Hot Topics: Loud Roof

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Original post: Banging noises on the roof

Enougher Member

I've been trying to figure out what is causing banging noises on the roof of my cottage. I looked on the web and most people said it is because of extreme cold, however, it is 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and it's summer, so that can't be the cause. I always look outside immediately when I hear the noise, and see NOTHING that could be causing the sounds. Not tree limbs hanging, or things landing on the roof because there is nothing on top of the roof when I checked it. I never see any critters or animals either.

I also notice that I never hear these banging sounds at night. It isn't raccoons or other animals because they actually come out at night, and these noises never happen at night. I can't figure out what it is. Anyone know what might be the cause?

XSleeper Group Moderator

Banging noises leaves a lot to the imagination. Maybe you could be a little more specific. Is it one bang? Like a pop? Is it like a gun going off? Metallic sounding? Throw us a bone.

Enougher Member

The best way I can describe it is as if a 5 lb medicine ball is falling on the roof from 2 feet above.

Marksr Forum Topic Moderator

Could it be a roof vent expanding/contracting?

Enougher Member

I am absolutely clueless about roof vent and contraction. But the top of my home looks like this.

I attached a file below:

A forum poster's roof.

Hal_S Member

I'll venture a guess that you have a rafter pulling loose.

From the photo, it looks like that roof has a bit of a curve or "sway back" which suggests two possibilities.

1) You've got a "hanging rafter". Rafters come in pairs; occasionally the weight of a roof causes the rafters to bend and stretches them until the junction at the top pulls apart.

You might be hearing a "bang" as that top junction is pulling apart, or as the rafter bends under the weight of the roof.

2) After the top junction pulls apart, the rafters are left "hanging" from the roof, rather than supporting the roof. When the roof expands in the summer heat it wants to curve more, while the rafter wants to stay straight, this puts the roof and rafter in tension and the strain may cause the nails to pop with a loud "bang" as the roof effectively "unzippers" from the rafter. Check this by looking for a rafter that is "hanging" and separated from the roof at the top or bottom.

3) You've got a hanging joist. Rafters and joists are usually nailed together in a triangle. A "hanging rafter" is when the top angle of the triangle comes apart and moves, a "hanging joist" is when one of the two bottom angles of the triangle comes apart and moves. Check for a gap between rafter and joists, and check the outside walls of the upper floor for drywall or paint pulling apart or strain waves in the paint.

Enougher Member

I am not an expert like you are, but from what you have explained to me, it seems as it is most likely the case. I took a look at another part of my home from the inside, and there is actually a crack in the ceiling. It looks as if the ceiling is somewhat caving in, but it seems as it has been there for some time — I just didn't notice it. I emailed my landlord and he has yet to respond.

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