Photograph of  grass growing indoors in this unusual homeWind Noise at Buildings
Diagnose, & Cure Wind-Caused Noises at Buildings

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Building wind noise troubleshooting: causes & cures.

What odd building noises such as hissing, squeaks, screeches, or moaning may be caused by wind blowing on, over or through building components? How do we find these noise sources & how do we fix them?

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Wind Noise and wind-caused noises in buildings: causes, diagnosis, cures

Wind Noise and wind-caused noises in buildings include these common mechanisms

  • Air movement through building openings, leaky windows, gaps, cracks in siding
  • Air movement over irregularly shaped building surfaces or attachments
  • Buzzing, roaring, rumbling - traced to wind noise over loose on-roof components such as loose shingles, loose metal roofing, guy wires for roof-mounted antennae
  • Squeaking and creaking - traced to wind-blown things attached to building exteriors such as signs, antennas, aerials, weather vanes. Described in detail below, a reader reported wind-caused movement as traced to a squeaky sign mounted on a metal bracket, another reader reported the squeaking was her roof-mounted TV antenna.
  • See CHIMNEY NOISE DIAGNOSIS - wind blowing over or down chimneys.
  • Wind turbine noises: hums, roars - see WIND TURBINES & LIGHTNING
  • Also see Windows & Doors - air leaks can be noisy at these openings
  • Moaning sign whistles and wails in the wind: an astute detective reader reported this noise investigation work that tracked down a whistling, moaning, wailing that appeared to be heard at the top of a chimney:

    Reader moaning noise report: We installed a multi wood burning stove last November, connecting it to an existing chimney.When the wind blew we hear whistling, moaning, wailing noises from the top of chimney - it which disturbed our sleep. When wind was from the south west the sound was the worst. [This may be a diagnostic clue - look closely at that side of the building.]

    After much thought and we managed to get help from a chimney sweep, but all he could tell us was that the noise was not a chimney noise. That just about finished us. We had been in the loft, observing that the noise not so bad, then later it would be heard all over the house. Always the noise occurred when we had a south west wind.

    We looked around more at the outside of our building and we found the cause of this whistling, moaning, and wailing when the wind blew:

    It was quite simple - don’t laugh. We had a very large old pub sign put up some years ago just for a bit of fun. The pub sign is made of wrought iron and is extremely heavy. With the weight of the hanging sign rubbing on the bracket that secured the sign to the building, the wind caused the bolts into the wall to vibrate. The noise echoed around the house. We had even considered moving house as the noise was so bad. The laugh is we would have taken the sign with us! -- S. Hazeldine, U.K.
  • House noise like a roaring wind tunnel, varies by time of day.

    Reader wind tunnel noise query: We have had a humming noise in our house. It also sounds like a wind tunnel. It starts at around 12pm and gets louder as the day goes by. It stops around 2am. I would like to find out what is causing it. We have checked gas, electric etc. and are unable to find it. We have lived in this townhouse for 22 years, and never had this disturbanceuntil about 9 months ago. Can you help me?

    Reply: For a noise problem such as this we need to do some sound localization; but the noise log procedure I suggest may also help as it gives examples of things to look for - running equipment, weather, wind, temperature, as well as noting where sound is loudest. Particularly because you report that the noise level is closely related to time of day, observing what equipment or building or site conditions are operating at different times of the day may be diagnostic. It would also be diagnostic to ask what changed or was new that occurred beginning when you first observed the noise?

    See SOUND EVENT LOG for an aid in noise source localization, or for a printable building noise event localization log

    See BUILDING NOISE LOG - Printable.

    You may find a suitable inspector at BUILDING & HOME INSPECTORS, U.S. - but be sure also to discuss your specific concern and to establish that the inspector has experience in building noise source identification. Keep us posted - what we learn will help others.


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