Acoustiblok Soundproofing Blog Articles

'Treble' in Paradise: Piano Teacher’s Permit Revoked After Neighbor Complains About Noise

Posted by Thomas Wiseman on Nov 29, 2013 7:34:00 PM

Next door, Jay Chester cringes from the sound. For him, it’s a constant barrage of noise — an intrusion on what he considers an otherwise peaceful refuge.

Both residents work from home: Marcus as a piano instructor and Chester as an Internet developer. They also have another thing in common: a shared dining room wall that connects their condominiums.

Coincidentally they both moved into their homes within months of each other in 2008.

The feud between neighbors has been escalating for years. It’s gone from friendly exchanges over the backyard fence to hostile encounters in the street and terse letters written to city officials.

Ultimately the fight led to the city’s revocation of the permit Marcus needs to teach piano lessons from her home.

a1a1a1a1 Blog picBut she’s not ready to give up. She appealed the decision to the City Council, which will decide later this month who will win the battle.

There is only one other permit issued for residential piano lessons in the city, and it has been held since 1999, said Brian Leveille, associate planner.

This is the first home occupation permit issued for home businesses to be revoked in the past five years, said Leveille, who called the situation “quite unusual.”

Both Marcus and Chester pleaded their cases before the city’s Planning Commission in December, which led to a 5-1 vote in support of revoking Marcus’ permit to give piano lessons from her home.

Chester argues that the “continuous cacophony of noise being produced by the grand piano on the other side of the common wall Mrs. Marcus and I share has been a constant nuisance.”

He’s made multiple short video clips — which he titled “piano pollution” — from his home to prove his point.

He also alleges that the continual coming and going of cars as students arrive and are picked up has proved to be a problem in their shared driveway and the nearby, narrow street.

Marcus says she has done everything she can to accommodate those concerns — including asking her clients to park in a specific location directly in front of her garage.

She claims that the cost of soundproofing her home, such as building an acoustical wall, is not feasible.

“On my side of the wall, there is a very large tapestry hanging,” Chester said. “I didn’t put it on my wall because I like tapestries. I went online to look for soundproofing options, and it said they help.”

But it still hasn’t muted the sound Chester is trying to be rid of.

Marcus is now offering to discontinue her use of the grand piano and use an upright piano on which to teach her students.

“It is a personal sacrifice for me as a musician to give up the use of this lovely instrument that I have owned for 45 years, but it is worth it to me in order to resolve the issue,” Marcus wrote in her appeal to the City Council.

Chester said that offer is not enough.

“This is just not the right environment for the business she is trying to run here,” Chester said. “The noise is constant and chronic. This is my home, my refuge, my sanctuary, and I should be able to enjoy it without piano music in the background.”

Piano Noise Blog Calif Text Box bylineAbout The Tribune

Founded in 1869 by District Attorney Walter Murray in what is now Mission Plaza, The Tribune is the oldest continuously operating business in the city of San Luis Obispo and one of the oldest enterprises in San Luis Obispo County.

Tags: neighborhood sounds, sounproofing, music noise, piano noise, neighborhood noise, home noise, Acoustiblok, residential noise

USA Today Says Noise is Most Common Neighbor Dispute

Posted by Thomas Wiseman on Jul 15, 2013 12:35:00 PM

 

Complaint to Neighbor Form 

According to a USA Today newspaper article of July 12, 2013 that cites a Findlaw.com source, noise is the most common neighbor dispute. The following are some excerpts from another FindLaw.com article:

USA Today Top Neighbor Complaints Photo July 2013There are several reactive actions you can take including:

•  Research the noise and nuisance laws that prohibit excessive and unhealthy noise. Check on your county or city website, or simply Google: “Noise ordinance, (your county name). You should get many web listings for information. 

•  Talk to your neighbor about the noise issue. If nothing results from that, you can call the police and even take legal action against them, although you’re probably not going to remain friends once you go that far

 A “Proactive” Option:   Soundproof Your Home

 There is one sure way that you can ensure that neighbor noise doesn’t affect you while you are in your home. It puts the solution in your hands and is proactive. Soundproofing your walls will help create a quieter environment in your own home and will help block irritating outside noise from invading your space. 

