A couple of weeks ago, I was awoken by the god awful noise of a jackhammer at 11pm just outside my window. Noise pollution can be serious stuff. It has been shown to increase stress, anxiety and even lead to depression. When you realise that chronic noise can stop you from sleeping, this shouldn’t really be surprising. Below are just a few ways you can use when soundproofing your home from the busy city outside.
Certainly the most expensive option here but definitely worth it if you can afford it. As the name suggests, triple glazing adds another pane of glass to your window. Solid walls are pretty good at keeping sound out but windows have always been a weak point at letting both heat and sound through. There is a big reduction in sound that can get through triple glazing compared to double glazing especially the older kind. Standard now in Scandinavia, it has the added bonus of cutting your heat loss during the winter by 75% compared to older double glazing.
Sound dampening curtains are a cheaper alternative to triple glazing, though less effective of course. These are sometimes called blackout curtains and are usually made of thick sound absorbent materials. Ikea even have a handy guide for making your own at home using some materials. If that’s not enough, you can always try sound absorbent foam panels though you’ll have to find somewhere to put them. These are the jagged foam panels you usually see in sound studios. Even rugs, carpet and wall hangings could help soften the sounds coming from your neighbours.
Trees & Bushes
Once again, this may not be possible for everyone, but a good long term solution for noise is greenery. If you live by a busy road, bushes and trees are a great natural sound dampener. In fact, the U.S National Agroforestry Centre recommends using trees and bushes as natural “noise buffers”. Apparently this works better when they’re planted further away from the place you’re trying to protect the sound from. It also helps if what you’re planting has especially dense foliage and a mixture of bushes and trees. Look for trees that keep their leaves all year around for protection in the winter too.
Contact the Council
This one is for longer term noise. Most councils will have limits on noise in your borough and will also have ways to report excessive noise. Construction is only allowed at certain times but as I found out, that doesn’t mean that those working will abide by those rules. The only way to stop that jackhammer becoming a regular thing at 11pm outside your window, your neighbour’s dog barking or playing loud music into the night, would be to email or phone your local council on their dedicated report noise contacts. Note that action will take days if not weeks.
If you’re concerned about your hearing or one of your loved ones, do get in touch with us here at Veritas.