Q&A / 

Trash Chute Noise

Lorraine Innes has a big problem with trash chute noise in Marco Island, FL. 

Allow her to describe the dreadful situation.

"Our condo is next to the trash chute. We are on a lower floor and not only hear the trash coming down the chute (19 floors), but hear it crash into the dumpster.

It wakes us up at night even though the bedroom is not near the chute. The kitchen is beside the chute and it is quite loud there.

Is there a way to insulate from within our condo to reduce the noise?  We were thinking of building a second wall and using Roxul between in the pantry and using foam fake tin panels glued to the wall in the kitchen as a back splash. This would not be feasible in the bedroom.  Any help would be appreciated."

Here's my answer for Lorraine:

I've written pretty extensively about sound control here on my website. I feel you need to read all my past columns on the topic to see what you're up against. Use my search engine and type in: sound control

Here's the CliffsNotes version. Sound is created by vibrations and then travels through air to get to your eardrums.

To stop noise, you need to minimize or eliminate vibrations within your condo and stop any air leaks between your condo and the trash chute.

Plugging air leaks alone could solve the issue. When I used to put in new replacement windows in customers' houses, they were astonished how outside road noise no longer could be heard indoors.

This happened because I would take the time to seal all air leaks around the edges of the new windows and the windows themselves had great weatherstripping that stopped outside air containing noise waves to make it indoors.

Stopping vibrations is the harder challenge. Finding and stopping air leaks would be the first things I'd do.

Read all my past columns and this will all make sense.

Good luck!

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