NOISE NUISANCE IN MY GARDEN, WHAT CAN I DO?

NOISE NUISANCE IN MY GARDEN, WHAT CAN I DO?

Noise pollution in your own garden is a very common and sometimes difficult problem to tackle. The solution starts with the question of where the sound comes from or what causes it?


NOISE NUISANCE IN MY GARDEN, WHAT CAN I DO?

Is it a problem with the neighbours, with traffic, with motorbikes, with a highway, with air traffic, with construction activities, with industry in the immediate vicinity, with animals? In addition to sound, is it also a tactile vibration? Does everyone in your family suffer from it or is it just a few who react very badly to it? Are your pets bothered by it, but not you yourself? Pets sometimes hear more and differently than people. People who are deaf usually do not suffer from noise pollution. But even then it can get annoying when neighbors (and sometimes roommates)make their music system work so full that plates and cups rattle on your garden table. It can also be very annoying for housemates and neighbors if a radio, recorder or TV set is turned on loudly because of the user's deafness. A deaf person often does not realize this.

There are decibel rules from the government about what is and is not allowed, but they are very arbitrary because everyone hears differently. What is annoying for one person (for example, high screeching tones or endlessly continuing deep bass tones) may not be a problem at all for another. Some people get an irresistible urge to go to the bathroom when a fountain is splashing in the pond in a neighbor's garden. For others, that is a wonderfully soothing sound. The latter probably applies to those neighbors. There are people who are crazy about nocturnal frog croaking or the screeching sound of crickets, others enjoy it. Many unavoidable noises (for example, a train that regularly passes by)one will get used to it and after a while he will no longer even hear it, while another will never get used to it. With all its consequences!

Noise nuisance in the garden can even lead to serious health problems for people who stay there regularly, because stress has a huge impact on our mental and physical functioning. It can therefore not only be a huge annoyance, but also have a sickening effect on us and that can have far-reaching consequences. So we have to understand from each other that complaints that are expressed in many cases are not whining, but a real problem for the person who comes up with it. If that is the starting point (understanding each other) , the problem is usually solved quickly. Otherwise it can turn into very annoying situations.

There are people who absolutely shouldn't live in a big city because there is always noise they can't stand there: traffic all night, sirens from ambulances, fire brigade and police, all kinds of devices that make noise (air conditioners and such) , the tinkling of rigging lines on moored ships, air traffic, etc. etc. The solution becomes possible if the problem is recognized by those who cause it or if the possible cause is very clear to everyone and it is admitted.

Noise nuisance in the garden from low-flying aircraft, for example, cannot be prevented, unless escape routes/behaviours are changed. This quickly becomes a time-consuming, nerve-wracking history to pull off because of the very conflicting interests involved. In practice, you will often find that your interest is less highly regarded than the interest of the causer. The least that is immediately possible, and often recommended, is to install (expensive) heavy sound insulation in buildings (homes, workspaces, etc.) and sit inside if another plane comes over.

The vast majority of lawsuits are conducted regarding noise nuisance caused by and by neighbors (garden parties, loud talking, loud music, barking dogs, etc.) . The cause of such a problem can be contained by means of the legal rules that you can enforce, but that is not the first choice for the solution. If the problem is not recognized by the perpetrators, the confrontation with it will continue and the situation can escalate. That's the practice. You or the owner can't stop a dog from barking, but you can get that to happen less often outside in the neighborhood garden. But that often has to be enforced.

In many cases, it is ultimately best to take measures on your own property to reverse or at least reduce noise pollution.

To do that, you need to know something about sound. You can also hire specialists who can propose and realize solutions with their expertise.

Sound travels via waves in all directions through air, water and earth, but it does not have to be equally strong in all directions. You hear the sound of a megaphone better when you stand in front of it than behind it.

Sound is a vibration that propagates from a sound source through a substance. An earthquake, for example, produces a very special sound (a deep thump that they know very well in Groningen and South Limburg) and the vibration is clearly felt. Especially deep, dark-toned sound can hit you, as it were. There is such a thing as sound pressure that you can feel. You may know that feeling if you've ever stood close to a heavy speaker box of a performing rock band or music system. Hopefully that box wasn't with your neighbors then, because then you didn't sit outside in your own garden for long.

