When You're The Noisy Neighbor by dan the roommate man
Thanks to home offices, computer/game rooms and improved entertainment centers, Americans are spending more and more time enveloped in home activities. While having access to all that we need under our own roof is convenient, it can also be noisy.
If you live in an apartment or condominium community, you share most of your walls with neighbors. Because of this, you should be extra careful about the amount of noise you make. If neighbors have made complaints about the noise coming from your apartment, there are certain things you can do to avoid that eviction notice.
Place vibration mounts under major appliances: You can find these at your local hardware or appliance store. This will absorb some of the sound normally caused by the vibrations of your washing machine/refrigerator/washer/dryer etc.
Place foam pads under small appliances: These work in the same way that the vibration mounts do - just on a smaller level.
Use window drapes: fabric absorbs sound, so the more of it you use, the less noisy your home will be. Most leases have a clause stating that the floors must have 90% carpet coverage for this reason.
Seal holes or cracks in doors and windows: For doors, you can purchase regular weather stripping from a hardware store. You can use this stripping indoors as well as on doors leading outside. This is a great solution to a noisy laundry room or bathroom. To seal windows, you can use inexpensive clear caulking.
Replace metal garbage cans with plastic cans: This is pretty obvious. The smaller the area, the more concentrated the noise becomes. If you have metal or aluminum garbage cans banging around, the sound will be much more intense than a plastic container.
Purchase quiet appliances: Some home appliances will claim to be quiet or low sound appliances right on the box. If you’re going to buy new appliances anyway, you may as well look for ones that are quiet.
If you want to go the extra mile (and your landlord is okay with it): Install padded carpeting to absorb sound: It might not cost as much as you would think. Many carpeting companies hold on to what they call “remnants” which are basically leftovers from big jobs. Maybe 5’ x 5’ is a scrap to a big homeowner, but could cover your entire living room. You can get lush, thick carpeting for a fraction of the original cost this way. Installing good carpeting will not only reduce the noise within your apartment, it will block outside noise and will provide insulation. Good insulation helps to reduce electric bills - so even if the cost of carpeting seems steep, you’ll probably see that money again in savings.
Install vinyl tile or thick linoleum to absorb sound: Again, you might think this is a little much... but if you were planning on re-doing your bathroom anyway, you might want to invest in material that will look good AND absorb sound.
If you have received any complaints about the noise coming from your apartment, and you follow any of these suggestions, it is a good idea to document the change(s) made. This way, if you are confronted about the noise coming from your apartment again, and are threatened with eviction, you can prove that you have attempted to reduce the noise level.
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