Acoustiblok soundproofing material has been featured on DIY Network Shows. It is a flexible, dense membrane that can actually absorb noise. As Acoustiblok vibrates from sound, it actually transforms the acoustical energy into inaudible friction energy. Lead, previously considered the best soundproofing, works on this same principle. Annoying train sounds, construction equipment sound, music, etc. is abated by Acoustiblok. It goes on the studs of the wall before the drywall goes up. You can put it under your subfloor and put it in your walls to make your house quieter. 

Click On the Links Below and See Acoustiblok Soundproofing Material For Yourself 

http:/http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIxwNvhCoy4 (blocking sound)

http:/http:/http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOWwY4QMsM8 (home theater installation)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDFuwVJlgEQ (installation how to video)

A More Technical Explanation of Acoustiblok

•  Acoustiblok can reduce sound transmission by as much as 30 db depending on the frequencies.

 Acoustiblok soundproofing material is a unique barium free flexible 1/8" thick 1.1 lb. psf U.L. Classified, high STC reinforced dense noise isolating material which is utilized as a structural treatment for reducing sound transmission. 

•  Acoustiblok material contains no lead, barium or asbestos materials. 

• Acoustiblok material is specifically formulated to meet rigid requirements such that it is approved by U.L. for walls, ceilings and floors (see U.L. classification), also U.K. tested "B.S. 476: part 7". 

•  Acoustiblok material is typically applied as part of layered wall, ceiling or floor construction. It is usually stapled to wood studs or screwed to metal studs prior to drywall. 

•  Acoustiblok material has the same sound deadening effectiveness as lead without lead's problems. A typical 2 x 4 gypsum stud wall is usually 33 to 35 STC. Just one layer of Acoustiblok installed in the 2 x 4 wall is lab certified at an amazing "STC of 52" (STC 53 if with MTL studs), better than 12" of poured concrete (STC 51).

Why Can’t I Just Use Additional Drywall?

Independent certified laboratory test results demonstrate using additional layers of drywall is not a substitute for an Acoustiblok installation: Beyond the fact that the STC of Acoustiblok is better, it is very important to understand and remember that the objective is to reduce what a person hears, and is annoyed by, from the other side of a wall.


Tags: neighbor noise, neighborhood noise, soundproofing, Noise pollution, noise abatement, Acoustiblok

During A Tornado Emergency, Will Your Residential Standby Generator Be A Noise Nuisance?

Posted by Thomas Wiseman on Jun 7, 2013 8:02:00 PM

Acoustiblok standby generator blog

Residential standby generators may not keep you safe or be important during a tornado, but when electrical power stations and electrical lines are knocked out and hundreds of thousands of homes are left without power, standby generators do make this difficult time more tolerable for as the system is repaired. Standby generators do not run all the time, but when they do run, most are typically loud and emit sound levels ranging from 65 – 100 plus decibels, which often times annoy neighbors who don't have generators and exceed most community noise ordinances.

Being without electrical power after a storm causes increased anxiety to those affected. Living near neighbors that operate loud standby generators without soundproofing will cause increased anxiety and tension during an already difficult situation.  A generator enclosure is the generator's first line of defense against the elements. It’s important to not only keep it in good condition, but also important to have proper soundproofing materials built into your enclosure to absorb the noise and keep it to a tolerable level. Keeping your neighbors up with loud generator noise during power outages may make a normally nice neighbor not so pleasant. 

USA - Tornado Alley of the World

According to Live Science.com, in terms of absolute tornado counts, the United States leads the list globally, with an average of more than 1,000 tornadoes recorded each year. A distant second is Canada, with around 100 per year. Eighty percent of tornadoes are EF0 and EF1 (T0 through T3) tornadoes. The rate of occurrence drops off quickly with increasing strength—less than 1 percent are violent tornadoes (EF4, T8 or stronger).Outside Tornado Alley, and North America in general, violent tornadoes are extremely rare.

