Soundproofing a thin wall

A customer writes,

I have looked at your website and need further advice.My family and I have bought a 1928 semi-detached property in a “nice” area of Leicester, but the neighbours enjoy their music at different times of day and there is a substantial content of bass, which has driven my wife to her mother’s house, with our 2 very young children. This is an unacceptable situation for all concerned. The council’s noise pollution team have done all they can but 2 issues appear insoluble, from an enforcement perspective. 

Firstly, my wife is unusually sensitive to the sound.

Secondly, the walls are thin. On occasion when I have been informed that their music is keeping her awake, I have had to put my ear against the wall to hear it, but can hear their voices much better than the music, which suggests the music is being played quietly but is still loud enough on this side of the wall to disturb my wife.

That’s the background. My question is how do I determine where to best apply any soundproofing measures? Do I remove the chimney breasts, soundproof the party wall, or address the floors which might be transmitting the sound through? Or some other approach? I hoped there might be a sort of stethoscope with a sound meter on it so that I could research the detail of the structure’s sound insulation for myself but have not found one yet.

Money is limited and there are few worse scenarios than the expense and disruption of a soundproofing project which results in no improvement. Do you offer any assessment service to identify where the sound might be coming through? Of course I can’t ask them to play their music on demand so that you can make the measurements needed, so is there a DIY kit that I could borrow, rent or buy for my own use?

 

Thank you for your time and I look forward to your reply. I understand you will be busy but hope to hear from you as soon as is practical.

Sound Stop reply

Yours is a common scenario and should be helped by sound proofing. In general removal of chimney breast is not necessary typically the alcoves are the problem. I would suggest soundproofing in one room to start to see how you get on. Typically against bass sound an independent structure would create the best result. http://www.soundstop.co.uk/solutions/wall_solutions/wall_solution_3.php all the info including pricing you need to do the job are contained on the links. If you cannot do this and would prefer a stick on solution then you will also get relief from  http://www.soundstop.co.uk/solutions/wall_solutions/wall_solution_1.php and solution 4 http://www.soundstop.co.uk/solutions/wall_solutions/wall_solution_4.php

There are instructions on all these pages as well as links to calculate costs. All solutions are DIY-able.

There are various DB metre Aps available on the market, but your ear is a good indicator.

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