Being bombarded with noise in our homes is a nuisance most people will face at some point. It can be anything from television, knocking, or playing loud music at times when everyone wants some peace.
Playing loud music or being noisy between 11 pm and 7 am is illegal in most states, although certain districts may have their own rules. Acceptable noise levels do differ depending on the area.
In the rest of this article, I’ll discuss the legalities of playing loud music in more detail. Read on to learn more!
Also read: 11 Devices to Deal With Noisy Neighbors
Late Night Loud Music: Illegal or Just Rude?
Being kept awake or woken up by loud music is an experience few enjoy, and raving during the early hours will usually be considered illegal.
The Noise Control Act of 1972 was implemented to prevent loud noises from affecting communities and includes everything from booming televisions to raging arguments.
The law dictates that music after 11 pm is illegal and is inconsiderate to those around you. Late night loud music can also lead to punishment in the form of fines, eviction, and even arrest.
How To Tell if Music Is Too Loud
An acceptable volume level depends on varying factors, such as distance from the source, persistence, and volume level. Most of the time, decibels (dB) are used to measure how loud music is and is dictated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Inside volumes should be kept at 45dB or lower to prevent disturbance; however, this is the noise measure inside and may not reflect what your neighbors can hear.
Thin walls and cramped housing complexes will be more prone to noise disturbance and will likely disturb neighbors. If noise is consistently excessive, it will probably be in breach of the Noise Control Act and lead to consequences.
External noise is also limited, with 55dB being the suggested guideline. Outside noises can include the likes of industrial work and barking dogs. Some areas are subjected to constant noise, such as cities and other busy places, which is considered when noise complaints are filed.
Noises exceeding 70dB over long periods can cause long-term damage to well-being and should be considered by residents when experiencing these disruptions.
How To Deal With Neighbors Playing Loud Music After 11 PM
Sitting back and allowing your peace to be disturbed will only end in tears, so you must deal with it as soon as possible. Here are some steps to take when dealing with loud music and other rackets.
Speak to Your Neighbor
Although this may be intimidating, some neighbors may be inconsiderate and not realize the disturbance they are causing; it could even be a birthday or special day. A quick knock and a friendly chat can be all it takes to keep the noise down without causing a rift with other residents.
In most cases, noise may carry over past 11 pm without a neighbor noticing, so giving them 30 minutes or so may see things die down naturally. Also, confirm where the music is from before venturing out.
Contact the Building Owner
If noise is a persistent issue, it is worth contacting the building owners or anyone with authority over the building. This can include landlords, housing associations, or neighborhood watch groups that keep the area peaceful.
Some residential areas have set guidelines to prevent excessive sound and may have steps to punish those causing problems.
Talk to the Police
Not all instances of loud music should require a police presence, but there may be times when a neighbor refuses to quiet down. House parties are an example of this and should be dealt with by the police.
Some police forces may not be able to shut down the ensuing uproar forcibly, but their presence may be enough to silence the issue.
Keep Notes and Evidence on Instances of Loud Music
Persistent noise may require additional work on your behalf, taking everything into account and presenting it to a local environmental protection agency or opening a lawsuit.
This is simple to do and only requires video evidence and the times the disruption occurs. It is worth downloading a decibel meter app to record the exact noise level.
Sometimes, your local city council or EPA branch will send someone to observe the noise based on the evidence presented, which can help build a case. Your neighbors mustn’t be aware of this process, as they may turn the noise down temporarily.
Soundproofing Against Loud Music
Not all noise is illegal, and sometimes it is up to the individual to adjust if the area is loud. Thankfully there are methods of soundproofing rooms to dampen noise intruding into your space.
Soundproofing may sound expensive, but there are some cheap and simple solutions anyone can carry out.
Adding Furniture to a Room
Rooms can be arranged to combat overbearing noise, and you can use the furniture you own to fill a space and dampen incoming sound.
Large furniture, sofas, bookcases, and wardrobes can all be stacked against walls to absorb sound. Soundproof curtains are long and thick and can insulate a room from noise.
Soundproof Your Doors
Even when closed, doors can still allow sound to pass through, especially if there are noticeable gaps in the frame or door itself.
The gap underneath a door is the usual culprit and can be filled using a floor sweep or a sealing gasket, which plugs the crack completely. Crevices between the door, frame, and wall can also be filled using gap filler and foam, further silencing unwanted noise.
Soundproof Your Windows
Like doors, windows can be altered to prevent noise from disturbing your silence.
Noise-insulating methods can be as simple as sealing the gaps around the window or creating a window plug that is placed over the window during periods of loud noise. Some companies also create window blockers, translucent panels that cover the window and block incoming light and sound.
A permanent but more expensive option is to install double or triple-glazed windows. Extra glazing also insulates the home and is more resistant to damage, making them a worthwhile investment.
Playing loud music after 11 pm, noisy areas and undesirable sounds can negatively affect our lives. Thankfully there are ways to prevent intruding noise and music, with simple methods that include soundproofing and contacting the authorities.