 Fujita TORNADO 1 ScaleMother Nature Network.com website says that in the United States, tornado season tends to move northward from late winter to mid-summer. In Southern states, tornado season is typically from March to May. In the Southern Plains, it lasts from May to early June. On the Gulf Coast, tornadoes occur most often during the spring. And in the Northern Plains, Northern states and upper Midwest, peak season is in June or July.

The two regions with a disproportionately higher incidence of tornadoes are Florida and an area in the Midwest known as Tornado Alley, a large strip of land going north to south that covers the northern region of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, the eastern edge of Colorado, southwest tip of South Dakota and the southern edge of Minnesota.

Florida’s high tornado frequency is the direct result of their daily thunderstorms coming from the ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the many tropical storms and hurricanes that affect the Florida peninsula.

In the Gulf Coast region, Dixie Alley refers to West Tennessee, West Kentucky, North Mississippi and North Alabama. These states experience a significantly later tornado season that occurs in the late fall from October through December.

Worst Tornado Outbreak Ever Recorded

The April 25–28, 2011 tornado outbreak was the largest tornado outbreak ever recorded. The outbreak affected the Southern, Midwestern, and Northeastern United States, leaving catastrophic destruction in its wake, especially across the state of Alabama. It produced destructive tornadoes in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia, and affected many other areas throughout the Southern and Eastern United States. In total, 358 tornadoes were confirmed by the National Weather Service in 21 states from Texas to New York and in southern Canada. Widespread and destructive tornadoes occurred on each day of the outbreak, with April 27 being the most active day with a record of 205 tornadoes touching down that day. Four of the tornadoes were destructive enough to be rated EF5 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, which is the highest ranking possible; typically these tornadoes are only recorded about once each year or less. In total, 348 people were killed as a result of the outbreak.

When the Power Goes OutPower Outages Are Common With Tornadoes

Many severe tornadoes bring destruction to property and to electrical systems in large cities and small communities.  Despite the U.S. tornado warning program, which began in 1957, death tolls – even with a growing population – have steadily decreased. Even with today's technology, there's still no way to control where these violent and destructive tornadoes go and what they will hit.  

Media reports estimated that during the Alabama tornado outbreak on April 27 an estunated 262,000 electric “customers” (individual homes and businesses) were without electrical power. The electric utility industry assumes 3-4 people per customer which translates to approximately 786,000 to 1.4 million people being temporarily without electricity temporarily for a prolonged period of time. It can take anywhere from a few days to as many as 10 days or longer sometimes, depending on the situation and the damage. 

Standby Generators: Remember the Soundproofing

All we can do to combat severe storms is to be prepared before they strike. These storms can develop quickly. Electrical power outages in general are happening more and more frequently not only in the United States but across the world. Having a standby generator system in place can make power outages much less burdensome. 

Today's modern digital economy runs on a clean, abundant, and reliable source of power. Issues related to quality and reliable supply of power is driving up demand for backup residential and commercial generators worldwide. Having a standby generator with an enclosure that is properly soundproofed provides a win-win situation for you and your neighbors. 

Residential gen with barrier and without barrierPower outages trigger standby generator systems to automatically switch to generator power until local power is restored. Your backup power system, which typically runs on your home’s existing natural gas line or by diesel fuel, will start and switch power to your home within 10-20 seconds. In most cases, having a generator installed not only will pay for itself, but it will increase the value of your home by several thousand dollars. The excessive noise pollution caused by standby generators is usually an issue that is learned the hard way by generator owners.

So when you purchase your home standby generator, it's important not to forget about the controlling the noise it will make while running. Soundproofing your enclosure will give you the peace of mind that your neighbors won't be calling the authorities complaining about excessive noise coming from your generator at night. These complaints can lead to expensive fines and citations for violating noise ordinances.  

 


Tags: neighborhood sounds, generator enclosures, noisy generator, quieting generators, noise fines, generator soundproofing, noise from generator, residential standby generators, tornado safety, disaster preparedness, neighborhood noise, generators, noise recuction, soundproofing, Noise pollution, noise abatement, Acoustiblok, noise, Noise absorption

One Man's Noise...

