Do you think your loft is home to ghosts? Do you think ghosts are real? We will try answering both in this blog.
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Find Out if Your Loft is Home to Ghosts
Science has proven many things so far and has broken many myths. What we believe might be our choice, but our beliefs cannot change facts. Hearing spooky sounds coming from your loft during the night, especially after you have watched a horror movie, may convince you that there are ghosts in your loft, but we are sorry to disappoint you that you are not going to interact with any ghosts during your life, at least not on Earth.
Rodents and Birds
The ghosts which are making these noises can be furry or have feathers. They can be white, and they can be colourful. They might even have babies, and a whole family is enjoying the luxury of your loft. Science knows these ghosts as rodents. Rats can find their way into anything, especially wood and other materials they can easily gnaw at. They can get enormous too, and give birth to loads of babies. When they run on your loft, they can make a lot of noise because your loft is made of wood. Squirrels, too, can decide to make their home in your loft, and because they run very fast, the resonance they create can make it really noisy. Birds, too, will make their nest wherever they get the chance. They will find out dark places and not within everyone’s reach.
Why Do I Hear These Sounds at Night and Not in the Daytime?
You might still want to ask, why do you hear all these noises during the day? Why just the night? That’s because these birds and rodents like scaring you. I’ll try to be serious. That’s because of two reasons. First, during the night, everything around you is quiet. There is no sound from the TV, no children screaming. This is why the sounds coming from your loft become more prominent. Second, the rats and the birds can also hear. During the day, they will know you are around; they don’t hear any movement at night, making them want to play around. To ensure you don’t have these free tenants in your loft, you need to check it thoroughly. Also, look for any holes or damages in your loft, which would make it easier for animals to get in and out of your loft.
Lack of Ventilation and Insulation
Another common cause of unwanted and unnerving noises is that your home is made of different components such as roof rafters, sheathing, trusses, walls, joints, etc. Many components are constructed from different materials. All these materials move as you do, and the movement is usually too small to notice but can create sound. Materials such as wood and metal respond to temperatures. High temperatures expand solids, while low temperatures contract them. You must have read that in fifth grade. Adequate insulation will ensure that this expansion/contraction is minimized. These materials will stay warm during the night with proper insulation and retain their shape. Apart from insulation, adequate ventilation of your loft will also help reduce the build-up of heat during the daytime and prevent the expansion/contraction of construction materials.
Weak or Damaged Joinery
Many components in your home’s structure are joined together through “joinery”. It is a term commonly used in carpentry, although, in a house, you will have different materials, including metal, joined with other materials, such as wood. All these joints or screws may lose their ability to hold over time, often resulting in a shrieking noise, just like you hear in horror movies. Get your joinery inspected by a contractor/carpenter who can use simple fillings to reduce these noises.
Hot Water Pipes
Sometimes the noises you believe to be coming from your loft are actually coming from your gas and hot water pipes. Steam in hot water pipes can result in a “knocking” sound which you would usually hear during the night as the hot water is not being used, and steam can get trapped inside the pipes. Corroded and leaky pipes can also cause a variety of sounds. An inefficient boiler may be the cause of excess steam production. You can call a gas engineer to check your boiler and piping.
Old or Damaged Infrastructure
Identifying where the noise is actually coming from in a house and that too in the middle of the night, can be extremely difficult. Many times it’s not your loft but other parts of your infrastructure. Weak or compromised foundations can cause a much louder thud. Walls which have developed cracks can also make a noise. If you hear these noises too frequently, it may be time for you to get your house inspected by an architect. A professional and skilled engineer will conduct a detailed home survey and identify your problems.
The Effect of Horror Movies
It’s funny how our brains work. You feed it the same information repetitively, which becomes the truth for you. Subliminal messages and graphics can play around with your brain and make you believe in the existence of things which do not exist. Almost everyone has looked back or around at least once in their life when walking up the stairs after watching a scary movie. We tend to fear the night and any slight sound we hear. At times it can get worse than this. You might listen to sounds which are not there at all.
Faulty Installation or Low-quality Materials
Another common reason for a noisy loft is improper installation/conversion. If you have recently converted your loft and you hear too many noises, chances are that the construction company who built it needed to be more skilled or use low-quality materials. There is little you can do about this now, so it is extremely important to hire the right people when building a new loft or carrying out loft conversions. An experienced construction team led by a structural/civil engineer and comprised of architects is the ideal choice for such jobs.
How to Reduce or Prevent Loft Noises?
Now that we have identified the most common causes of strange noises coming from the loft, it is time to give you the best suggestions to help you minimize and reduce these noises.
People often ignore soundproofing when building or converting a loft, even though your Loft is the noisiest section in your home. Although you can try a thing or two yourself for sound insulation, we highly recommend getting professional help. The soundproofing of your loft floor should be carried out with high-density materials that add mass. Professionals will often combine different materials to absorb different frequencies. These include vinyl, rubber, composite materials, cork, carpet, etc. Soundproofing the loft floor will minimize Impact noise such as footsteps, dragging furniture, music, voices, etc. Soundproofing timber joints in your home will also block sounds with different frequencies. Squeaky floors can be fixed using wood screws to tighten the floorboards, and fitting underlay can dampen many floor noises. Soundproof glass in your windows is another good strategy for reducing noise pollution.
Renovating Your Home
Old homes may give you a cosier feeling than new ones, but there comes a time when a complete renovation is unavoidable. Renovating a home involves many activities, including repairs, replacements, repainting, and reinforcing. Foundations are supposed to be the strongest structure in your home as they support the entire weight of the structure above. At times, however, because of ageing, climatic changes, or natural hazards (earthquakes), the foundation soil may lose its strength, and the integrity of your foundation will be compromised. They will need reinforcing and repairs. Reinforcing foundations will also prevent noises. Other renovating activities such as wall repairs, replacement of underlayment, and flooring will reduce the noises coming from your home. Replacement of corroded and old gas & water pipes will also eliminate noise, and you will be able to sleep peacefully.
So now you know that there are several other reasons apart from ghosts that could cause a variety of noises in your home, especially your loft.