Snap-Crackle-Pop

The ranch is a bit noisy at night – and during the day. Taking a nap in the afternoon one can be awoken by various cracks and groans – but the groan is usually a HVAC precursor. Then vroom-woosh as the cold air floats down. I’m thinking the previous owner, during his upgrades and contractor-work might have kept things wrapped a bit too tight. The charming wood floors, beautiful distressed hickory planks that go from one end of the house to the other, might be lacking a bit of float, and as evening arrives and the temperatures cool they release tension accompanied by various snaps and pops. Sometimes the noise sounds like it’s right next to you, sometimes its up in the ceiling. Maybe a bit of work on the attic furnace was a cross-brace that was pounded-in and lagged-down real tight that finally relaxes in the cool with a cracking sound.
Anyhow I have a list of to-do’s based on the Inspection Report and one involves going up into the attic-crawlspace and doing a bit of flooring so that the furnace has a 20-inch work/inspection-space to stand upon. But for now it’s not happening because when it’s 100-degrees outside the attic is close to 160-degreees – but only feels like 1,000.
Sometimes I awake with a start because it’s loud and nearby – but nobody is there. Anyhow, it also reminds me of the Japanese castle that we visited on our way going-overseas as a kid. Nijo Castle in Kyoto was erected in 1603 by Tokugawa Ieyasu, and it has “Nightingale floors.” The wood planks are purposely built to chirp when walked-upon. It did back then and they still do it today. A whole long hallway full of silent Ninjas would have sounded like a loud flock of birds. There was/is absolutely no way to pass along it silently, and intruders would meet their fate. For medieval gothic castles that’s pretty cool.
So I feel confident that there’s nobody else here, and I get up in the night and hear only my own footsteps as re creaking and chirping I walk out to the open-space living room-kitchen in the dark. If someone else were here you could hear them breathing anyhow, since the shiny wood floorboards reflect sound well. The big downside is you can also see each and every dust-bunny quite clearly too, so the Miele vac get’s a workout. I don’t even bother to put it in the closet.

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About NotClauswitz

The semi-sprawling adventures of a culturally hegemonic former flat-lander and anti-idiotarian individualist, fleeing the toxic cultural smug emitted by self-satisfied lotus-eating low-land Tesla-driving floppy-hat wearing lizadroid-Leftbat Califorganic eco-tofuistas ~

14 thoughts on “Snap-Crackle-Pop

  1. Do you have any army style ammo cans laying about? They can make a heck of a bang when they “oilcan” due to a temperature change. The .50 cal ones seem to make the most racket.

    I walk around on tile roofs quite a bit, for various reasons. It helps to only weigh about 120 lbs, with big feet to spread the load, along with soft/flexible soles. Looking at where you are stepping helps a lot.

    • Exactly! A couple of the pops are from the automatic light-timers, and then there’s the automatic sprinkler/watering system (outside). Meanwhile the P220 Nitron with a light does nightstand duty for the bigger “bumps.”

  2. I sell commercial and residential roofing, and ventilation is a big part of the package.

    So, to help you, here’s a good ventilation calculator tool.

    http://www.lomanco.com/vent-resources/vent-calculator

    Read everything you can on ventilation. Do not mix rooftop vent systems, as they’ll interfere with how the air is supposed to flow. Ridge Vent and Turbines do NOT mix, for example.

    And yes, if you’ve got the right ridge layout, go with ridge vent. One linear foot of the stuff does the same work as a turbine. Uses the Bernoulli’s Law, in that the low-pressure, downwind side of the vent is a powerful suction to pull air up through your soffit vents.

    If you need to, contact Lomanco at the “Contact” page on the website. VERY helpful people there…. send them a few pics and stats, and they’ll give you good advice on how best to ventilate that attic.

    Do some careful research also, on spray-on, radiant barrier coatings. While I don’t think any of ’em live up to the full hype, they DO work well enough to consider. Everything adds up, and if you can drop your peak attic temps by 25 or 30 degrees, you’ll enjoy the result, and so will your checkbook, come utility bill time.

    Good luck, amigo!

    Jim
    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

    • Thanks Jim! 🙂 That’s a big download! No turbines on this roof. I said “eyebrow” but meant half-round Dormer vents. I was suspecting the heat was basically because of the siting and exposure, and 102-degree days. The house faces directly into the rising sun along the entire length, but after 5:00PM is shaded by the surrounding trees and hillside behind it. There’s insulation everywhere, but the attic is very “busy” with ducting and stuff. I need to work on a catwalk this winter when we get some cold days. Meanwhile the electric bill isn’t as bad as the Bay Area.

