Q. My neighborhood is getting loud and noisy at night. Are there ways to soundproof a house?
Neighborhood noise – barbecue parties, music, revving cars, sports games, undisciplined dogs, unfixed cats, happy kids and unhappy babies – all contribute to summertime noise. Soundproofing a house is impossible if you open windows in the summer. Air conditioning is the answer to that. An air-conditioning system will cost $5,000 to install if you have hot-air heat, $10,000 for the unit and duct work if you have hot-water heat. There are two types of air conditioning: with a compressor or heat pump.
If your house is pretty well insulated, the house is soundproof except for the windows. Make your windows tight and well weather-stripped, and have a minimum of two layers of glass. Three layers are best. Double-glazed windows and good storm windows are a good way to get three layers of glass.
Q. I have bamboo floors in my basement office. Two years ago, we had a flood and water got under the floor and into the joists, but the top of the floor stayed dry. The floor seemed fine after a few months of drying. There were plastic floor covers to protect the bamboo from chair-wheel marks in a small area. When I recently pulled up the covers, I found black marks on the bamboo that are raised and bumpy. What can I do to clean this up?
The black marks occurred when water vapor condensed under the cover and there was enough moisture to make the floor bubbly and moldy. Treat the marks with a solution of 1 part bleach and 3 parts water, rinse and let dry. Sand the bubbly areas lightly with sandpaper to see if they can be smoothed out. If the bubbling is severe, it may have to be refinished.
For a chair pad, try a thin carpet that won’t let water vapor collect under it.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email email@example.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less