Noises from neighbors can be very irritating but hearing furniture sound at night or at any time of the day for that matter is a completely different story. It is especially true if you start to hear creaky and eerie noises that emanate from your closets or cabinets sitting idly in the corner of the room. Creepy? Yes, it is!
You might notice your furniture creaking at night the moment your turn off all your electrical devices such as your TV, toaster, laptop, and others. There are even times when this noise can get loud enough to the extent that it keeps you wide awake all night long.
So, why does furniture creak? Are you also wondering why furniture may creak at night after a hot day? If you are asking all these questions right now, then, you are definitely not alone.
Furniture, specifically wood furniture, can creak due to changes in humidity, pressure, and temperature that occur at night. That creak you hear is actually the wood that warps as these changes affect it.
This just goes to say that what you hear is indeed normal, particularly during nighttime. Now, if you are still curious to know what is really happening with your furniture or if this is a sign of poor and low quality workmanship, read on below. The answers to this mysterious creak might actually shock you!
Why do wood furniture creak and make noise?
Similar to other types of organic materials out there, wood has the tendency to warp, expand, and contract depending on what is happening in their surrounding environment. Wood can expand because of high heat. On the other hand, the material can contract if the temperatures turn colder. This change alone is enough to make you hear furniture sound at night.
If the build of the specific furniture includes other material, the creaking might turn into cracking or popping. Once again, this is very much normal and shouldn’t scare you off either.
What makes your furniture creak?
You might not believe it but heat is not really the only reason why those dresser drawers in your room make some weird and strange noises at night. There are actually a lot of factors that can make the shape of the wood to shift around, expand, and warp to the extent that they produce creaking sounds.
These common factors include the following:
- Changes in temperature
When the change in temperature is more drastic, the higher the possibility that you will end up hearing some creaks here and there. This means that if you often keep your home at 72 degrees then the temperature suddenly drops to 50 degrees, it is very likely that you will be hearing a creak. Creaking will probably not happen if the temperature drops to 70 degrees from 73 degrees.
- Different materials
Every matter expands in heat and contracts in cold. This is not only applicable to wood since the same thing happens even to plywood, metal, and glue. If the furniture was made using different materials, it only increases the chances of creaking because every material expands at a different rate. Those sounds you hear are probably the sound of several materials that grind on each other.
- Exposure to the environment
Your furniture is going to expand if it gets exposed to heat during a sunny day. But, if it is not as warm when nighttime comes, the furniture will contract, causing it produce a creaking sound. This occurs when a substance has been exposed to heat that gives its particles the energy to vibrate faster or the substance’s internal energy is increased significantly.
Aside from that, wood is also prone to soaking up and releasing moisture from and to the air. Since this happens almost all year long, this can make the furniture joints loose during the process. It means that if your furniture is older, it will also make more noise. This results to squeaks, creaks, and other audible clunks.
Wood swells and warps because of extreme humidity that can increase the rate that your wooden furniture creaks.
- Speed of the change in temperature
When the temperatures change faster, there is a higher chance that you will hear a crack or creak. The exterior of an average home can have a drop in temperature for as low as 30 degrees in just one night. If your house sounds like it is settling, it is most likely the cause. It is especially common with those furniture pieces that are not covered with varnish.
Yes, your furniture creaking at night may also be because of insects, specifically termites. Termites can be heard if there are lots of them that make noise together. Noise from your furniture might also be because of the borers or beetles larvae. You can get the help of a pest company to inspect if there is any infestation that might be damaging your wood furniture. Heat treatment or fumigation can address this problem.
- Quality and type of wood
There are some types of wood that are more prone to creaking than others. You will hear more creaks from wood that wasn’t treated well compared to wood that get maintained on a regular basis. Engineered wood products are least likely to produce sounds as well as dense woods such as mahogany.
How to prevent creaking in wood furniture
As far as groans and creaks are concerned, it is always better to prevent things from happening than curing them once they happen. The easiest and simplest way to ensure that you will no longer lose sleep because of your furniture creaking at night is to try controlling the temperature inside your home as much as possible.
Through ensuring that the humidity levels remain consistent and the temperature stays steady, there is a good chance that you will notice a significant decrease in the number of sounds you hear every night. In case it is impossible to fully control your indoor environment, it will help if you try to lessen the fluctuations in temperature inside your home.
The Bottom Line
Nothing can be as scary and creepy as waking up in the middle of the night only to hear some creaks and strange sounds coming from your furniture. But, worry not because it doesn’t mean your house is haunted. It is only because wood furniture always has the tendency to creak, not matter how expensive the piece might be. Keep the climate in your home steady and consistent and you will be finally free from that ghostly nighttime symphony that disturbs your sleep!