Popping Sounds in New Build

HI All
forgive me if this has been posted before. I just couldn’t locate a related thread. Inspected a new build in Dallas this week. The owner had me there to look at nail pops, which after arriving were difficult to see…I can only say that the client was very very detailed oriented and many of these “nail pops” were invisible from 6 feet away…all that said, they mentioned that the house made popping noises at all times of the day and sure enough toward the end of the inspection, we got one. The structure has insulation on the ceiling of the attic against the decking, no insulation in the floor of the attic and it was possible to see yards of drywall which seemed to be tight against the studs, but the foam hides the rafters, decking etc…The noises appear to occur without relation to the HVAC coming on line…Is this just everything drying out and reaching moisture equivalence? The structure has been lived in for 7 months. I appreciate any input and widsom, help me Obi Wan, you’re my only hope.

Houses constantly are talking, for real! The quieter the local area is, as well as inside, the more you will hear. It could be anything from minor movement/settling, drying of wood, to a number of different things including not the structure at all but some type of exterior noise. For example ocasionally when the wind is right it will lift the damper plate on the bathroom ceiling vents and snap it back down which can sound like a popping noise. Occasionally when the wind is right we hear the dryer vent damper (side wall vent) also popping.

Best approach is to perform a very thorough inspection looking for the signs of movement in every single corner, every wall, every ceiling, doors, windows, rafters, etc., etc., etc. Log every possible sign you find and then go back at a later date and do it again to see if anything new occurred or existing signs worsened. Since it is a new build this first year most likely the builder warranty would cover just about any issue causing recurring damage. Inventorying the signs can help the client when approaching the builder.

If it happens when the HVAC system is starting up, I would look at the ductwork. It sounds like they did not use standing s-slip or properly cross break/bead the larger duct.

I had one several years ago that had random “popping” and it turned out the installers used fine thread drywall screws (that are designed to use in metal studs) instead of course thread (for wood studs). As the wood “dried” the screws would pop-out a little and make a high pitched popping sound, like a muffled firecracker.