Posted by Thomas Wiseman on Mar 8, 2011 4:42:00 PM

When it comes to combating noise pollution, how do U.S. communities take measure of a problem that often does not affect every listener the same way? Samantha Johnson wakes every night at 2 a.m., thanks to the train that barrels behind the house she has lived in for three years.

train noise

Her neighbor three houses up says she is never bothered by the train, and has never been woken at night.

“It’s hard for me to believe that any of my neighbors aren’t bothered by the train noise,” Johnson says. “My neighbor says she never hears the trains, and we have never adjusted to them.”

There are two railroad crossings in the downtown area of Johnson’s community,  a bustling area with a mix of homes and  shops, increasing auto traffic and both commuter and freight trains. After some local residents complained about noise from the train and the train whistle, town officials budgeted a study to determine whether a quiet zone should be created downtown.

To Johnson’s dismay, most of her town’s residents haven’t exactly rallied to the “quiet zone” cause.

“We have received a few complaints from three or four  individuals," said Town Manager Ray Smithson.

“Our residents aren’t gathering en masse to demand we do something about noise, but we try to take the concerns of all our residents seriously, and creating a quiet zone may be a solution.”

Traffic, trains, construction crews hammering first thing in the morning, neighbors with power lawn mowers and noisy heat pumps have all created their fair share of noise.

But what constitutes noise to some people may barely register in the background to others.

John Hammond, an acoustical consultant, has found that noise tolerance is largely subjective. Some people live comfortably in city apartments surrounded by trains, traffic and people, while others living in an isolated country home are kept awake at night by crickets.

Noise is measured in decibels, which Hammond compared to air temperature. Generally, a level of 70 decibels is comfortable, just as 70 degrees is a pleasant temperature. When noise reaches 100 decibels, it hurts.

A soft whisper reaches about 30 decibels, according to the League for the Hard of Hearing. A normal conversation hits 60 decibels, a ringing telephone 80 decibels, a leaf blower 110 decibels and a balloon pop 157 decibels.

"It's a tolerance level," Hammond says. "Some people have zero noise tolerance, but for most people noise doesn’t become a problem until it interferes with what they're doing.”

For the most part, background noise such as traffic or even, for some people, airplanes soaring overhead are not what bug us.

A pure tone, a sound that stays in a narrow frequency range, is the most irritating - like the hum from a fluorescent light fixture. Noise that covers a range of frequencies, such as ocean waves or wind blowing through dried leaves, is not usually annoying.

"If you went out to an expressway and you listened to that sound, even though it's loud and you can't carry on a conversation, it's not particularly aggravating to you," Hammond said. "People will not tolerate a pure tone; for instance, if you had a flute and you played a constant, steady C; hat's like a pure tone, a very narrow frequency, and it can drive many people to distraction."

Studies are showing that excessive noise can damage hearing, disrupt sleep, induce stress and generally lower our quality of life. Noise tops the list of complaints people raise about the neighborhoods in which they live, and the hotels in which they spend vacation or business time.  

Still, there are no blanket policies on noise at the national level. There was an Office of Noise Abatement and Control within the Environmental Protection Agency, but it was phased out in the early 1980s when federal officials decided noise was best regulated on a local level.

The states regulate traffic noise, conducting studies on new highways and building sound barriers where necessary. Some communities have come up with their own regulations, often after residents lodge noise complaints.

Noise laws vary from town to town.  Some set decibel levels in its noise ordinances, while others rely on law and code enforcement officials to respond when noise levels become unreasonable. The problem is, when officials use a noise meter to measure the decibel level, more often than not the noise meter will show that the noisemaker is within the ordinance limits.

“Rarely is the complaint justified,” Hammond said.

While the decibel limits help lawmakers create ordinances, considering the subjective nature of noise complaints, one person can be unable to function due to noise that does not bother others around him.

