Loud BANG at night


Post #2 pretty much explains it.
Could be ghosts… :smiley:
Can’t think of much else.

The last several nights, usually middle of the night, I have been awoken by a loud bang coming from above (sounds like it is on the roof or in the attic). It literally sounds like someone fired a round from a gun above us. Its a quick, and very loud, bang and then it is over. It is not a creak or moan like you hear in any house. I live in South Dakota, and it is cold and the temperature is moving up and down below and above freezing. It has varied the last several days as far as snow or ice on the roof, right now there really is nothing on the roof snow or ice wise, but it is cold. I looked in the attic and from my untrained eye I see absolutely no wet boards, leaking, trauma, or anything amiss.[/quote]


I have a 130 year old roof that has never been replaced. It has 6 layers of sheet asphalt on it along with countless layers of tar.

I stripped down one section (2 squares size) on a low slope roof to expose petrified wood. This section leaked 5 gallons every rainfall, so something had to be done RIGHT AWAY.

Since this area was complicated with chimney and vents, flashing took 3 days, and I left the mold bake out of the wood in the August sun for 5 hot days. I also bleached it from the bottom and scraped off the mold from the under side too. I reinforced the bottom with treated plywood sections and resin’d the 1.5 x 28 inch wide chestnut planks. I pulled the treated plywood up from beneath with deck screws.

Snow/ice/felt/flashing mud/starter/30yr and I pried up and stuffed the last shingles up under the 6 layers of asphalt to be replaced next summer.

Had three bids: They all want $1,000 a square to replace. This is with me supplying the materials. It only has a 5/12 pitch on 8 squares remaining. Those two squares took me a week of evenings (I have a day job). For $1,000 a square for labor, I can do it myself.

I really want standing seam, but nobody around here does that (another do-it-myself job?). Again, not beyond my capabilities.

Sooooooooooooooo… Your roof goes BANG every now and then? I’ve got freakin ghosts in this place. People were violently murdered here. 90 years ago, a man lost his wife and kids to a pandemic illness that swept through here. He sat down by the fireplace and drank poison while he cried himself to death… just a two feet from where I’m typing this message.

Folks tell me mobsters lived here through the 1920s and on… BANG!! Wanna Trade houses???


AVR, if you don’t live in Texas then… no.


Historical renovation maybe???


Thanks for your input…altough I agree with Marshall Exteriors and his ADD comment!

I guess I was trying to understand technical and scientific reasons why a roof might go BANG every now and then, the ghost story - altough interesting - just doesn’t cut it.

I have checked the interior and exterior of the roof/attic and I can not find any sign of a critter being there, besides, the noise was way too loud for a rodent to make.

I was hoping to hear something related to thermal stresses or issues related to the contraction of wood/brackets, etc., during extreme cold temperatures. I have talked to some guys at my work and they have also heard some loud noises coming from the roof…perhaps is not a big deal, I just want to play safe and learn rather than ignore.

Texas sounds like a good place to be right now, with the windchill, it was almost -50 in some places here in MN


Like juanmacias, I live in PA.

Properly vented, your roof will expand and contract with the heat and cold. Your lower house will stay warm with your heating system and should remain the same, unless you shut off the heat and let it freeze.

You need to understand that your roof with grow and shrink, while the lower part stays the same. What you are experiencing is similar to an earthquake… kind of a ‘roof-quake’. The roof contracts with the cold and will suddenly snap to a new shape when a friction limit is exceeded.

I’d need to see a CAD drawing of your roof to make an educated guess where to look.

Most folks don’t know it, but modern roof trusses actually get a tiny little bit steeper as they heat up. While the lower beam is buried in insulation, the upper part is made to expand and contract with the change in temperatures. If you have trusses, your house gets a little taller in the summer.

What to look for is anything weird that messes with this system. If someone tied trusses to each other in a fashion that alters the flexible geometry, you can end up with your ‘ghost’. You’re looking for probably a single 2x6 or 2x4 that pulls sections together on cold days, and pushes them apart on hot days. (or vice versa). Look for anything that corrupts the expansion symetry.

You’ll need to do some field work… Get up there and take a look.


what happen is the ice on your flat roof is melting creating an air space, and then it crack.
Making a lot of noise, don’t worry it’s not structural.
A simple fix keep a few cedar log on your roof and that will fix your problem, trust me
An old roofers trick. Might sound stupid. But It works







this happened here last night… a bang so loud it shook the house. I went out and looked around cause I thought a tree had fallen… found nothing. then this morming my sister called to tell me the family christmas had been cancelled due to the wind/temps/blowing snow here in north central Illinois. then she went on the tell me that something hit thier house last night and they can find nothing and that she called mom and mom reported the same thing.
I then called a friend of mine who is a conractor and believe it or not he had the same thing happen with no clue to the cause… these all happened around the same time. drove me nuts enought that I thought I’d look on the net to find answers
I’m ruling out ice falling off the roof… thats not it, we did get ice and snow but been too cold for any melting since we got it. thought maybe the weight load on the roof but hmmm could the ice cracking cause sush a load bang? I could have swore a tree fell it was that loud.


ok I’m going with the rafter expansion/contraction therory… we got hit with minus temps and 30 plus mph winds. and I’m sure the top rafters got much colder than the the ones burried in the insulation… so now I await the opposit effect went it warms… sorta like popping in and out like my back when it gets cold from shoveling snow. thanks for the big band therory redefind


its santa; on a test run.


My husband and I sleep on the third floor, which used to be the attic of our 1897 home. Every night for the past week, in below 0 F. temperatures, usually between 2 and 4 am., there are bangs above us (on the roof) so loud that the house shakes. Why would ice on the roof crack in subzero weather? Outside of the noise, is this damaging our roof and what can we do about it?

Thanks! :slight_smile:


More than likely its the wood shifting and not ice.


I’ve had this same thing happen last night. I have a house built in 1976. The heat is all electric (baseboard). The attics are unfinished, just insulation above the ceilings. This is my second winter in the house. I didn’t notice it last year, but this year I think it has rained quite a bit more. Last night the temperature dropped to around or below freezing. Is there something I should be looking for?


The other thing to consider is whether there could be an animal dropping in. I had a squirrel or chipmunk who would enter the space between the ceiling and roof via a roof louver. When the animal dropped in, it often made a surprisingly loud banging noise. But this animal also made a scampering sound that could be heard as well.


This is happening to our house too. It was built in 2004 and we are in NorCal (Brentwood) where it gets HOT here during the day. We all have ceramic tile roofs. We hear a boom/bang every night and it starts around 9pm. Last night 930, 11pm. I am thinking it could be expansion/contracting from the heat to cooled off roof. But WHAT is making the boom - the wood under the tiles? The tiles? The kids ask me what it is and I make something up every night! haha