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OH Really? Wonders How Houses Handle the Cold

Extreme temperatures stress parts of a home, especially the wood roof trusses and rafters.
Extreme temperatures stress parts of a home, especially the wood roof trusses and rafters.

Have you heard your house making strange, loud noises during the recent bitter cold weather? One of our listeners has and submitted a question about it to our new reporting project “OH Really?” Russell Stanton says he’s lived in Ohio for 61 years and has rarely heard noises like this. 

Peter Paino from Paino Architects in Kent says he's heard them in his house too. He says it’s likely the top quarter of your roof truss or the roof rafters. When it’s so cold like this, they shrink rapidly and move.  

“They can create noises when they move. They could be scraping against something, popping something, it’s nothing that’s going to leave any lasting structural damage.”

Paino says the wood in your house is constantly moving and most houses, especially in northeast Ohio where we have such a wide variety of weather, are built to accommodate that movement.

However, Paino says, depending on how your house was constructed, you might experience some cracks in your drywall because of the movement this extreme weather is causing.

Copyright 2021 WKSU. To see more, visit WKSU.

A Northeast Ohio native, Sarah Taylor graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she worked at her first NPR station, WMUB. She began her professional career at WCKY-AM in Cincinnati and spent two decades in television news, the bulk of them at WKBN in Youngstown (as Sarah Eisler). For the past three years, Sarah has taught a variety of courses in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State, where she is also pursuing a Master’s degree. Sarah and her husband Scott, have two children. They live in Tallmadge.