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Loud Noise

Diagnosing noise problems

Within your home, noise is transmitted by airborne and impact sound sources. Airborne sound sources include speech, TV noise, music and other general noises. Impact sounds are sudden sound sources like footstep noise.

These sound sources are transmitted directly and indirectly though a property.

Direct sound transmission is when sound simply travels directly through a construction to get to the other side. For example, noise will travel directly though a connecting wall between two residential dwellings or footstep noise will travel directly from above through the floor. Direct sound is the easier of the two to reduce, as you just need to treat the problem area. Indirect sound transmission is when sound travels through a construction by any indirect means. For example, instead of sound travelling directly though the wall that separates two residential units it will travel through the ceiling, the floor and the connected walls at the side. Impact sound will travel down the walls as well as through the floor itself. The noise travelling through the walls from above will be classed as indirect sound travel.

Both airborne and impact noise will travel directly and indirectly though a property. To treat a problem correct both the direct and indirect sound paths will need to be reduced. (Just for reference…… indirect sound is more commonly referred to as flanking sound in the industry). It is crucial to determine whether you are experiencing an airborne or an impact noise issue within your property and then as to whether it is travelling directly or indirectly.Once these things are determined we will be able to give guidance on the best way to reduce or solve the problem.

We are finding that the consumer sector is starting to use acoustic testing to determine the sound source levels within an existing residential block and from these tests results we can create a detailed solution to the problem. Acoustic testing may also be required as part of a change in a lease agreement. For example, changing a floor finish in an existing block of flats from a carpet to a timber floor could break the terms of a lease so for this
to happen it will need to be proved to the leaseholder.

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