Noisy Co-Op Neighbor in Park Slope: How to Deal?

bkuser asks on the Park Slope Message Board: “… I’m awake right now not because of New Year’s Eve, but because my neighbor upstairs is blasting techno on his stereo system made too large for apartments of this size (and because of poor insulation between floors). I bought my co-op about 8 months ago, and slowly have come to realize the major noise issues…”

“I’ve been keeping a log of the times I’ve gone up to talk to the neighbor (after allowable hours) … It’s currently near 2:30 am and the techno is at full blast where the bass has been vibrating my walls, fixtures, and distorted enough that I feel like I’m literally in a dance club and my ears ring each time the song changes (which is not often if you know techno). They are now whoo-hoo’ing and hey-ho’ing.”

“HELP! I think this guy is a renter too… I just don’t want to get into this horrible situation where he’s just going to get vengeful. I just want him to keep the music at a tolerable level. Even at 2:30 am on new year’s day … (ok, he had his music from 8 to now at this full blast–it’s enough!)”

Advice on calling 311, formally complaining to the co-op board, carpeting, decibel meters, and renting restrictions on the Park Slope Message Board

3 Replies to “Noisy Co-Op Neighbor in Park Slope: How to Deal?”

  1. I wouldn’t include this New Year’s party in your discussions with him about noise– it’s normal to have a loud party on New Year’s, and complaining about that won’t get you anywhere (other than to make you seem unreasonable). You should be able to work something out with your neighbor that will allow you both to enjoy your homes– try to keep it civil and work it out with him before making official complaints to the co-op board or 311. Many NY apartments lack sufficient insulation between floors, and in some ways noise is a price you pay to live in the city vs living in a place where there is more space between people. Good luck & happy new year.

  2. I work in building materials and actually teach an architectural course on acoustical design. You may be surprised to know that insulation actually does not have that great an effect between floors.

    If you can hear your upstairs neighbor talking under normal conditions, then you have an unusually poor floor acoustically, at least for this neighborhood where buildings tend to be older (and constructed from heavier materials than new construction).

    But if the main problem is when he plays loud music, that’s probably a noise level that requires more serious acoustical work. If your ears are ringing, that suggests to me a decibel level in your apartment of around 80db minimum (an acoustical engineer could comment more authoritatively on this) and if your floor/ceiling blocks about 40 decibels or more as we’d expect, that suggests at least 120db in your neighbor’s place – that’s *really* loud. So it makes me wonder if there’s something conducting the noise straight to you, as through heating pipes maybe.

    If the noise is being carried to you by pipes or ducts that run from his apartment into yours, it’s going to be tough to solve the problem. You could look into coating any pipes or ducts with insulation which might help stop the vibration.

    Otherwise, if it’s just passing through the floor as usual, you might try looking into damped drywall panels. There are a few manufacturers you can find online. They’re about the most effective thing you can do, and even though they can be expensive, you don’t have to tear down your existing ceiling in order to apply them. If other residents of your co-op also have trouble with inter-apartment noise, it might be something your building would want to invest in.

  3. they use techno music for mind control–the music is sick–and the bothersome noise is out of line period. why do you have to be politically correct when this situation is NOT.

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