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Don't Ignore These 7 Noises on Your Property

by Guylaine Cadorette | Dec 07, 2020
Woman sitting on her laundry room floor and making a phone call while looking up at the ceiling

Some noises in your home are harmless—like creaking floors and squeaking doors. However, there are sounds to be wary of if you've never heard them before. If left unchecked, the sounds we've listed below could lead to a possible disaster.

Because potentially damaging noises on your property are hard to predict, it's important to invest in home insurance. Without coverage, the following sounds could lead to very costly expenses that will have to be paid out-of-pocket.

1. Bubbling Sound in Pipes

The bubbling noises in your pipes may be a result of excessive sediment produced by your water heater. If you hear these sounds, contact a professional right away.

If left unattended, it could result in premature tank failure, damage to your hot water tank, or both. Problems with your water heater could lead to further issues requiring emergency repair, such as leaking or flooding due to the damaged tank.

To prevent sediment build-up, make sure you tend to your water tank and flush it out every few months.

2. Electrical Humming and Buzzing

It isn't common to hear humming and buzzing sounds from electrical fixtures such as wiring, lighting, and appliances like refrigerators or dishwashers. If you hear these unfamiliar sounds, it could be a sign that there are various problems to report. For example, if sounds are coming from the:

  • Dishwasher: This could indicate that an object is stuck in the way of the washer's blades. If so, remove the item and restart the dishwasher. If the noise still occurs, consider calling a professional to come and repair the unit.
  • Dryer: Humming sounds coming from the dryer could mean something caught in the blower wheel. However, this can be difficult to diagnose. It is suggested you call an expert to take a look to help identify the source of the humming.
  • Electrical Outlet/Light Switch: It is difficult to diagnose the exact cause of a buzzing electrical outlet or light switch due to the wires being hidden behind walls. For instance, a wire could be loose, which can cause more significant damage like an electrical fire. It's crucial to call an electrician if you hear buzzing or humming from an outlet or switch to ensure the problem is fixed correctly.
  • Refrigerator: Rattling sounds from the ice maker can be expected, depending on the type of refrigerator. However, you should be worried if you hear sounds such as buzzing or clicking, which are possible indicators of damage, like a broken compressor, in need of repair.

3. Hissing Noises

If your home uses gas and you hear an unfamiliar hissing sound, you should gather everyone in your home, head outdoors, and address the situation immediately as this could be a sign of a gas leak. To address the problem, call your local gas company and inform them that you need immediate service.

Gas leaks are dangerous because gas is flammable—if left unattended, a gas leak could result in a house fire. They're also unpredictable, which is why it is essential to be prepared. Discuss with a homeowner's insurance agent to see which insurance plan can help protect your home from unexpected dangers, like a fire caused by a gas leak.

4. Knocking and Banging in the Pipes

Clanking in pipes can be especially bothersome because they may echo throughout the home. If you hear sounds coming from your pipes, this could be a sign that your radiator isn't draining properly or the direction of water flow has changed suddenly (otherwise known as "hydraulic shock").

If not repaired, the radiator could stop working entirely. To help ensure the radiator is draining properly, homeowners can put shims under it to help promote a steady drainage system. However, if they hear signs of hydraulic shock, this may require the assistance of a plumber.

If you don't have a radiator but are still hearing banging in the pipes, you may need the help of an HVAC professional—for these could be signs of a failing boiler circulation pump.

5. Running Water

Sounds of running water are common when individuals in the household are using plumbing. However, you might start to worry when you hear running water, even when someone isn't using it. If so, then there may be a busted pipe, leaking faucet, or overflowing toilet somewhere in your home. Call a plumber immediately if you are unable to fix the source of the running water yourself.

Without proper care, this could escalate into bigger problems like flooding and water damage. Unfortunately, flood insurance is generally intended for major flood events (coverage often doesn't kick in unless the flood covers at least two acres), so this is definitely something you will want to catch and address early to avoid out-of-pocket expenses down the road.

6. Scratching in the Walls

Scratching, scattering, and squeaks coming from within your home could be signs that critters like insects, raccoons, squirrels, mice, rats, and even birds, have made their way into your walls. While you may have always wanted a pet squirrel, having them in the walls isn't ideal. These unwelcome animals can cause damage by chewing through plaster and wires and leave feces everywhere, which can be harmful to respiratory health.

You can handle the pest situation on your own by setting out traps, but if you feel the problem is beyond your area of expertise, call your local exterminator.

7. Strange Furnace Noises

Noises coming from a furnace can sound just like a scene from a horror film. While some of these sounds are normal, certain ones require attention. If you hear any strange whistling, popping, banging, or clanking, it could be signs that your furnace has various ailments like an unoiled motor, clogged gas line, or dirty filter. To help indicate whether these sounds are normal or require repair, call an HVAC professional to check on your furnace as soon as possible.

Don't ignore suspicious sounds you've never heard before. If left unchecked, they could lead to bigger (and more expensive) problems down the road.

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