According to a USA Today newspaper article of July 12 that cites a Findlaw.com source, noise is the most common neighbor dispute. The following are some excerpts from another FindLaw.com article:
There are several reactive actions you can take including:
• Research the noise and nuisance laws that prohibit excessive and unhealthy noise. Check on your county or city website, or simply Google: “Noise ordinance, (your county name). You should get many web listings for information.
• Talk to your neighbor about the noise issue. If nothing results from that, you can call the police and even take legal action against them, although you’re probably not going to remain friends once you go that far.
A “Proactive” Option: Soundproof Your Home
There is one sure way that you can ensure that neighbor noise doesn’t affect you while you are in your home. It puts the solution in your hands and is proactive. Soundproofing your walls will help create a quieter environment in your own home and will help block irritating outside noise from invading your space.
Acoustiblok soundproofing material has been featured on DIY Network Shows. It is a flexible, dense membrane that can actually absorb noise. As Acoustiblok vibrates from sound, it actually transforms the acoustical energy into inaudible friction energy. Lead, previously considered the best soundproofing, works on this same principle. Annoying train sounds, construction equipment sound, music, etc. is abated by Acoustiblok. It goes on the studs of the wall before the drywall goes up. You can put it under your subfloor and put it in your walls to make your house quieter.
A More Technical Explanation of Acoustiblok
• Acoustiblok can reduce sound transmission by as much as 30 db depending on the frequencies.
• Acoustiblok soundproofing material is a unique barium free flexible 1/8″ thick 1.1 lb. ppsf U.L. Classified, high STC reinforced dense noise isolating material which is utilized as a structural treatment for reducing sound transmission.
• Acoustiblok material contains no lead, barium or asbestos materials.
• Acoustiblok material is specifically formulated to meet rigid requirements such that it is approved by U.L. for walls, ceilings and floors (see U.L. classification), also U.K. tested “B.S. 476: part 7”.
• Acoustiblok material is typically applied as part of layered wall, ceiling or floor construction. It is usually stapled to wood studs or screwed to metal studs prior to drywall.
• Acoustiblok material has the same sound deadening effectiveness as lead without lead’s problems. A typical 2 x 4 gypsum stud wall is usually 33 to 35 STC. Just one layer of Acoustiblok installed in the 2 x 4 wall is lab certified at an amazing “STC of 52″ (STC 53 if with MTL studs), better than 12” of poured concrete (STC 51).
Why Can’t I Just Use Additional Drywall?
Independent certified laboratory test results demonstrate using additional layers of drywall is not a substitute for an Acoustiblok installation: Beyond the fact that the STC of Acoustiblok is better, it is very important to understand and remember that the objective is to reduce what a person hears, and is annoyed by, from the other side of a wall.