Animals feel these vibrations or hear the accompanying sound better than we do and react to them much earlier. During tsunamis in the sea, many animals feel (or hear) the earth's crust vibrate before we humans even notice. The animals then flee to higher areas, people are often too late and can no longer save themselves.

Vibrations in the earth can propagate incredibly far. Seismic institutes in the Netherlands easily measure vibrations that occur in Siberia, for example.

Sound vibrations also reach very far in water. Whales make sounds that they can hear from each other hundreds of miles away. But that is already less far than through the ground. Sound is propagated through the air for even shorter periods. Air dampens sounds the fastest. In humid air (at about 20 °C) the propagation speed of sound is more than 1200 kilometers per hour, in drier air it is easily less than 1200 km/h. Temperature and moisture content therefore have a major influence on what you hear from the environment. If it is missing you can hear sounds from a great distance.

Above we stated that sound travels in waves. That is true, but it can be done in very different ways. A highway, for example, causes a kind of tube of sound that gets wider and wider over its entire length. Non-directed sound forms a hemisphere of sound around it with the sound becoming more and more muffled the further it radiates. The sound is diluted, as it were. You can hear a working petrol lawnmower at the neighbour's house much better than the same machine at the people's house five houses away. The condition of the environment also has an influence. A soft surface (e.g. a turf) attenuates sound better than a hard or smooth surface (e.g. pavement or the water surface of a pond). High frequency sound is also better attenuated (by air) than low tones (long waves). Sound is therefore damped by the path it travels and by the material through which the sound travels or along. The wind direction also has an influence. If sound travels against the wind direction, it dampens faster. The air temperature is also important in the case of noise pollution. Experts who are asked to propose measures take all these things into account. The solutions will therefore differ from case to case. The best way to prevent noise pollution is of course to remove the noise source. If your neighbors are bothered by the fountain in your pond, it is ideal for peace of mind to forgo it. If your dog is causing a lot of nuisance, you may have to say goodbye to him/her. If you like to listen to music in your garden, it might be a little softer. Loud talking can often be a bit less if you realize how annoying that 'always have to listen in' can be. There is a lot that should actually be solved quite easily.

Sound can be reflected (reflection) , diffracted or scattered. And these are phenomena that can provide a solution to noise problems if they cannot be removed, as is the case with the noise of a highway, for example. In the case of monotonous, constant sounds, technical counter -noise (anti-noise)be realized that eliminates noise pollution. But that rarely happens. Structural solutions are usually proposed and realized. Structures are then literally built or constructed that make the noise nuisance more bearable. They are rarely completely removed. A noise barrier along a highway partially reverses the sound, for another part the sound is lifted, as it were, and that will then 'descend' again at a greater distance from the road. The sound is now somewhat muffled, but the people who live in a place further from the highway still suffer from it and often even more than the people who live just behind the noise barrier.

Fences (on the property boundary) are often proposed as a solution for gardens. These must then be as high as possible (in any case as high as is permitted by law and in that particular situation) , but such a fence must then be closed. An open fence hardly helps. It only scatters the sound a bit. The latter is also the effect of planting with plants that form a dense, fine foliage. All those leaf surfaces scatter the sound, making it less irritating. Those who have the space can consider, if possible, to build an earthen wall (which lifts the sound upwards) and then also plant it with fine-leaved plants. There are dozens of solutions for a whole range of sound problems.

Can't figure it out yourself? Then hire an expert. Our Appeltern Garden experts have gained the necessary experience. They can guide you step by step to the solution. The main thing is a lasting good relationship with your neighbors, right? More information can be found at: Property separation against noise nuisance

Noise pollution remains a huge problem that will only get worse the more people live close together! The number of sites on this subject and related topics is large.

  • www.nsg.nl
  • www.juridischloket.nl
  • www.rechtdoor.nl

A Greenwall® soundproofing boundary could also be a green solution for noise nuisance. You can also find fences in our webshop .

 

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