Noise transmitted from next door

30 Jan 2011
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United Kingdom
My house is being renovated at the moment so I have exposed floorboards and the lost is completeyl empty (no insulation).

It's a 3-bed semi and I have noticed that I can hear the neighbours talking when I am in one of the bedrooms adjoining the neighbour's property.

I have recently had full double-glazing installed throughout the house.

Any ideas on how even low levels of noise can come through into my property so easily? Could it be related to exposed floorboards and a completely empty loft?
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very commonly there are gaps in the mortar between the bricks

you do not notice it so much when the wall is plastered.

however where the wall is not plastered, under the floor and in the loft, noise comes through the gaps. Take up a few boards, clean and repoint the gaps with sand and cement (no need to be tidy). I also recommend packing the gap between the joists with fibreglass or mineral wool which will muffle noise. The heavy, dense batts are more effective, but loft insulation is much cheeper. I prefer the sort with a coating to prevent dust and fibre release, called Ecose I think. It comes from one of the big makers but i have seen it on some cheaper own-brand rolls as well. Get a thick roll and pack it in fairly tightly. It will also cut draughts coming from under the floor.

Another common cause is where fireplaces have been removed. the brickwork between adjoining flues in terraced or semi houses is often just half a brick thick, and if there are gaps in the plaster it can provide an easy path for noise.

You can also use expanding foam to fill gaps and cracks, it seals well but does not have the density of mortar, and is much more expensive than mineral wool. However if the joist ends go into the wall and are loose, pick out loose or crumbly mortar and inject foam into the gap as deep as you can.

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