Ice quakes: Why does it sound like it’s coming from the roof? Does it affect my home foundation?
MADISON, Wis. — Many people have been talking about the loud booming noises they’ve been hearing. As our meteorologists explained in a previous story, those are called ice quakes.
They happen when the water underground freezes and expands, creating that loud noise you’re hearing.
Ice quakes are not like earthquakes and don’t have an affect on the Earth’s tectonic plates. It’s unlikely one would be strong enough to affect the foundation of your home unless your home has a weak foundation.
“You have to be really unlucky to have foundation damage from an ice quake,” said UW-Madison geophysics professor, Chuck Demets. “Your foundation would already have to be close to some point of giving way and if it were at that state, the shaking from a crack would grow larger or become visible.”
As far as the noises seemingly coming from the roofs or sides of your homes, Demets said, “The booming is coming from the ice and sometimes if you have a large low frequency sound, it could cause your own roof to flex a little bit and make it sound like the roof is causing the booming.”
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