Popping noise in walls and ceilings (and Solution)

Have you ever heard popping noise in walls and ceilings at night and wondered what is going on? If so, you are not alone.

Many homes experience these popping, cracking, and tapping noises that can disturb the residents.

However, this popping noise in walls and ceilings is caused by factors that are not hard to detect or fix.

The most common reason for these popping noises in walls and ceilings is temperature changes as the house cools down after a long, hot day.

But, other than the temperature changes, loose drywalls or electrical issues are also to be blamed for these disturbing noises.

Let us look at the most common reasons for popping noises from your house walls and ceilings.

Common Causes of Popping Noise in Walls and Ceilings

Pooping and creaking noises at night is a common occurrence that is usually not something to worry about.

However, these noises mostly occur at night, which can be traced to the temperature changes at night.

Here are some common reasons you hear strange popping noises from your walls.

1. Water Damage

A common cause of popping noise in walls and ceilings is the damage caused by water leakage or penetration in the walls and ceilings.

A leaked water pipe can cause water to accumulate inside the walls and attic ceilings, causing popping and creaking noises.

As the water erodes the wood or ceilings, the drywall becomes damaged and can eventually form holes in the walls.

This is why it is important to regularly check your walls and ceilings for any water penetration and damage.

2. Thermal Expansions

The temperature changes in a house may lead to thermal expansion, a common cause of popping noise in walls and ceilings.

This thermal expansion refers to a tendency of matter to change in volume as temperature changes occur.

As the temperature of an object increases, its molecules also spread out more and increase in speed, causing expansion in size.

This principle also applies to a house, whereby the material used in the construction of the house contracts and expands in response to temperature changes, causing popping noises.

3. Settling of the house

If you own a house that is newly built or is very old, it can go through minor adjustments known as “settling.”

This happens when the house adjusts to the shape of the ground under the foundation. As the house’s various components adapt and settle down, it may cause occasional popping and cracking noise.

However, care should be taken to inspect the walls and ceilings for any development of cracks, as that will require the installation of pillars to support the house.

4. Pipes popping

When you turn on hot water somewhere in the house, you may have noticed popping sounds coming from the walls. This noise comes from the PVC pipes as they expand.

This usually happens when the pipes have been installed with a small room to grow and shrink, and these pipes may be rubbing against the wood in the walls and ceilings.

The resulting popping noises from the pipes are not necessarily a thing to worry about, as they can be solved by insulating the pipes.

5. Metal air ducts

Air ducts are installed throughout the house to provide adequate ventilation. When popping sounds occur due to any causes, these sounds travel along the air ducts, causing the sound to magnify and become loud.

The loud sound occurs as warm air expands and cools the metal ducts.

This problem can be solved by placing rubber pads between metal ducts and wood framing to avoid popping.

6. Pests

Yes, you read that right! One problem that could be causing those disturbing popping noises is the presence of mites and pests in the walls and ceilings of the house.

In addition, mice, rats, birds, and other small animals may be digging, chewing, or pecking on the inside of the walls or the attic.

Since this problem can lead to damage in the home, it needs to be addressed as soon as possible with the help of an exterminator or animal removal services.

7. Unfastened flooring

Another problem that could cause the popping noise is unfastened sub-flooring. This means the floor has not been properly secured to the joists below, which will start moving and vibrating over time.

If someone happens to walk around the house, this could cause significant popping noises.


Popping noise in walls and ceilings is common in houses, whether old or new.

Usually, these noises are not a cause of concern, but proper examination of the walls and ceilings is a must by plumbers or house technicians to pinpoint the cause of these popping noises.