant damage if ignored or delayed.

Professional Foundation Repair Services

The Importance of Hiring Professionals

  • Expertise: Professional foundation repair companies have the necessary knowledge and experience in dealing with various types of soil conditions, including expansive clay commonly found in the Houston area.
  • Safety: Attempting DIY repairs on your property’s foundation can be dangerous without proper training and equipment. Professionals are equipped with the right tools and techniques for safe and effective repairs.
  • Long-term Solutions: A reputable company will provide long-lasting solutions that address the root cause of house settling, rather than temporary fixes that may only mask underlying problems.

If you suspect your property has serious foundation issues, don’t hesitate to contact a trusted local expert.  We’ll assess your situation thoroughly before recommending appropriate measures tailored specifically for your needs.

Let’s Wrap-up These House Settling Noises 

Some possible causes of house settling noises include changes in temperature and humidity, soil movement, and foundation issues. 

By identifying the causes of these sounds and implementing solutions, homeowners can prevent further damage to their property.

If you’re experiencing house settling noises in your Houston property, it’s important to seek professional help from a trusted foundation repair company. 

Contact us today to schedule an inspection and get started on repairing your home’s foundation before any further damage occurs!

FAQs On House Settling Noises

Is it normal to hear your house settling?

Yes, hearing occasional creaks and pops is perfectly normal as a result of temperature changes or natural aging. However, if you notice persistent or loud noises accompanied by other signs like cracks in walls or doors that won’t close properly, it may be time for professional foundation repair.

How do I know if my house is settling too much?

If you’re experiencing frequent loud noises along with visible damage such as large cracks in walls or floors, sticking windows and doors, sloping floors or gaps between walls and ceilings – these are all indications that your home might be settling more than expected. 

How long does it take for a house to stop settling?

The majority of homes will experience the most significant amount of settlement within the first few years after construction; however, minor adjustments can continue throughout its lifetime due to factors like soil moisture conditions and climate change. 

Why Do Houses Make Noise When They Settle?

Houses make noise when they settle because various components such as wood framing, drywall, plumbing pipes, and ductwork expand or contract with fluctuations in temperature and humidity. This movement can cause creaking or popping sounds within the structure. Additionally, soil settlement beneath the foundation can lead to shifts that produce audible cracking or snapping noises.