LESLIE: Mike in South Carolina, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
MIKE: I’ve got a little problem. I’ve been doing a house improvement on my house. It’s 31 years old and about a year ago – back then they used to put prints on the ceiling. So about a year ago, me and my wife had somebody come over; took all that off the ceiling; sand it down, mud it so it’d be slick.
MIKE: Well, about wintertime, when I used the gas logs – sometimes it will pop; not all the time but just back and forth pop. And I just wonder what caused that?
TOM: When you say “pop” …
TOM: … you mean crack?
MIKE: Well, it’s about like a crack, a pop. You know. You can touch the ceiling and hear the same sound.
TOM: Well, Mike, it sounds like that ceiling is causing you to crack up.
LESLIE: (chuckling) Tom.
TOM: I think what’s going on here is when you put on the heat you get a very – you know, warm air that’s rising, it’s drying out that space; and, as a result, you’re getting some expansion and some contracting, some shifting in that structure above the ceiling. That’s what’s making that sort of very loud noise; it can sort of echo in that space and probably sound worse than it is. But I don’t think it’s anything to worry about. As long as you’re not seeing physical cracks in that ceiling, it’s really just the noise, I think that’s pretty typical. It’s kind of like when you turn on the hot water in the bathroom and sometimes you hear sort of a creaking sound coming from the pipes. You get a lot of movement in that space; you’re going to get that kind of noise and I don’t think it’s going to hurt you.
MIKE: OK, I was just wondering what it could be. I listen to your show all the time and I love it. I love it.
TOM: Thank you so much.