Imagine you’re curled up on the couch watching a movie when you suddenly hear a loud pop come from outside your home. If you live in an area with below freezing temperatures and have a deck, this startling sound could be all too familiar for you. During the winter months it is fairly common for decks to make a loud popping or cracking sound, but why?
What’s that Sound?
The popping or cracking sound that scares you while you watch a movie or startles you awake while you sleep is caused by the deck materials expanding and contracting due to the dropping temperature.
When temperatures get extremely low the wood your deck is made of contracts. All of the contracting does not always happen in sync with the nails or screws. When the deck contracts unevenly, it creates pressure that is released with a loud pop.
Why Does my Deck Pop and Not my Neighbors?
Whether or not a particular deck pops and cracks during cold weather is dependent on how the deck was made, and how cold it it outside.
Improper spacing between decking boards is one of the most common reasons decks pop and crack on cold temperatures. Moisture trapped in the decking is another common cause of that loud cracking noise.
Another culprit in some decks is the nails that hold the decking boards together. The wood on your deck will contract at a different rate than the nails used to hold it together, sometimes causing the popping sound.
Is my Deck Damaged?
Despite the terrible noise, the chances are your deck will survive the cold just fine. Most decks are designed to withstand cold and hot weather with proper spacing and materials. If you are concerned about your deck, just give it a good look over to make sure nothing appears damaged.
If you’ve noticed loud popping or cracking noises coming from your deck, the chances are high that your deck is just fine. But, if you’ve noticed popping that has resulted in damage, call us at North American Deck & Patio today!
Our team of expert Maryland deck contractors is happy to come out and take a look at your deck to check for signs of damage, as well as look for what might be causing the popping. Contact us today to get started!