Sound that is unwanted, annoying and at worst harmful, goes under the concept of noise. Sound is energy in the form of waves that are broken down or transferred to other forms of energy over time.
Most often, the noise is airborne as when we talk. Here the sound is spread in all directions. Some are picked up by listeners in the room, the rest hit walls and windows and the like. Some of this is reflected and thrown back and forth. If there are a lot of soft materials in the room (curtains, carpets, books), these quickly absorb the sound. If there are only hard surfaces and windows, the sound can be thrown back and forth and resonates.
If you walk on a hard floor, footstep noise occurs. The sound itself is created in the structure, it is often low frequency and spreads through the building materials. If we set e.g. a washing machine on a hard floor, the contact points below will give structure-borne noise and vibration directly, but air-borne noise from the engine will also hit floors and walls and be converted into structure-borne noise.
Noise in houses is a combination of airborne and structure-borne noise.
Building materials have different acoustic properties. How much noise the surface reflects, how much it absorbs, and how well it conducts noise further. Here we are talking about structure-borne noise. How well have those who built the home taken into account the spread of noise via contact point and choice of materials?
Noise is like electricity and water - it takes the path of least resistance. Slips, cracks and holes let a lot of noise through. The task will be to create more friction on the road of noise, and / or break contact surfaces with the neighboring element. Measures against noise are always best as close to the noise source as possible.
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