Fast Fixes for Household Sounds

How many times have you been in your house and heard a noise that you can’t identify? Here are four of the most common household noises, and how to fix them.

Knocking in the wall

What it is: The loud knocking you hear in the walls is often one of two things:

1. A water pipe that isn’t securely attached to the wood stud in the wall so that when the wood expands, the pipe rubs against it and makes a noise.
2. The pressure from turning the faucet on and off is causing the pipe to vibrate. Both problems are common in older homes, and are easily remedied.

What to do:  Call a professional to secure the pipe or install a sleeve over it.

Creaking floors and stairs

What it is: Wooden floor planks can loosen over time. The creaking sound is either the wood rubbing against the nail or the boards rubbing against one another.

What to do: Put oil between the boards or tighten the boards with nails or glue.

Gurgling or flushing toilet

What it is: If your toilet mysteriously flushes or it sounds like it has indigestion, you could have a worn-out toilet valve or a backup in your sewer line.

What to do: To check for a leak, put a drop of food colouring in the water tank and see if the water in the bowl changes color. If it does, check the seal of the flapper valve in the tank and replace it if necessary. However, if you suspect a sewer backup, it’s best to call a plumber to tackle the job.

Scratching in the ceiling or walls

What it is: Just as you enjoy the warm and cozy comfort of your home in the winter, rodents do as well. If you hear loud scratching or the sound of scurrying little feet, you may have small furry visitors.

What to do: Call a pest control specialist to evict your unwanted guests.

Simple Ways to Get Rid of Pests

Pest infestations not only cause damage, they can also take a chunk out of a homeowner’s wallet. Here are a few ways to prevent critters from calling your house “home.”

Ants

Ants follow the trails left by scout ants. If you find a trail of ants in your kitchen, clean the area with soapy water, household cleaner or a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar. To avoid an infestation:
• Keep sweets and food in tightly closed containers.
• Plant spearmint around your house.
• Place strips of cucumber, citrus peels or borax near any openings where you’ve seen ants.

Roaches

The easiest way to prevent roaches is to keep your kitchen spotless—clean up crumbs, wipe down the sink and sweep the floor. But, if you’ve already seen them in your kitchen, here are other options:
• Sprinkle catnip or bay leaves in areas where roaches
lurk, such as behind the refrigerator, under the oven and under your sinks.
• If you see a roach, spray it with soapy water. The soap will slowly suffocate it.
• Set traps with baking soda and sugar. Roaches love sugar; however, the baking soda will dehydrate them.

Termites

While no home is safe from termites, it is possible to reduce the chances of an infestation.
• Termites thrive on moisture. Survey your home’s foundation, and look for water leaks.
• Schedule a pest inspection. Termites are crafty critters that only make their presence known through the damage they cause. Schedule a pest inspection every couple of years to catch an infestation early and help you avoid making costly repairs.

Rodents

Rodents can wreak havoc on your home. While traps are effective once the rodents are in the home, here’s how to keep them out in the first place:
• Keep your kitchen clean. Wipe down the counters and sweep the floor before you go to bed.
• Ants aren’t the only vermin that hate mint. Mint keeps rodents at bay as well.
• Place steel wool in holes on the exterior of your home.
• Put trays of used cat litter outside near where you think they could get in. Rodents will smell the cat and scurry in the other direction.

Fleas

Pets can give us a lot of things—love, attention and fleas. Although chemical pet treatments can get rid of the fleas on your pets, they often don’t get rid of them in the house. For that, try these suggestions:
• Sprinkle salt, borax or baking soda on the carpet and upholstery. Let it sit for a few hours, and vacuum afterwards.
• Get a dehumidifier. Fleas love humidity. If you keep the humidity in the room under 50%, you may be able to get rid of adults fleas and their larvae.
• Clean your bedding and your pet’s bedding regularly.
• Comb your pet’s coat with a special flea comb, and clean it in a glass of soapy water.

 

 

Remember, for large infestations, always call a professional!