Loud banging noises, cold and eerie atmosphere, dripping water, lights turning on and off all by themselves… could they be signs of poltergeists running amok? Nah, before you chalk those up to supernatural causes, try a more responsible, albeit less thrilling, explanation: the house needs repairs. Here are some home maintenance issues people think are ghosts and what you can do about them.
Mold or Carbon Monoxide
Let’s start off with what makes the chill factor around the house go viral: ghost stories. If people swear they see ghosts flitting around the house like they own the place, believe them. There’s a good chance they’re telling the truth. Or at least their version of reality. But before you call ghostbusters to drive those spirits away, check for health hazards like molds and carbon monoxide.
Breathing in both toxic substances cause neurologic symptoms like delirium and nausea. In severe instances, they can also cause visual and auditory hallucinations, which could explain otherworldly sightings. Mold growth may just be the cause of these specters. Or, if the ventilation system and the chimney are not functioning as they should, carbon monoxide could be the culprit.
Before the ghost stories go out of hand, have the house tested for the presence of CO and Mold. Hire the services of a mold remediation professional or a chimney sweep if the inspection reveals these issues.
Home Maintenance to Fix Cold and Eerie Atmosphere
You get goosebumps every time you step into the house or a specific room because there’s just this cold presence. Could be those spirits, right? Before you go pointing fingers, check your windows and other potential sources of air leaks first.
That seemingly spooky atmosphere could be nothing more than drafty air creating cold spots in the room. To detect air leaks, light incense and observe the smoke. If it moves erratically, you’ve just identified the “ghost” -- drafty air leaking in. You can plug these leaks with some DIY home maintenance to replace worn caulking and weatherstripping.
Deathly Smell From Plumbing
That bathtub or sink is seldom used or regularly cleaned, so why does it feel like something ghastly and noxious will come out of those pipes anytime soon?
Before you let that imagination run wild, check your drain system. This could be an issue with the sink trap or slime buildup in the pipes.
Fixing this could be as simple as flushing the drain with bleach or installing a P-trap to block unpleasant odors. In some instances, you may have to hire a professional to replumb the drain or fix the vent system.
Faulty Electrical Wiring Home Maintenance Issues
Do those lights seem to take on a life of their own? Flickering, or turning on or off without anyone working those switches? This can cause your mind to go into overdrive and begin to imagine ghosts lurking in the shadows. Before you panic, think of the number of rational reasons behind this phenomenon.
For one, it could be a case of spliced electrical wires coming apart. This is particularly an issue with houses built in the 1970s when it was common to use aluminum wiring. As for those lights constantly turning and off all by themselves, you could blame power surges, faulty circuit, and loose connections.
Also, make sure to use the right wattage for light fixtures. Using a 100-watt bulb on a 50-watt fixture could heat up the lamp socket and melt the wires. If your heart is already beating out of your chest, you don’t need the smell of toasted wires to add to your anxiety.
Don’t ignore these issues at their onset. Always troubleshoot and fix these fire hazards immediately. Better still, considering having an Infrared Thermography Scan by a trained professional to check for electrical issues, and seek the help of a licensed electrician for any electrical home maintenance.
Haunting Noises Around the Home
Loud banging noises, squeaky floors, squealing sound, and those unexplained sound of activity in the attic probably gives you the creeps. Before you schedule a seance to ask your poltergeist to go away, speak with a home inspector first. Those noises could come from a wide range of home maintenance issues like:
Your “ghost” may have bodies making all those sounds in the attic. Rodents, bats, and even snakes could set up shop in the attic and other cozy crawlspaces. Aside from being a source of anxiety, they could also be on the quest to destroy your wiring or insulation. To identify these pests, have a Pest Inspection from a trained professional. Not only will they help find the “ghost”, but they can also provide tips for next steps, maintenance, and prevention.
The furnace can be a source of numerous unexplained noises. A dirty furnace could lead to gas build-up. And although an explosion rarely happens instantly, this is not something you can overlook. Your furnace could also generate a screeching sound, indicating some parts are in dire need of lubrication, or that there are loose components somewhere.
Squeaky Floor Home Maintenance
The sound of footsteps and squeaky floors is almost a cliche in horror movies. But it’s annoying when you’re hearing it inside your own home. Before you let those spooky flicks get the best of you, check your wooden floor for need repairs.
The squeaks may also be coming from nails in the subfloor. There are kits you can use to fix this problem if you want to go through the DIY route. Otherwise, a carpenter could take care of the issue for you.
Home Maintenance to Fix Animated Inanimate Objects
Slamming doors without anyone’s hand on the knob doesn’t necessarily mean an angry ghost in your home. You don’t have to attribute this to a poltergeist when the simplest explanation for this is good ‘ol gravity. If the door fits loosely into the jamb, you will have a phantom of your own making.
To resolve this issue, simply take out the pin of the middle hinge. Then, using a hammer, bend the pin slightly in the middle before putting it back on the hinge. This should stop your door from making unwanted movements.
And those cabinet drawers that open by themselves? This is most probably a hardware issue. Have the drawer slides repaired or replaced and this problem may be a thing of the past.
If water seems to have a mind of its own, bringing about a range of issues like toilet flushing without anyone using it, mysterious pipe sound, and dripping water, take those as signs that you need to call your plumber.
The toilet issue could be a simple case of a flapper valve that needs replacement. As for the loud, banging noises in the pipes, those could be hydraulic shocks and the sudden closing or opening of water supply. To fix this issue, you will need a plumber to install a water hammer arrester.
Whether you are having trouble with the eerie noises, threatening doors, and sinister apparitions, there’s a good chance you can fix the issue without needing the help of paranormal experts. However, you may need home inspectors and other professionals to lend you a hand in diagnosing the issue and making the necessary repairs to it. Once you do, you will reclaim your home from phantom beings in more ways than one.
For more information or for help with a residential home inspection, please call (800) 309-6753 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our experts will contact you promptly. To find a WIN Home Inspection expert near you, please click here.