Apparently this building is determined to give me a tour of all the awful things about it before I leave.
Four and a half years ago, a tree fell against the building
. The landlord had the roof repaired, except the tree had dented the gutter, and he didn't bother to fix that, so now, when there's adequate rain, the gutter overflows at the dent. The gutter is on an extremely long eave, so it can collect quite a bit of water. The dent is right over my wall-mounted air conditioner - or rather its steel enclosure. So when the gutter overflows, it pours down onto what is basically a sheet of steel, mounted over a hole in my wall.
This is loud.
It is also right next to
my bed. The end at which my pillow goes.
After this started happening, after much sleep deprivation and suffering, I gradually developed some ways to mitigate the din.
Also, two and a half years ago, after the great evacuation, I took the occasion of moving back in to move my bed across the apartment, away from the AC. That was very helpful with the rain-gutter-overflow noise problem.
Alas, after the problem with the severe vibrations began last summer, I moved my bed back, in the hopes that the bed being near a load bearing wall might reduce the misery.
It's been quite a while since we had rain heavy enough to overflow the gutter, but tonight was such a night.
For kicks and giggles, I removed all noise mitigation, and put my cell phone on my pillow, and had it record what it sounds like from where my head is when I sleep.This is that recording.
(That's not particularly heavy rain, either, or a particularly heavy overflow. It got worse later, and I bundled everything back up because it was driving me nuts.)
The sound meter app on my phone told me it was around the upper 40dB, occasionally going over 50dB.
My earplugs are good for -33dB, which is good, but not at all sufficient for something that percussive, especially if it really gets going. The commerical foam-lined AC cover turns out to be surprisingly useless for noise abatement. Not entirely, it does take the edge off some of the higher frequencies – but that's it.
The crucial solution was gizmo I made that I call my rain pillow. It's a foam structure I throw (by leaning out the window) on top of the AC, where it holds on with magnets, and absorbs the impact of the water streaming from the dent. It knocks a good (estimated) 20 to 30dB right off. The problem is that high winds can catch the rain pillow and blow it off. And then you're stalking the neighborhood in your nightgown and a rain coat with a flashlight looking for the errant rain pillow - which when not fixed in one place with magnets can blow anywhere, because I made it very light so if it fell off the AC it wouldn't kill someone – so you can go back to bed.
So that in combination with the earplugs worked - well, for the noise. The AC cover (when not AC-using season) and moving the bed away (when the bed was moved away) were also nice additions.
Technically, hanging anything outside my windows is in violation of my lease/rental terms. The landlord didn't care, so long as I stopped complaining about him not fixing the gutter.
Which I did. The fact that the rainwater overflowing the gutter is also rotting out the underside of the eave by the dent doesn't seem to bother him, and I gave up mentioning it.