Posted on: 14.12.2023 Posted by: Редакция Comments: 0

Hearing popping and creaking noises at night can be a scary and unsettling experience, especially if you live alone. But even if you don’t, you might be wondering if there’s a serious problem within the walls or on the roof. Fortunately, there’s usually a reasonable explanation for walls popping.

Walls pop and creak at night due to temperature changes when the house cools down. This is especially true in the summer when the house has been exposed to the sun all day. Loose drywall connections, electrical issues, structural settlements, or regular roof noises can also contribute to popping in your house.

This article will explain why your walls pop at night and what you can do about it. Let’s get started!

5 Reasons Why Your Walls Pop at Night

Most homeowners find it strange that their walls remain silent during the day but seem to come alive at night. However, popping noises are usually present throughout the day as well – you just usually don’t hear them because the noise levels in homes are typically higher.

The popping from your walls can range from quiet and occasional to loud and constant noises that keep you awake.

But it doesn’t always come from the walls. Sometimes, it’s a appliance or pipe nearby or within the wall, such as:

  • HVAC pipes. HVAC pipes are located within the walls of a house. If your HVAC system is not properly drained or constantly set to a cool temperature, ice can form and cause a popping noise when it melts.
  • Water pipes. The water pipes within your walls can gradually accumulate mineral deposits, forming a rough interior coating. This can cause air bubbles to form and burst, resulting in a popping sound.
  • Household appliances. When you run appliances during the day, they heat up, and the metal expands. At night, when the appliances cool down after use, their parts can contract and make popping noises. Since large appliances are usually mounted on the wall, you might believe that your walls are making the popping noises.
  • Wooden furniture. If you have heavy wooden furniture, it can make loud popping noises as it contracts during the night.
  • Roof beams. When your roof beams heat up during the day, condensation can form, amplifying the expansion process. When the wood cools down at night, the popping noises can travel downward.

These are just a few common things to look out for if you’re hearing popping noises at home. But if you’re certain it’s coming from the walls, it’s likely due to one of the following reasons:

1. Thermal Contraction and Expansion

Unless you live in a tropical area, there will be a noticeable drop in temperature at night.

During the day, when the temperature is at its highest, the heat causes the materials within your walls to expand slightly, resulting in popping noises. The same popping noises occur at night as the air around the walls cools down and the materials contract.

This process is known as thermal contraction and expansion and is more noticeable if you live in a desert climate where the days are hot and the nights are cold.

Wood is notoriously loud, but drywall and metal can also make noises.

2. Loose Drywall Connections

Older homes are much more likely to have loose drywall connections, which often shift slightly and snap back into place at night.

In older drywall walls, screws and connections can loosen over time, causing them to move and create holes. Screws can also become loose as the studs contract and expand or if they were installed too deeply.

If you suspect you have loose drywall connections, it’s worth checking them to tighten or replace any loose screws or connections.

3. Electrical Problems, Like Poor Wiring

Walls that pop at night can indicate a potentially serious problem with your house’s electrical system.

Outlets or breaker boxes that make popping noises could indicate arcing, an unsafe electrical wiring condition. When this happens, the electrical current creates a spark as it jumps from one connection to another.

Arcing frequently occurs when the circuit is overloaded, poorly wired, or overheated. The resulting flash can ignite surrounding particles in the air (e.g., dust) and occasionally cause a fire.

That’s why it’s important to have your house’s electrical wiring system checked by an electrician if you suspect the popping noises are coming from the electrical.

4. Structural Settlement on a New Foundation

Before a house is built, the area needs to be prepared, which typically involves constructing a foundation on which the house can be built.

Layers of gravel, concrete, reinforced steel, and drainage pipes are poured and compacted until it’s firm and stable.

After a house has been built, the underlying soil can shift slightly over time, causing its foundations to adjust to the changes. When this happens, popping noises occur, and the sound can penetrate into the walls.

This is known as structural settlement and is a common occurrence.

However, severe structural settlements can occur if the underlying soil is unstable or the house has an inadequate foundation, requiring professional repairs.

5. Standard Roof Noises like Birds or Squirrels

Your roof can cause popping noises at night, and you might mistakenly believe that the noises are coming from your walls. However, attics are usually empty spaces, so any noise resonates and appears louder than it actually is.

Innocent roof noises can include:

  • The materials contracting as the temperature drops.
  • The wind causing roof shingles to shift.

If the drywall on your ceiling has cracks, the popping noise will be louder. There’s a possibility that the crack worsens with extreme temperature fluctuations, causing the noises to travel down the walls.

Additionally, pests (such as mice, bats, or squirrels) in the attic can gnaw on the roofing material and drop dirt particles as they run across the beams. These noises can be surprisingly loud, and you might mistakenly believe that they’re coming from the walls.

Final Thoughts

If your walls pop at night, it’s usually nothing serious.

Temperature fluctuations, structural settlements, and some roof noises are to be expected, and you should try not to let them bother you.

However, wall popping can sometimes indicate a serious problem that requires action.

For example, if you believe the cracking is due to loose drywall connections, issues with electrical wiring, or a pest infestation, you should promptly consult a professional.


  • YouTube: Loud ticking, popping, knocking, & creaking sound in wall
  • Thermal Expansion and Contraction
  • National Geographic: Condensation
  • DIY Stack Exchange: What is the concept behind drywall studs?
  • Galvin Power: How does a fuse box work?
  • Clover Electric: What Is Arcing and What Are the Warning Signs?

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