Tags: noise ordinances, transportation noise, neighborhood noise, blocking noise, privacy, train noise, noise complaints, sound barriers, noise

J.D. Power & Associates: Noise is # 1 Complaint Among Hotel Guests

Posted by Liz Ernst on Nov 10, 2010 4:30:00 PM

Luxury Hotel still has noise problemsJ.D. Power and Associates recently released its 2010 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study that is based on more than 53,000 guests who stayed in a hotel between May 2009 and June 2010. This article focuses on guest problems, naming noise as the number one complaint among hotel guests.

J.D. Power and Associates continues to observe that high levels of customer satisfaction are dependent on problem prevention, rather than problem resolution. That is not to say that service recovery is not required when a guest experiences a significant problem; however, it is more difficult to achieve the satisfaction level of those guests who don’t experience a problem in the first place, than for guests who experience problems that are eventually resolved.

The chart below illustrates the differences in satisfaction between guests who did and did not experience a significant problem during their stay. The scores are based on a 1,000-point scale and reflect the industry average across hotel segments based on the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study.

Across the industry, overall satisfaction is 144 points higher when guests did not experience a significant problem (781), compared with when they did (637). While there is a significant gap in satisfaction among the guests for whom the problem was resolved (705), compared with those for whom the problem remained unresolved (582), satisfaction still falls significantly below that of guests who did not experience a problem in the first place.  

Impact of Significant Problem on Overall Satisfaction Index

While it is possible to so impress and exceed a guest’s expectations during recovery that they are more satisfied after recovery than if they never had a problem, these are rare occurrences.  We certainly would not advocate creating false problems in order to heroically swoop in and solve the problems for guests as a business model, but it does reinforce the important opportunity recovery represents. It makes a statement to guests about your brand and how you value their business.

You might wonder, what are the most frequently occurring problems that guests cite?

Across the industry, the top three problems guests cited are:

  1. Noise
  2. Hotel/room maintenance
  3. Heating ventilation and AC problems

The chart below summarizes the top three by segment.  The top three problems cited in the economy/budget segment, for example, are:  room cleanliness (28%), room smell (28%), and hotel/room maintenance (27%).

Top Three Most Frequently Reported Problems by Segment
 
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Stuart Greif is VP and general manager of the global travel and hospitality practice for J.D. Power and Associates.

Tags: J.D. Power, noisy hotel, Hotel noise, neighborhood noise, noise complaints, hotel complaints, noise

Custom Noise Reducing Window Shutters Reduce Unwanted Ouside Noise

Posted by Thomas Wiseman on Nov 8, 2010 11:11:00 AM

soundproof shutters soundproof window shutters

Window coverings offer privacy, block the harsh rays of the sun and sometimes even provide a layer of insulation during the winter months, when cold air can easily leak into the home through the windows. There is a seemingly endless variety of window covering options to suit almost every taste and purpose, but not all of them provide a sound barrier to keep out the ambient noise from traffic, construction and numerous other sources. soundproofing

There are sound barrier window treatments available, but you need to do your homework in order to track down the one that works best for your home and the level of noise deadening you are looking to achieve. Many products claim to block noise, but few actually deliver high caliber sound abatement over windows, which are perhaps the most difficult areas to block sound.

Sound abatement curtains come with sound dampening materials imbedded into the fabric, and have varying levels of effectiveness. In addition to curtains, there are other decorative options for silencing the noise that leaks in through windows and glass doors. Consumers report mixed results with these fixes, which lose their effectiveness in proportion to the level of noise they are trying to block.Soundproof

A company called Acousticalshutters.com produces beautiful custom noise reducing shutters for residential and business applications that block up to 10-times more outside noise than traditional shutters or curtains.

Called Shut-Eye™ acoustical shutters, they come in a variety of sizes and styles to fit virtually any window or sliding glass door. Comparing Shut-Eye acoustical shutters to other products shows that Shut-Eye brand provide 25-50 decibels noise reduction, where as other window noise reduction treatments only provide 5-25 decibel reduction.