    • Send me a bunch of pics of the house, from every angle you can get, along with a Google Earth image, and I’ll try to give my considered opinion from halfway across the continent. Addy is embedded with the comment, of course.

      Quick question here….. what kind of roofing material do you have up there? And did the house come with any documentation as to the most recent re-roofing job? Might be able to use that info to help get you some matching materials for any project you might undertake to perform.

      Jim
      Sunk New Dawn
      Galveston, TX

    • Can’t do that, then you’d know where all the guns are!! Oops – there’s no guns here!
      The roof is composition shingle and might need to be re-done sooner rather than later. That’s an $8k bill here with the right-honest people doing the job. There were patches from before and wear spots from the harsh climate.

    • If you re-roof with composition shingle, I’ll strongly suggest you go to Certain-Teed’s website, and look for a Select Shingle Master company in your area.

      If you’ll remember about six years ago, when (non CA) gas first hit $4 per gallon? All the national manufacturers EXCEPT for Certain Teed took a substantial amount of asphalt out of their shingles, and quit publishing the weight-per-square in their marketing and technical data.

      Except, Certain Teed never did that. Their 30 yr. shingle still weighs the same 240 lbs. per square that it always has. Contrast that to the nation’s top seller, GAF Timberline. Runs about 205 lbs. per square now.

      The thicker your shingle is with asphalt, fiberglass and aggregate, the longer it lasts. A 50 yr lifetime shingle like Certain Teed’s Grand Manor? 550 lbs per square.

      When you re-roof is the perfect time to add ridge vent. It’s a natural part of the process.

      Oh, and that Select Shingle Master rating? It’s a real thing. Schools, tests, customer surveys. And a roofer can LOSE that rating if they fail any of those. Contrast that to a GAF Master Elite Contractor, which is about a $4,500 marketing package.

      If you do proceed with a re roof, we can communicate more on the particulars. I’ll bring you up to speed on how to spec it out to the best values on the market.

      Yeah, there are roofs with 50 yr true warranties, a 175 mph wind rating, and Class 4 hail, which would be grapefruit sized. You don’t wanna know what those cost, though.

      30 yr. composition is just fine, all in all.

      Good luck!

      Jim
      Sunk New Dawn
      Galveston, TX

    • My Dad’s 50-year roof that I helped install thirty-years ago was Hardi-Shake… And despite all the Hardi-Shake problems(lawsuits) it’s held-up, because his ONE LAW OF ROOFS is: NOBODY WALKS ON MY ROOF, EVER!
      They can’t anyhow because it’s a 50-degee pitch and they’d slide right the f*-off. But please, STAY OFF the damn roof! NEVER go ON the roof – you screw it up. Especially tile: I missspent a College semester or two (along with several-many others) going up and around and crossing between one building and the other, and stupid-inadvertently destroying the tile roof of a dormitory at UCSC. HEY WHERE’D THAT LEAK COMER FROM?
      And another reason I’m never going “solar.”

  3. Making sure none of the roof vents are covered over with insulation has been a concern here. I am considering installing solar vent fans to help relieve the heat build up. Wish I had wood floors, as my neighbor who is installing wood floors through out his house said, “you can see when a wood floor gets dirty, not so much with carpet.
    Don’t we all creak a little as we get older…

  4. You might need more ventilation in the attic as well…. depending on the age of the house. And then wood is going to pop when the temp changes. As long as it isn’t driving the nails out… I added a dozen soffit vents and a bunch of insulation. Though I am dealing with a different climate… (HOT summers and pretty cold winters. Not Chicago or Minnesota cold, but…)

    Wood floors are the only way to go. I keep saying I am going to buy one of the those robot vacuums – as soon as the price comes down a bit. Or they come up with a dusting robot.

    • Hi Deb! House was built in ’87and there’s soffit vents and now three eyebrow dormer vents along the main roof-ridge, and another two over the garage which I think the most recent guy installed.
      Up in the attic it’s just a spaghetti-maze of ducting, plenty of insulation – but need a catwalk so you don’t plunge through the ceiling going from one end to the other.
      We have a Roomba iRobot carpet robot called “Jimmy-Kirby” (partly after the Combat! character), and it works well in Carpetville but is not tasked with animal-fur, just ours.
      I’d go for a wood-floor mopper-duster here if one ever showed-up on the market! The main problem with them is electrical cords and keeping them up out of the way, or else your lamps come crashing down.

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