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barrybw
wood deck making loud bang when cold

Our house makes a rather large BOOM when it is really cold outside. It actually happens about 1-5 times a night & it sounds like something is hitting the back of our house very very hard. I'm sure that it is the 2nd story wood deck against the house.
I have tried both tightening and loosening the lag bolts that hold it to the house but it doesn't help. The deck is screwed together. The only benifit that I get from this is that I know when the temperature gets below 17 degrees.

ed21
Re: wood deck making loud bang when cold

Mine does the same thing especially when it has been wet. I just assume it is contraction or expansion of frozen parts that release suddenly.

hedgeclippers
Re: wood deck making loud bang when cold

I am no expert when it comes to decks but did help our contractor some when he re-built our deck in our back yard. So I asked a good deal of questions at the time. One thing he did tell me and I have heard on the news is that you need to keep those lag bolts tight to your house or you could have a deck failure.
I agree with ed21 it sounds like you have expansion and contraction of your deck. With the expansion and contraction you are also getting friction with board rubbing back and forth. Not much you can do about the expansion and contraction but plenty you can do to try to keep things from rubbing together.
The things you can do though should really wait until it is warmer. I personally think that maybe your deck boards were put too close to the house. Try moving the board closest to the house about 1/8th an inch or just remove it and cut about an 1/8th off of the side of the board and replacing it.
If that doesn't work try roofing felt paper or ice shield up against your house. To do that you will need to move the deck forward a bit and then back and that will not be an easy task and is quite dangerous if not done right. It must be moved though for the proper placement of the ice shield or felt paper as that goes against the house to prevent friction.
It could be that your contractor or builder has already placed ice shield or felt paper up against your house so you might be able to skip that step. If so that is great and I think then you need to check for one last thing. Are the boards on your deck spaced too closely? If they are then I suggest you take them up one by one and replace them. To test that out get a finishing nail about six penny and see if that will fit between the boards without too much effort. If it does then your boards are fine and should be left where they are. If not then get a helper to move the boards and have your helper use a nail for spacing and you use another nail and move one board at a time and then screw it back down.
It might be overkill but you could even use some ice shield under your decking on the rafters so that the boards will not rub there either. Good luck to you:)

Applehead57
Re: wood deck making loud bang when cold

I've heard loud reports from trees when I'm out hunting in nasty cold weather. Almost like a gunshot, really.
Trees seem to weather it just fine.

barrybw
Re: wood deck making loud bang when cold
hedgeclippers wrote:

I am no expert when it comes to decks but did help our contractor some when he re-built our deck in our back yard. So I asked a good deal of questions at the time. One thing he did tell me and I have heard on the news is that you need to keep those lag bolts tight to your house or you could have a deck failure.
I agree with ed21 it sounds like you have expansion and contraction of your deck. With the expansion and contraction you are also getting friction with board rubbing back and forth. Not much you can do about the expansion and contraction but plenty you can do to try to keep things from rubbing together.
The things you can do though should really wait until it is warmer. I personally think that maybe your deck boards were put too close to the house. Try moving the board closest to the house about 1/8th an inch or just remove it and cut about an 1/8th off of the side of the board and replacing it.
If that doesn't work try roofing felt paper or ice shield up against your house. To do that you will need to move the deck forward a bit and then back and that will not be an easy task and is quite dangerous if not done right. It must be moved though for the proper placement of the ice shield or felt paper as that goes against the house to prevent friction.
It could be that your contractor or builder has already placed ice shield or felt paper up against your house so you might be able to skip that step. If so that is great and I think then you need to check for one last thing. Are the boards on your deck spaced too closely? If they are then I suggest you take them up one by one and replace them. To test that out get a finishing nail about six penny and see if that will fit between the boards without too much effort. If it does then your boards are fine and should be left where they are. If not then get a helper to move the boards and have your helper use a nail for spacing and you use another nail and move one board at a time and then screw it back down.
It might be overkill but you could even use some ice shield under your decking on the rafters so that the boards will not rub there either. Good luck to you:)

hedgeclippers
Thanks for the suggestions.
I will try the felt paper this spring and next winter I will let you know if this solved the problem.
Come on spring

Munson15
Re: wood deck making loud bang when cold

Last night, ours started doing this. We thought is was neighborhood kids. Finally, I went out there with a hockey stick and a bad attitude, only to hear the same boom noises once I stepped on the ice-covered deck. This is historic cold for N.C., so I figured the ice encased on the deck and the cold had something to do with it. Glad to see my theory proven correct here. Honestly, it sounds like someone dropping a 2 x 4 on it. It's loud!

gmrettig
Re: wood deck making loud bang when cold

Eleven years ago, I built a 1300 s/f, eight-level deck. My deck pops whenever the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The colder it gets, the more it pops. I have pondered this oddity for eleven years. I used to think that the wood planks shrank in the cold, causing the deck screws to sheer and pop when they failed. Lately, I am thinking that maybe moisture in the wood (treated pine) is freezing and expanding, causing the deck planks to micro-split just a bit from the expanding ice, generating a loud pop, but usually no visible split. I do get a few split planks each year. Not really sure. Just an idea.

Re: wood deck making loud bang when cold

Specially formulated paints and primers engineered for temperatures as low as 35°F. have been available to painting contractors for a few years. These systems are now being joined by wood stains and concrete preparation products that can extend the application season and reduce cold-weather downtime on a wider range of substrates.

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