Standard windows, sliding glass doors, French doors, arches, transoms, and other windows can be covered with the Shut-Eye Acoustical Shutters to block out nearly all exterior noises. They are ideal for reducing all invasive outdoor noise from traffic, aircrafts, and nearby construction.  They are well suited for hotels, condominiums, private homes, apartments, military bases, and office buildings.

The Shut-Eye Acoustical Shutters were invented by  an experienced acoustical consulting firm that focused its research on the acoustical weak link in most buildings.  The aim was to create a cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing noise control solution for any window, anywhere.

One of the best features of the Shut-Eye shutters is that they don’t interfere with the functionality of your windows. You can still open and close them, and clean them whenever needed.

sound proof, soundproof, sound proofing, soundproofing

Tags: acoustical shutters, sound barrier window treatments, sound abatement curtains, windows, transom, neighborhood noise, blocking noise, privacy, residential soundproofing, noise complaints, noise

Understanding Noise & its Effects is Mission Critical to Your Health

Posted by Liz Ernst on Oct 12, 2010 3:33:00 PM

Using a jackhammer causes noise pollution  neighborhood noise from aircraftPeople everywhere are subjected to ambient noise from construction equipment, air traffic, noisy neighbors, barking dogs, road traffic and a multitude of sources that contribute to serious noise-related health problems.

In the last U.S. Census report, Americans named noise as the number one problem in neighborhoods. Of the households surveyed, 11.3-percent stated that street or traffic noise was bothersome, and 4.4-percent said that the noise problems in their neighborhood were so bad, they wanted to move. More Americans are bothered by noise than by crime, odors and other problems listed under "other bothersome conditions."

News agencies including CNN, the BBC and others are beginning to take a serious look at the health ramifications of noise in our everyday lives. Although many people might argue that humans have become conditioned to suppress noise, defined as “unwanted sound,” it can actually cause a physical response at a conscious or subconscious level that is often detrimental to the human body.  In fact, most of us do not consciously register all the noise our bodies absorb every day, yet our well-being is being seriously damaged by modern sound. Here are five things about sound and health that you may not know:

1.) You are a chord. This is obvious from physics, though it's admittedly somewhat metaphorical to call the combined rhythms and vibrations within a human being a chord, which we usually understand to be an aesthetically pleasant audible collection of tones. But "the fundamental characteristic of nature is periodic functioning in frequency, or musical pitch," according to C.T. Eagle. Matter is vibrating energy; therefore, we are a collection of vibrations of many kinds, which can be considered a chord.

2.) One definition of health is when the chord is in complete harmony. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity" which opens at least three dimensions to the concept.

3.) We see one octave; we hear ten. An octave is a doubling in frequency. The visual spectrum in frequency terms is 400-790 THz, so it's just under one octave. Humans with great hearing can hear from 20 Hz to 20 KHz, which is ten octaves.

4.) Noise harms and even kills. There is now a wealth of evidence about the harmful effect of noise, and yet most people still consider noise a local matter, not the major global issue it has become.

According to the European Union, “Around 20-percent of Europe’s (approximately 80 million people) suffer from noise levels that scientists and health experts consider to be unacceptable – that is, levels where most people become annoyed, where sleep is disturbed and where adverse health effects are to be feared. An additional 170 million citizens are living in so-called 'grey areas' where the noise levels are such to cause serious annoyance during the daytime."

The World Health Organization (WHO) says "Traffic noise alone is harming the health of almost every third person in the WHO European Region. One in five Europeans is regularly exposed to sound levels at night that could significantly damage health."

The WHO is also the source for the startling statistic about noise killing 200,000 people a year. Its findings (LARES report) estimate that 3 percent of deaths from ischemic heart disease result from long-term exposure to noise. With 7 million deaths a year globally, that means 210,000 people are dying of noise every year.

The cost of noise to society is astronomical. The EU again: "Present economic estimates of the annual damage in the EU due to environmental noise range from EUR 13 billion to 38 billion. Elements that contribute are a reduction of housing prices, medical costs, reduced possibilities of land use and cost of lost labor days." (Future Noise Policy European Commission Green Paper 1996).

