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A different sort of noisy neighbours overview
The phone call asked us did we know how to reduce the noise in the property. It was not the expected sort of noise from neighbours but from the traffic outside.
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Upon inspection we found the property to be semi-detached and situated close to a main road. Its construction is:
Roof pitched and clad with tiles
A small single storey flat roof extension
Walls: main building render finish and extension brick
Foundations not exposed, believed to be a raft foundation due to the soil conditions in the area The noise from the road, which was about 1 metre to 1.5 metres away was a combination of fast travelling cars and heavy moving commercial vehicles both slow and reasonably fast moving.
The side of the property that was mainly facing the traffic was the rendered wall and the small single storey brick extension and it was a door and two timber casement windows that had seen better days.
Without taking scientific readings there were some obvious ways of reducing the noise level.
Openings allowing noise through
The wall was fairly resilient to the noise, being a brick and block construction with a render face to the main building. We felt the door and window could be improved and therefore spoke to several window manufacturers and discovered that a double glazed window produced for acoustic reasons was available. This, together with secondary glazing was recommended with an acoustic sound tile between the double glazing and secondary glazing.
It was decided that as there was another door and that it was predominantly used that this door should be blocked up to reduce any noise coming through it. This would improve the walls directly facing the road.
Noise transferring through the roof
Interestingly, when the roof loft space had been inspected it was found to have no insulation. Therefore, literally between the outside world and the inside world was a tile thickness, perhaps 10mm to 20mm, an underlayer, perhaps 2mm to 3mm thick and a plasterboard sheet of about 12mm. So it was decided to acoustically insulate the roof and also add boarding to help deaden the noise. This was the first thing that was actually carried out and it was quite amazing how it reduced the noise.
Finally, it was also decided to build a brick flowerbed in front of the property and add conifers to help reduce the noise and we also contacted the Highways Authority to see if measures that will mean that drivers will travel nearer to the 40 m.p.h. speed limit than presently passing the property at 60 m.p.h.
We carry out Specific Defects Reports on properties with specific issues such as noise transfer problems, dampness, cracking, subsidence etc. Please see our Specific Defects information.
If you need help and advice with traditional noisy neighbour disputes or even noise reduction matters please call 0800 298 5424 and a chartered surveyor will call you back for a chat. Please note we are independent chartered surveyors.
We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).