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In today’s busiest cities it can be tough to escape from the constant background noise. From our experience, we’ve noticed some common and recurring reasons that drive all of our readers and customers to look for soundproofing solutions.
We reached out to over 3000 customers, and got feedback from over 200. When we tabulated the top reasons that each of our customers purchased their soundproof curtains, and added up our tallies, here’s what we found – most customers were in need of noise-blocking curtains due to Traffic or Street Noise coming in through their windows. After that, it wasn’t a huge drop to the next most likely noise issue, Loud Neighbors! (A theme we’ve visited before).
Though it’s tough to separate the sound from the noise, here are the top 10 issues our customers have faced over the past 24 months.
- Traffic Noise
Traffic noise coming off the street just below, or the highway that’s within line of sight, is the #1 offender. Most major cities have apartments and homes right next to busy throughways, making it impossible to add any kind of fence or border between the loud sound. If you rent, double-pane windows are also difficult to justify.
Remember that trucks often have peak loudness at 250 Hz or less, while cars and motorcycles are much higher, making them easier to block.
See our guide on ways to soundproof your windows from outside traffic noise.
- Noisy (and Nosey) Neighbors
This includes those crazy kids they have as well! Sometimes it’s just talk outside your bedroom window, and others yelling down the hall, but noisy neighbors can be very difficult to deal with. Calling in noise complaints is a short-term solution.
- Barking Dogs
A common source of frustration, since there’s usually nothing to be done. Jack Russells, a small terrier breed, are adorable, but seem to cause the most trouble in the neighborhood! Consider using a sound masking system, or sound masking app on your phone.
- Spouse and Roommates
If your spouse or roommate is on a different sleep schedule (working nights or just a night owl), TV or other sounds throughout the house can be difficult to cope with. When that’s the case, soundproofing your door is the best option to reduce noise sneaking in around thresholds and jambs.
With more and more folks working from home, construction is becoming an increasingly important issue. There are usually local ordinances to monitor how much noise is allowed in the evenings, but if you’re unlucky enough to be right next to a construction zone, that conference call may sound like you’re working right on site!
- Nearby Parties or Events
These are usually one-time, or at worst, occasional inconveniences. You can usually get away with letting them go, but if they become commonplace, it’s something you may need to address.
- Air Conditioning Units
A surprisingly obnoxious sound – we have a lot of customers complain about the constant drone outside bedroom windows.
Probably the most difficult to deal with. There are usually noise ordinances in place for airports as well, and civic groups (such as the Community Noise Consortium) that are dedicated to limiting the noise pollution caused. The issue is that the sound is typically very brief and very loud, meaning traditional soundproofing techniques are not very effective.
- Nearby Business/Industry
Community zoning is meant to mitigate these issues, but they still pop up from time to time.
- Subway/Public Transportation
And finally, the public transportation infrastructure in large cities is always an issue. Due to the structure of our poll, many of these votes went into Traffic Noise, but for those living right next to the subway, you probably relate with the intermittent rumblings that come through the ground.
Other topics not ranking were: Stadiums and Sporting Events, Tourists, Intersections, Visiting Family and Guests, and Maritime Traffic