A. Bonnie Schnitta, owner of Sound Sense LLC, a full-service acoustic consulting firm and manufacturer of specialty sound-control products, responds: Most of the noise from a garage door is structure-borne and results from the opener motor being rigidly connected to the joists or ceiling of the garage. Typically, structure-borne noise from a garage door can range from as little as 5 decibels (dB) to as much as 20 dB above background noise levels; regardless of the amount of background noise, any 5 dB noise increase is considered significant and perceivable. Even a 5 dB noise-level increase represents more than a 50 percent energy-level increase, and can travel several stories above or several rooms adjacent to the garage. The solution is to decouple the motor from the structure.

To isolate the motor's vibration from the structure the motor is attached to, our company often installs decoupler clips (see photos, left). Depending on the horsepower of the motor and the weight of the garage door, these clips will typically reduce the vibration to only 2 dB (or less) above background, a level that's barely perceivable. The...

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