Whether it’s a booming television, footsteps or a construction site: Noise is annoying and reduces the quality of life. Here are 22 tips for making life more comfortable for everyone.
Neighbourhood noise is one of the biggest annoyances for most of us. Six out of ten citizens feel annoyed by this, according to a recent survey. It is only surpassed by the noise of cars, trucks or trains rushing by.
Older people in particular therefore prefer quiet residential areas. Where they often suffer from noise inside the house, according to a study by the tenants’ association. In addition, seniors with hearing deficits are particularly sensitive to noise and it is the number one dispute between neighbours and seniors.
In the hope of making ourselves better neighbours and providing a bit of peace and quiet for the neighbourhood we have compiled a list of items that we can all observe that will promote peace and quiet and goodwill!
- Observe rest periods
During the night between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., the following applies to noises: room volume. Noise-intensive work such as trimming hedges or blowing leaves is only permitted in residential areas on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
- Not everything is noise
If the neighbour’s television sounds through the wall from time to time despite normal volume in older, noisy houses, tenants usually have to put up with this. Even with noises emanating from small children, the following applies as far as possible: Be tolerant!
- Oases of calm are rare
Is it loud in the city, quiet in the country? Not necessarily! The reasons for annoyance range from the tinkling of cowbells to newly built bypasses to humming pumps in new housing estates.
- Know jurisdiction
The loud ventilation of a bakery, construction machinery that rattles on the neighbouring property until late in the evening? There are different responsibilities for noise emanating from a business. The municipality or the Immission Control Office can provide advice. If a neighbour is the culprit, in an extreme case the only option is a civil injunction.
- Often loud in old buildings
Houses built before the 1950s often have noisy wooden beams or concrete ceilings. Ineptly planned shafts can mean that conversations from the neighbouring bathroom can be overheard. However, tenants should not automatically hope for better sound insulation when renovating.
- Smart renovation
Owners have better cards: There are sound-absorbing insulating mats for every floor covering. For this, the floor must be new and floating, edge insulation strips must be laid cleanly. If renovations are pending, measures should be discussed in good time at the owners’ meeting.
- Insulate with care
The facade of the apartment building is getting new thermal insulation? Caution: Some building materials that provide good protection against the cold are poor sound absorbers. Different building materials are sometimes required for thermal and sound insulation.
- Moving? Research
It’s hard to tell whether an apartment is noisy. Property developers also advertise their sales using sound insulation standards. But these are often just minimum requirements, warn experts. Talking to craftsmen when the house is still under construction can also be informative.
- Place furniture cleverly
High rooms with smooth walls reflect the sound and hardly swallow any noise. Uneven surfaces get in the way of noises. This can be achieved with wall units, small pieces of furniture such as shelves or thick curtains.
- Lay carpeting
A deep-pile carpet absorbs more sound than any other floor covering. Felt glides for chair legs and wearing slippers with rubber soles also reduce noise. Room doors can be insulated.
- Seal off from the outside
Renewing old window seals often helps against outside noise. Soundproof windows reduce the noise level even more. They come in different classes.
- End anonymity
The new boy next door is kicking the ball loudly in the garage yard? How about playing a round? Psychologists know that people with whom you are on friendly terms are less likely to notice a disturbance of the peace.
- Talk to each other
Whether noises are disturbing also depends on whether you can influence them. If there is a party above your own apartment, you can cope better with it if the neighbour has asked you in advance to let him know if it gets too loud.
- Complain skillfully
How do you express your anger without being considered a philistine or getting into an argument? Professionals recommend using I-messages. Something like this: “Mr. Neighbor, you mow your lawn at lunchtime. Your mower is quite loud. I feel disturbed because I would like to enjoy my coffee on my terrace. Would you like to have a cup and continue mowing later?” It is also important not to put complaints on the back burner. Otherwise, anger can build up, which then discharges even more strongly if it is null and void.
- Call in the landlord
If discussions do not help, tenants can complain to the landlord and request that the defects be remedied. It makes sense: keep a noise log and have it confirmed by witnesses.
- Don’t complain right away
Before disputed neighbors end up in court, experts advise mediation. As a neutral third party, the mediator tries to bring both sides to an agreement.
- Fence the property
Garden owners who feel disturbed by their surroundings can make do with noise barriers made of wood or coconut fibre. Fence builders provide advice on site.
- Adapt everyday life
Sleeping in: difficult when the neighbour rattles in the bathroom every morning. Better to adapt to everyday life: get up, turn on the radio, instead of rolling around in bed grumbling.
- Calm your hearing
Those who cannot hear well process stimuli differently and react particularly sensitively to noises. Clinics offer desensitization training. With a hearing aid, relaxation techniques and wearable devices, it is often possible to block out background noises.
- Take the plugs
Snoring partner? For a short time, earplugs are a blessing! The chemist knows which plugs are best.
- Put on headphones
With headphones, people with severe hearing impairment can watch TV or listen to the radio without disturbing roommates or neighbours. Noise-blocking headphones help with construction site noise on the neighbouring property.
- Choose quiet devices
Annoying when the dishwasher rattles loudly. Pay attention to the printed sound power level when buying a new one. A particularly quiet vacuum cleaner only generates 65 decibels.
Basically, the Golden rule applies when it comes to peace and quiet. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!
Even so, we cannot help you with your neighbourly problems, we are always happy to offer you some quiet time at our clinic.