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I have a 2004 build house in North Carolina, and as outside temps have dropped, a VERY loud creak / grown has developed in the floor at the entrance to one of the bedrooms. I have experience dealing with squeaky nails, which this is not - definitely more of a low groaning sound presumably caused by wood rubbing. In fact you can sort of feel some slight movement and maybe almost getting close to a bit of a very subtle popping motion as it goes very slightly up and down. (here is a link to a vid of the sound)

Fortunately we plan to update our floors so i have no qualms about ripping out whatever's needed to fix the issue. I've pulled up the carpet and tried driving in screws in the primary area the sound originates from, but most of my pilot holes hit nothing and it doens't seem likely to help anyway.

There's a good 3' radius where a heavy step will cause the load groan at the center of the radius, which is concentrated around one side of the door frame (see photo, where i'm pointed at screws i placed that actually seemed to hit a joist - the worst of the noise is to the left). So to me that seems more like it originates from the joists below? The radius of noise activation also crosses more than one of the subfloor boards. There's a crawl space below for relatively easy access, but I don't want to go in there and start pulling insulation out etc until i have a better idea of what i'm looking for and whether i might be able to solve the problem from there.

Very grateful for any suggestions!

UDPATE: fixed! i first tried screwing the floorboards down into the joists from above, but that didn't work, i think because the worst of the problem ended up being under the door frame, so i did not have access to tighten the boards to the joists from above. i ended up goign from below in the crawl space and using a 2x4 block to attach to both the floor board and the joist (see photo). i went a little overboard with the screws to make sure it was good and tight. i also purchased a "squeak ender" which seems like an easier way to do it, but i wasn't going to wait for it to come in... i'll use this in a couple other spots that are loose-ish. thanks for all the tips!!

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    missing nails ? then next one should be 16 inches from the one you are pointing at
    – Traveler
    Dec 4, 2022 at 17:35
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    try using stud finder
    – Traveler
    Dec 4, 2022 at 17:59
  • @Ruskes i wondered if that might work, thanks for the encouragement!
    – aknodt
    Dec 5, 2022 at 1:04

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First thing I'd try is screw the floor down tighter. Use a stud finder to locate the joists, then drive a couple screws (2" should do it) down into the joists.

If that doesn't fix it, try to work on it from below. Have someone walk back and forth on the problematic spot while you're down in the crawl space, that might give you a better idea what's going on. The problem could be with the cross bracing (see image - it usually looks like that, sometimes it's made of metal). Its purpose is to prevent the joists from moving relative to each other - if it's too loose, or if it's not there at all, then you might get noises.

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    A ""mechanics" stethoscope (or the more common section of tubing jammed in your ear) may prove helpful while down below to localize the noise, if you can't spot the movement. Or get 4 kids and a dog in a van to come find the guy in the rubber mask behind it all.
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 4, 2022 at 20:27
  • @mikebaranczak thank you!! that photo is especially helpful! will give these a shot ASAP
    – aknodt
    Dec 5, 2022 at 1:06

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