What’s Causing Those Footsteps in the Attic, Spooky Sounds and Smells?

spooky house

Spooky house issues? Let’s take a CLOSER look….

By: John Riha

Are you haunted by strange noises and weird odors? With the proper maintenance, you’ve got more than a ghost of a chance to rest easy.

Creaking and Popping in the Night

The many materials that make up your house — wood framing, plywood, glass, metal ducts, nails, plumbing pipes — all expand and contract at different rates.

When a house cools at night, these materials may move slightly, rubbing against each other and making noises. Occasionally, they’ll contract with an audible pop.

These sounds tend to be more noticeable in fall, when warm days give way to rapidly cooling nights. The bad news? Not much you can do about it. The good news? Those sounds are harmless and normal.

Zombie Odor

It’s either time to throw out the garbage, or you’d better call your gas utility to check on your gas lines and connections.

Natural gas is odorless, but natural gas suppliers add a foul-smelling odorant — butyl mercaptan — to alert occupants to any leaks. The smell is like rotten eggs.

Leaks can occur at your gas-fired water heater, fireplace, clothes dryer, and any gas line. Leaking natural gas is potentially dangerous — leave the house and call your natural gas provider to assess the situation. Most utility companies perform safety checks for free.

Footsteps in the Attic

Amplified by an unfinished attic space, a raccoon or even a good-size squirrel on your roof might sound like an ax murderer is doing the polka overhead.

These rooftop transits are normal for critters — roofs offer a nice long unobstructed highway.

Make sure your soffit, rafter, and gable roof vents are covered with screens and in good shape, or your rooftop buddies might find their way into your attic for real. Trim back branches that provide critters easy access to your roof.

Something’s Burning

You can smell the odor of burnt wood, but the smoke detectors aren’t going off and there’s no smoke in the house. The culprit could be your fireplace — even if you haven’t had a fire for days.

The probable cause is a drafty chimney and negative air pressure in your home, meaning that outside air is infiltrating down your chimney, bringing stale burnt smells with it.

Stop drafts by making sure your damper has a good seal. Regulate air pressure by adding more cold air return ducts to your HVAC system. You’ll get rid of the odor and save on your energy bill, too.

Moaning and Clattering

These classic spooky sounds often show up when the wind blows and there’s a storm brewing.

Vents for clothes dryers, bathrooms, and water heaters exit out the roof or the side of the house. To prevent backdrafts, these vents have dampers — flaps designed to let vented air out and prevent outside air from coming in. These flaps sometimes move and rattle in high winds.

Because dampers often are located in attics or in between floor joists, the sound can be difficult to pinpoint. You may need a new damper ($85).

Visit HouseLogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.


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Fall Fun in Ohio

Ohio sure offers lots of beauty and fun for all ages. Here are some links to pages that may offer awesome photos, activities, recipes, events and more for your family to enjoy. Note: at the time of researching them, they were for general audiences, so if their content has changed or the links no longer direct to the right places, apologies in advance. Have any links to share? Feel free to let us know and we’ll add them here, too.  Thanks!

Discover (Fall) Ohio www.discoverohio.com/season/fall

Ohio hiking

Take a hike!

Discover Things to Do in Ohio here, a Calendar of Events, Seasonal Guide, Lodging info and Free Publications that you can get, including a free Ohio Travel Guide and free Ohio Calendar of Events. Take a hike. Enjoy a nice ride and lots of fun activities, rest and relaxation, fine foods and a whole lot more. Just click the link above.

Ohio Traveler www.ohiotraveler.com

Ohio mazes are amazing!

Ohio mazes are amazing!

Find a maze near your and treat your family to some seasonal fun! Check out other seasonal activities and events and explore your options 😉

Ohio.gov www.ohio.gov/tourism

Ohio State Parks

Ohio State Parks &  more….!

How about a fishing trip combined with a camping weekend at an Ohio State Park? Discover information about the parks at this site.  Plus education yourself about Ohio in general. If you are considering relocation to Ohio, this site boasts a tons of useful info: learn about educational opportunities here, jobs and more.

 Fall Recipes

fall recipes

Fall recipes

– Lighten up some fall favorites at US News & World Report  health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2015/10/16/4-easy-ways-to-lighten-up-classic-fall-recipes

Cooking Light – Fall Recipes www.cookinglight.com/food/in-season/fall-recipes

–  Taste of Home – Seasonal Fall recipes www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/seasonal-recipes/autumn-recipes

MidwestLiving – Fabulous Fall recipes www.midwestliving.com/food/holiday/25-fabulous-fall-recipes

 Fall Downloadable Worksheets  

fall worksheets

Fun Fall Worksheets!

Education.com – Download some coloring sheets, tracing pages and more at www.education.com/worksheets/autumn-fun

Crayola – Find lots of seasonal fun here: scarecrows, leaves, pumpkins and more to color, paint, trace, etc.  www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages/seasons/fall-coloring-pages