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Welcome to winter! Minnesota had been experiencing relatively pleasant weather until this past week. However, temperatures have suddenly taken a nosedive, bringing along the familiar challenges of frozen pipes and malfunctioning furnaces that often come with severe cold.

My House Makes Loud Cracking and Popping Sounds at Night

Thankfully my pipes are ok and my furnace is working, but my house is making some really weird sounds.  Have you heard any unusual noises in your house during the winter?

At my place, it sounds like the noise is coming from my deck. Sometimes, it's a single pop; other times, it happens every few minutes. The noises can be very loud and have woken me up in the past.

Why Your Minnesota House Cracks and Pops at Night

CSJ/TSM-Rochester
CSJ/TSM-Rochester
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According to Norbert Delatte, a professor at Cleveland State University, these noises intensify as temperatures drop.

He explained that building materials, including wood, concrete, and steel, expand with heat and contract with cold. In winter, the house foundation clashes with the contracting exterior which results in loud cracks and pops.

"The foundation of a house stays at a more normal temperature where the outside of the house is trying to shrink against it, so whatever connections there are between the foundation and home, they would be making some noise."

Should Minnesotans Worry About The Sounds Their House Is Making?

Snow accumulating on the roof of a house during a snowstorm.
Eli Wilson
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Fortunately, these sounds don't mean your house is falling apart. The professor and other home-building experts say that there's no cause for concern, and there is nothing you can do to prevent these winter sounds.

Snowiest Cities & Towns In Minnesota

What Minnesota cities get the most snow each winter? Here are the 20 snowiest Minnesota towns according to data from NOAA spanning from 1991-2020.

Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper