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Old 04-05-2010, 02:25 PM
 
Location: OUTTA SIGHT!
3,025 posts, read 1,276,974 times
Reputation: 1899

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At first I thought we had rats!

But then the wife and I noticed that, when we put our heads to the wall and listened,
the sound was more metallic like wires hallowly tapping and rattling agains each other (?).

It's bizarre....

Here's the really weird thing...it only happens when the wind blows.


But it sounds just like a large rat traipsing inside the wall.
Again, only the outer walls that separate us from the outside...and really only the front door area and back door area.

What in the world could be making this, somewhat loud, rattling/tapping/scraping noise?

Thanks very much in advance!
Correct answer gets as many free reps as I can give for a month!
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:30 PM
 
889 posts, read 1,930,555 times
Reputation: 653
Something in the air ducts or outlet vents for the fireplace/bathroom vent etc is loose. Just find any orifice on the outside of the building and look inside for a loose screen.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
6,772 posts, read 21,441,188 times
Reputation: 5287
What is the exterior cladding? Siding, brick, stucco, etc.
Single story, or 2sty?
Roof composition? Asphalt, shake, or metal.
Utilities; underground or overhead?
L/S; trees in close proximity and/or perimeter shrubbery/hedge?
What type of windows? single pane, thermo-pane? Balances- spring or torsion?

In otherwords, we could play this game all week- but, you gotta narrow down the scope of work. Which means we gotta know how the house was built.
Just because you hear it when ear to wall- doesn't mean it's there. It could be anywhere- sound travels well through the structural parts of a house.
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Old 04-05-2010, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
1,209 posts, read 2,777,115 times
Reputation: 1938
Quote:
Originally Posted by brubaker View Post
At first I thought we had rats!

But then the wife and I noticed that, when we put our heads to the wall and listened,
the sound was more metallic like wires hallowly tapping and rattling agains each other (?).

It's bizarre....

Here's the really weird thing...it only happens when the wind blows.


But it sounds just like a large rat traipsing inside the wall.
Again, only the outer walls that separate us from the outside...and really only the front door area and back door area.

What in the world could be making this, somewhat loud, rattling/tapping/scraping noise?

Thanks very much in advance!
Correct answer gets as many free reps as I can give for a month!
Sounds like Nancy Pelosi sneaking around trying to figure out how our government can pick your pockets?

How many rep points do I get for that?

But seriously, you said it only comes from the front and back door area, and sounds like rattling/tapping/scraping but only when the wind blows. Yes we won't be able to tell much without more info but let's give it a try anyhow.
  1. Do you have screen doors? If so do they fit tight when closed? Also check for any loose items that might be moving or blowing around.
  2. If you don't have screen doors, check your entry door to make sure it is fitting tight and does not have any give to it. Is it possible that it is slightly loose and what you hear is the wind buffeting the door which is causing the bolt on the lock or handle to rattle and/or scrape its receiver?
  3. Do you have hanging light fixtures at these door areas on the exterior? If so is it possible they are scraping on something as they move with the wind?
  4. As others have said sound can be created elsewhere and radiate to other locations. Check these items:
    • If you have windows with screens then check all screens to make sure they fit tightly and do not move at all. If the screens fit in tracks, and are loose, then they can vibrate and scrape against the tracks. This sound can travel through the walls materials easily.
    • Another potential are overhead garage doors that will move in the wind. Due to their lower weight, single panel doors will do this more than double or triple panel insulated doors. This can resonate in the door tracks and spread through building materials.
    • Down here they like to vent the dryer out of the roof, and your bathroom vents should also vent out the roof. These will have a damper (flap) on them that can, and usually does, flap in higher winds. If the vent pipes are supported by the framing members near a door it can potentially resonate.
  5. Check around your doors at the outside, bottom, around the stoops and thresholds, for openings. I find this frequently during inspections and they make great entry areas for voles, mice, etc. If something is nesting in there then you might find shards of cloth, other materials used for nesting, excrement, etc., in or near the opening. This will generally require using a mirror to look up under the door trim areas. I know you say you only hear it when it is windy but are you listening at other times as well?
  6. If you have brick veneer on the outside then you should have weepholes every 33" apart maximum. Small mice, voles, etc., can get in these and use the gap between the brick and sheathing (should be a 1" gap) to travel around in.
  7. If your outer walls are properly insulated, including around the door area, then sound should be deadened from traveling in the wall cavity. As a last resort you can hire a Thermographer (using Infrared Thermal Imaging) to make sure there is no missing insulation around these areas. If there is then it could be heavy air infiltration moving loose cables that either detached or were never properly secured.
If you live in a quiet area like I do (in the country) you will hear every sound imaginable, and many you don't hear in nosier areas. You get used to it though.

There are quite a few other, more in depth, possibilities but this hopefully will find the issue. Let us know how it goes as my curiosity is certainly piqued!

Last edited by escanlan; 04-05-2010 at 10:08 PM..
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:19 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
11,659 posts, read 26,758,670 times
Reputation: 14313
At first I thought we had rats!

But then the wife and I noticed that, when we put our heads to the wall and listened,
the sound was more metallic like wires hallowly tapping and rattling agains each other (?).



Obviously... you have hallowed halls.

My first guess is an old poorly installed doorbell system.
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:27 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 14,277,755 times
Reputation: 3657
Quote:
Originally Posted by brubaker View Post
At first I thought we had rats!

But then the wife and I noticed that, when we put our heads to the wall and listened,
the sound was more metallic like wires hallowly tapping and rattling agains each other (?).

It's bizarre....

Here's the really weird thing...it only happens when the wind blows.


But it sounds just like a large rat traipsing inside the wall.
Again, only the outer walls that separate us from the outside...and really only the front door area and back door area.

What in the world could be making this, somewhat loud, rattling/tapping/scraping noise?

Thanks very much in advance!
Correct answer gets as many free reps as I can give for a month!
How does your electrical service come into your house?

If it's via overhead wires it is remotely possible that something is "just loose enough" to make this noise when the wind blows.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,847 posts, read 9,879,208 times
Reputation: 6552
Maybe its Angus! When my son was 3 he was frightened by a rattling sound in his room on windy days. After some research we discovered that the downspout rattled at the connection joint to the gutter in severe wind storms and my lazy (ex) husband wasn't about to climb a ladder to the 3rd story to secure it -- in all fairness, I didn't do it either. So we decided little Jay would have to live with a friendly ghost named Angus. Over the years as Jay grew up and we resided in other places, Angus reappeared at times in other forms. Now, at 35 years old, Jay tells me Angus permanently resides at his house!

It may be your downspouts or gutters.......
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:48 PM
 
1,474 posts, read 2,720,801 times
Reputation: 519
yup i bet its the downspouts, possibly rattlled by the sidings catching some wind. i had that issue in 2 locations so I put screws into the sidings
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,427 posts, read 29,611,491 times
Reputation: 9633
Only happens when the wind blows. Is it the kitchen wall? First guess without hearing it is the exhaust vent flap where it goes though the exterior wall. 99% of the time this is the culprit of this noise.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
6,772 posts, read 21,441,188 times
Reputation: 5287
I think brubaker got lost. Or maybe it's a long awaited vacation.
I can't hang-on forever!
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