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The Ultimate Blocking Neighbor Noise Quiz
by Staff
We are constantly bombarded by annoying sounds as we go about our daily routines. The last thing most people desire is a lot of neighbor noise penetrating their home. There are many options to help minimize unwelcome sound from outside our homes. Take this quiz to test your knowledge of sound control.

How does sound travel?

  • Sound travels by movement that causes air particles to vibrate.
  • Sound travels by a principal called transduction.
  • Sound travels using a principal called polar radiation.

What is the unit of measurement for sound level?

  • erg
  • watt
  • decibel

What is considered the highest level of sound that a human can tolerate without experiencing pain?

  • 100 DB
  • 120 DB
  • 140 DB

What is the usual level of a typical conversation?

  • A normal conversation will usually measure around 60 DB.
  • A normal conversation will usually measure around 50 DB.
  • A normal conversation will usually measure around 40 DB.

Can we make our homes less susceptible to noise from outside sources?

  • Without using very expensive materials there is little we can do about noise penetration.
  • There are several simple and inexpensive strategies for reducing outside noise penetration.
  • The only alternative for most apartment or townhome dwellers is masking external sounds.

How are materials measured or rated for their ability to block or absorb sounds?

  • passive block rating (PBR)
  • sound suppression factor (SSF)
  • sound transmission class (STC)

What STC rating must shared walls have according to the 2006 version of the International Building Code (IBC)?

  • STC 62
  • STC 50
  • STC 33

As of the end of 2009, what version of the STC had most states considered standard?

  • 1905-06-24 23:00:00
  • 2005
  • 2008

What is one of the best transmitters of neighboring sounds and one of the easiest to fix?

  • ductwork
  • windows
  • walls

What is a typical method for construction of common walls between townhomes or apartments?

  • Common walls are constructed only with studs covered by drywall on both sides.
  • Common walls are constructed with hollow concrete blocks with studs covered by drywall on each side.
  • Common walls are constructed with staggered studs, an air space between walls, insulation, and drywall.

What is the quickest and cheapest way to increase your walls STC rating by about 10 points?

  • Simply screw a second layer of 5/8 inch drywall over your existing drywall, crack fill, sand and paint.
  • Apply a layer of Styrofoam Blue sheeting and cover it with 5/8 inch drywall, crack fill, sand and paint.
  • Apply two coats of fiber based sound absorption paint and then finish the wall with a regular coat of paint.

What can you do in the case of more extreme noise issues from a connecting apartment or home?

  • Apply rigid foam paneling and cover it with 0.5-inch thick drywall.
  • Apply acoustic tile between shallow metal studs and attach 5/8-inch thick drywall to the studs.
  • Apply QuietRock, a special drywall product that employs a special sound damping technology.

According to Homasote, by what percentage can you reduce noise coming through a wall by using their product?

  • Adding Homasote panels, wrapped in decorative fabric, to a wall can reduce noise by 20 percent.
  • Adding Homasote panels, wrapped in decorative fabric, to a wall can reduce noise by 30 percent.
  • Adding Homasote panels, wrapped in decorative fabric, to a wall can reduce noise by 40 percent.

What can you do to reduce noise coming from above your apartment or condominium?

  • Consider installing a ceiling with acoustic tiles suspended under the existing ceiling.
  • Consider adding a second layer of drywall screwed to the existing joists after applying Green Glue.
  • Both of the above choices are very effective at reducing noise levels from above a ceiling.

What percentage of noise reduction does Green Glue claim if applied according to their instructions?

  • 50 percent
  • 75 percent
  • 90 percent

What is a good first strategy for reducing noise from an apartment or condominium below your home?

  • Install a new hardwood floor equipped with an under layer of acoustic insulation.
  • Install the thickest under padding you can find under existing or new carpeting.
  • Install a new floor on top of 2X2 inch stringers laid at a 90-degree angel to existing rafters.

What is a good solution for handling noise when your budget is limited or you are renting for a short term?

  • Invest in an automatic multidisc player and some good relaxing classical music discs.
  • Invest in a white noise generator to trick your ears into not hearing annoying noises.
  • Invest in a pair of those new headphones that mask noise with electronic cancelling techniques.

What is the average STC of a standard hollow-core apartment entry door?

  • 20 to 25
  • 25 to 30
  • 35 to 40

All homes have significant sound infiltration through windows. What is a typical STC number for most double pane windows?

  • around 30
  • around 26
  • around 22

What is another significant source of noise transmission in apartments, condominiums and town homes?

  • skylights
  • framing
  • ductwork