Whether built from brick, block, concrete or wood, a modern-day house is a much more complicated structure than most people realize. Older homes are obviously more susceptible to issues, but even newly built homes can experience a wide range of structural, plumbing, electrical, HVAC and other problems. This makes it essential that homeowners stay diligent and continuously monitor their house for any potential issues. In this sense, visual inspections are obviously important. Nonetheless, your sense of hearing can also be a vital asset, and here are three potentially worrisome sounds you’ll want to be on the lookout for.

Dripping or Gurgling Sounds Coming from inside Your Walls

A home’s water and sewage system is incredibly complex and can potentially consist of hundreds of different pipes, any of which could spring a leak or become clogged. The problem is that these issues can often be difficult to diagnose and pinpoint since most of the plumbing is hidden away inside walls and under floors. This is where your ears can be a huge help in allowing you to identify and locate potential plumbing issues.

Gurgling sounds emanating from within your walls generally mean it’s time to call a professional plumber, as these usually indicate a blockage in your drain or vent lines or some other plumbing issue. Similarly, hearing constant dripping sounds inside your walls is a fairly good sign that you have a leak somewhere. Although you could try to diagnose and repair these problems on your own, it’s best to seek professional assistance before you start tearing out your walls in search of the issue.

Excessive Roof Noise during Storms and Bad Weather

Your home’s roof is obviously one of its most essential parts. Unfortunately, the fact that it takes the brunt of bad weather means that the roof is also more susceptible to damage than the other parts of your home’s structure. Both metal and wood roofs can experience a wide range of issues, but the vast majority of them can only be spotted by actually climbing on the roof and visually inspecting it. Nonetheless, you may also notice that your roof suddenly makes a lot of noise whenever it’s windy or during bad storms.

On a wooden roof, excessive noise typically points to loose or missing shingles that you could easily replace yourself if you’re so inclined. However, if your home has a metal roof, the sounds could be related to inadequate insulation or a number of other issues. One common problem is loose or missing roof fasteners, which allow the metal roofing sheets to rattle around whenever the wind blows. In this case, it’s a good idea to seek help from a metal roof repair expert to ensure the job is done safely and properly.

Constantly Running Heater or Air Conditioner

During extreme heat or cold, it’s not unusual to hear your air conditioner or heater running fairly often. However, if you start hearing either of these units running almost constantly, it’s time to call in an HVAC professional. It might be that you have a leak somewhere in your ductwork or simply that your ducts are dirty and beginning to clog. Dirty air filters and various other problems with the heating or air-conditioning unit itself could also be the culprit. Either way, both your personal comfort and your energy bills will suffer until you get the problem properly diagnosed and fixed.

There is only so much a homeowner can do to actually prevent any of these problems. Having your home regularly inspected by a professional definitely helps since it can allow you to identify any potential issues before they occur. Nonetheless, anything could still go wrong at any time, which is why you need to constantly be on your guard and use both your ears and your eyes to help spot any problems. With any luck, you will at least be able to catch the issue before it turns from something minor into something much more serious.