Is your house haunted? Probably not.

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Mainers are well-acquainted with the challenges posed by winter. The season in Maine brings shorter days, substantial snowfall, and bone-chilling temperatures.

Photo by Matthieu Joannon on Unsplash
Photo by Matthieu Joannon on Unsplash

These winter conditions impact our living spaces, requiring adjustments such as increased electricity usage for lighting, snow removal to navigate walkways and driveways, and heating our homes. Mainers spend a significant part of the year preparing for the winter season.

Have you ever noticed your house making creaking or popping sounds in the winter?

Photo by Murali on Unsplash
Photo by Murali on Unsplash
loading... explains that during the cold winter months, it's normal for homes to produce these sounds due to basic physics. The distinctiveness of these sounds in winter can be attributed to the cold dense air and reduced ambient noise during the night, allowing sounds to travel farther and appear louder.

Furthermore, the expansion and contraction of materials in response to temperature changes contribute to these noises. When exposed building materials rapidly shrink in low temperatures, they may rub against each other, causing creaking sounds. Wood, being porous, releases moisture into the dry winter air, emphasizing its contracting and shrinking. Nails securing the wood can contract and slip off, resulting in a loud pinging sound.

Photo by Nadiia Ganzhyi on Unsplash
Photo by Nadiia Ganzhyi on Unsplash

Another factor is the contraction of water pipes in the cold. When hot water passes through cold pipes, they rapidly expand, creating movements that manifest as noises in the basement. Freezing water can also cause pipes to expand, exerting pressure that could lead to bursting pipes, accompanied by a loud popping sound followed by rushing water. That’s something we never want to hear.

So, in short, if your house is creaking and popping, no, it’s probably not haunted; it’s just normal, everyday physical science at work.

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