Solid Oak Prime Parquet :   by The Natural Wood Floor Company

​How can I fix those annoying squeaks in my home?

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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A rumble here, a noise there – hearing sounds coming from your house is completely normal, seeing as it’s made up of a multitude of materials, wires, piping, etc. Either that or your house is haunted.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves – in most cases, hearing a squeak or a creak from a surface or appliance is really just because something internally is not working the way it’s supposed to. But fear not, for others before you have experienced the same, and some of them have come up with clever ways to help fix the issues.

So, before you start packing to move away, rather scroll ahead first to see how you can silence those creaky features once and for all.

1. A squeaky door

In most cases, a dry or corroded hinge pin is the cause of a squeaky door.

All you need to do is apply some WD-40 (or other joint lubricant) to the top of the pin and let it drip down to cover the hinge completely, catching any excess with a paper towel. Open and close the door a few times to help coat the oil throughout the pin.

2. A squeaky floor

This problem is almost always caused by one of two things: the floorboards are either rubbing against one another, or against the shaft of a nail. This gives you two options: 

Stop the floorboards from moving by driving pairs of finish nails into the floor at angles, allowing them to form a “V” when in place (you can drive them through the carpet). If you have finished wood floors, fill the resulting hole with a coloured wax pencil that matches the hue of the wood, which you can easily get at home improvement stores. 

Eliminate the friction by applying talcum powder or by spraying Teflon lubricant into the joints between noisy floorboards, either from above or below.

3. A squeaky chair

modern Dining room by HORM.IT
HORM.IT

RAY Chair

HORM.IT

Loose-fitting or worn joints, usually where the legs are attached to the seat, are more often than not to blame here. 

If it’s a metal chair causing the ruckus, grab the WD-40 and apply it directly to where the chair base meets the seat. For a timber seater, opt for a wood-swelling solution such as Chair-Loc, and squirt it directly into the loose joint, which will cause the wood to (temporarily) expand. 

For a more permanent solution, drill small holes into the joint, and inject wood glue with a syringe injector. Multiple holes allow the glue to reach most of the joint surfaces, which will ensure a long-lasting repair.

4. A squeaky ceiling fan

asian Living room by homify
homify

Living false ceiling design

homify

As just a little bit of extra weight can affect that fan’s balance and cause the motor to squeak, first check the top of the blades for some accumulated dust. Then test the light bulbs to see if they’re screwed in tightly and/or whether the globe’s mounting screws are secure. 

Next, lightly grab each blade and wiggle. If you find a loose one, retighten its mounting screws.

If these don’t do the trick, your fan blades may be out of balance. Rush out to a hardware/home store and get yourself a fan-balancing kit. The relevant directions will guide you on how to go about this step, but it’s pretty straightforward. 

If that squeak still persists, the fan’s motor bearings are worn out – which means a replacement is the only solution.

5. Squeaky stairs

If you are able to access the staircase’s underside, lightly tap small, thin, glue-coated wood shims between the squeaky treads, risers and stringers (the boards that run the length of the wall on each side of the stairs). 

If you can’t get behind the stairs, you’ll have to work from the top (hope those stairs aren’t carpeted, which means it’ll have to wait until replacement time). Carefully trim the shims with a utility knife, and paint or stain them to match your stairs. 

If exact colours aren’t available, remember that lighter colour patches are less noticeable than darker ones.

6. A squeaky bed mattress

modern Bedroom by Clean Design
Clean Design

Master Bedroom

Clean Design

First turn over, rotate, and centre your mattress on the box spring. If it’s a pillow top, simply rotate and centre. If further squeaking persists, try and discover the source. Pad any area where the mattress rubs against the box spring or bed frame with some fabric. 

If a mattress spring is the problem, you could slip a small slab of plywood under it. 

Need a designer or painter? How about a tiler or lighting expert? Our list of professionals can help you out…

7. A squeaky bed frame

Think the squeaking is caused by the bed legs rubbing on the floor? Then place felt pads or rubber coasters between the legs and the floor. If this doesn’t work, remove your mattress and box spring.

Inspect the bed frame, headboard and footboard, tightening all loose screws and bolts. If your frame is metal, apply a quality liquid or spray lubricant wherever parts rub together. For a wooden frame, apply wax wherever pieces meet—beeswax works best, but paraffin wax or even an old candle can work too. 

Tap small glue-covered wood shims into any loose joints, which can develop when wood shrinks over time. Finally, if you notice any wiggling in your screw holes, fill them with a liquid screw tightener or simple wood epoxy.

8. A squeaky faucet

Don’t blame that annoying sound for you not wanting to wash your hands – it’s probably just caused by the metal handle rubbing against the metal faucet stem. Fix it by lubricating the stem. 

First, close your sink drain, and then unscrew or pop off the faucet cap. Next, remove the screw in the centre of the knob, being extra careful not to strip it. 

After the screw is removed, pull the faucet knob up. Wipe the inside of the faucet handle and the top of the faucet stem with a clean, dry rag. Place an even coat of plumber’s grease (from a hardware or home store) on the exposed faucet stem, as well as the inside of the faucet handle. 

Finally, replace the faucet handle, screw, and knob cap – now you can wash your hands in peace and quiet.

9. A squeaky drawer

Appleby Oak Shoe Chest:  Corridor & hallway by The Cotswold Company
The Cotswold Company

Appleby Oak Shoe Chest

The Cotswold Company

If that irritating noise is due to wood grinding on wood, remove the drawer and rub beeswax, paraffin or an old candle on the drawer and the inside of the chest – basically wherever wood meets. Put the drawer back, then open and close it a few times until the squeak is gone. Repeat if necessary.

For squeaky drawers that have nylon wheels and metal glides, apply liquid or spray Teflon lubricant to both the wheels and the glides. Be sure to remove the drawers below the one you are working on as well so the lubricant doesn’t drip down and ruin whatever’s inside. 

Wipe up any excess lubricant, replace the drawer, and then slide it in and out to ensure the squeak is gone. If it’s not, repeat until it is.

10. A squeaky fridge

modern Kitchen by STUDIO Z
STUDIO Z

Built-In Fridge and Pantry

STUDIO Z

It’s probably because your kitchen floor isn’t level. An unbalanced floor means an unbalanced fridge, which means an unbalanced fridge motor that's probably knocking against its own housing. And note that this can definitely shorten your appliance’s lifespan. 

This is why most fridges – and other large appliances – have adjustable legs. Move them up or down until the fridge is balanced and the squeaking stops.

From fixing to cleaning, let’s take a look at: What people with clean homes secretly do every day.

What other squeaks have you solved in your home?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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