Then there is the effect of noise on social behavior. The U.S. report "Noise and its effects" (Administrative Conference of the United States, Alice Suter, 1991) says: "Even moderate noise levels can increase anxiety, decrease the incidence of helping behavior, and increase the risk of hostile behavior in experimental subjects. These effects may, to some extent, help explain the "dehumanization" of today's urban environment."

Excerpted from a CNN 2010 Opinion article from 10/10/2010 by Julian Treasure, the author of "Sound Business."




Tags: well-being, traffic noise, neighborhood noise, Health Risks, noise

Acoustiblok Provides Kennel Neighbors with Peace and Quiet

Posted by Thomas Wiseman on Sep 30, 2010 12:16:00 PM

Group of dogs from kennel who installed Acoustiblok

Building or retrofitting a kennel can present some unique challenges for dog-loving entrepreneurs, but if engineered properly a kennel can and should be an affordable, quiet, and neighbor-friendly facility.

When Deb and Jon B. hired contractors to design and build their 28 x 60-foot dog kennel in rural Iowa back in 2003, their decades-long dream of housing and caring for their farm community’s canines quickly turned nightmarish when one neighbor complained that the noise from the barking was affecting his health.

The neighbor insisted that the noise of the dogs barking was loud enough to not only interfere with his sleep, but with his quality of life during the day as well, and indeed the noise level did exceed the county’s EPA sound level limits (as do most kennels.)

The couple learned about Acoustiblok only after a series of legal headaches and ill-advised fixes like custom built “sound-blocking” panels and custom-made “husher” acoustical curtains did nothing to appease the neighbor’s complaints. Despite each new fix, the police got involved, and soon the courts became involved.

By 2005, contractors hired by the couple had sealed windows and completely enclosed the dog run in order to address the noise problem.

“It took away the dogs’ visibility, and completely changed the look of the building,” Deb said. “It began to look like a jail, and still it did not significantly reduce the noise level.”

With legal and construction costs piling up, Deb came very close to closing shop and returning to her previous work as an insurance adjuster. In April 2009, the couple held a farm sale to raise money for their legal expenses;

The situation had become bleak until a local lumberyard operator suggested she look into Acoustiblok. Deb decided to give the Tampa, Florida-based company a call. That phone call changed everything.

“I had a significant business at stake,” she said. “I was beside myself when I made the call to Acoustiblok; this conflict had ripped our lives apart.

“How I wish I knew then what I know now,” she said.

Acoustiblok acoustical consultant Steve Hibbens spoke with Deb at length regarding her kennel and helped her formulate a game plan for addressing her architectural challenges and utilizing Acoustiblokto her best advantage. Before installation began, Acoustiblok consultants held a conference call with the couple’s contractor to advise on the installation process for maximum benefit.

“It’s not just about using our material, but also applying sound abatement construction techniques that work together with Acoustiblok for maximum sound reduction,” Hibbens said.

Contractor Dave Hanson removed the kennel’s aluminum siding and took the kennel down to the metal studs. Installation took about 18 hours, as Hanson and one employee installed Acoustiblok one segment at a time so that the dogs did not have to be displaced in the process.

Hanson also replaced the existing windows with triple pane, low RE windows for a combined effect so impressive, he said he will recommend Acoustiblok in future construction and retrofitting projects.

Deb was impressed as well. In fact, she is so convinced that the guidance of Acoustiblok experts and the effectiveness of the product itself has made such a profound impact on the quality of her life, she has become something of an acoustical expert in her own right. Her next project includes adding Acoustiblok ceiling tiles in the kennel, and hanging strategically placed Acoustifence on the property for complete sound abatement.

As her business flourishes, she sees the improvements as an affordable and effective investment in the future.

“I have learned so much from your company,” Deb said. “The decision to install Acoustiblok has saved our lifestyle, saved our kennel, and allowed us to continue doing what we waited our whole lives to do.”

 

###

Tags: acoustical expert, kennels, kennel noise, noise ordinance, neighborhood noise, noise complaints, soundproofing, sound abatement, noise, dog barking