Every area has some type of external noises that can break up your peace and calm. These noises can disturb sleep and irritate people living in any area. There are a variety of noises that enter homes from outdoors. The most common is the road noise for homes located near a road. Although there are small roads outside all properties, the traffic is high on the main roads that connect it to a market or other primary areas.
Other types of noises include the noise from animals, nearby construction sites, aero planes and industries. In addition to these noises, some internal noises arise within a house like water noise, noise from TV and audio systems, fan noise, motor noise, etc. All these noises can disturb your sleep and create a stressful environment in the home.
Therefore, it is essential to reduce these noises if you cannot eliminate them. The external noises can be stopped by sealing and insulating the doors and windows. The internal noises can be reduced to a much extent by using a variety of methods. Let us explore some effective methods to soundproof any home.
Acoustic tiles and foam
Acoustic foam and tiles are common among the materials used in soundproofing of properties. The acoustic foam is soft, porous and lightweight that absorbs the sound and prevent it from bouncing back. Home theatres and auditoriums also make use of acoustic foam and tiles to prevent the sound from leaving the area. That is the reason you cannot listen to the sound of a movie outside a movie-theatre.
You can install acoustic tiles and foam in any area of your house as they work equally well in the living room, bedroom and kitchen. As the acoustic tiles prevent the sounds from bouncing back, they also control the echo effect to a great extent.
However, the method is only beneficial for deadening the internal sounds that arise from inside the house. It cannot stop or block the external noises that enter your house from outdoors. You need to use other measures to block the noises from entering your home.
Mass Loaded Vinyl
Mass Loaded Vinyl barriers provide a significant step-up in blocking speech, with an additional STC of around 25 to 32. With a thickness from 1/ 8 to 1/ 4 inches thick flexible products are sold in 4 x 8 foot sheets and 4.5 x 20-foot rolls, manufactured from dense organic sands, salts and minute particles. You can cut the material with a sharp knife. We are heavier than we seem, at around 2 pounds per square foot. MLV must be mounted because of the weight so that the fasteners do not pull through the material.
Acoustic panels are soundproof and readily available in the markets. They are made of soundproofing foam that can deaden or completely block any incoming sound depending on the quality of the material. Acoustic panels are best to use on the walls of the living room and bedrooms. Acoustic panels are also used in auditoriums and theatres to prevent the sound from running out of the theatre.
Seal the doors and windows
Doors and windows are the gateways from where most of the external noise enters a home. You can use a rubber or foam materials to seal the gaps in doors and windows. Acoustic foam is the best material, but there are also other materials that you can install under the doors and gaps in windows. Closing the gaps between doors, windows and their trims will automatically block the external sounds from entering your rooms and interiors. Using good quality, the acoustic foam will deaden the sounds and help you create a calm and peaceful environment in your house.
If you have a big gap under your door to the apartment, add a sweeping door. Use a thick rubber strip with a commercial-grade sweep that seals against the threshold. These strips will also help to keep out noise, dust, bugs and drafts. If the remainder of the door does not close tightly against the door jambs, seal with foam weatherstripping along the sides and top of the door.
Install solid doors
Hollow-core doors are the most popular among interior doors in a house. Below the hollow-core door surfaces, the inner honeycomb carton core is surrounded by a softwood frame. The surfaces are exposed to thin wooden veneers. As the surfaces are thin and the air-filled core, they are not much capable to block the movement of the sound.
As its name suggests, solid-core exterior or interior doors have a solid core of wood or composite material. Because of their density, they will more effectively block the noise. Manufacturers sell many styles, ranging from costly hardwood to more affordable Fiberboard Medium Density (MDF) doors.
Soundproofing the Floor
Soundproofing of floors and ceilings can be done using many of the same wall-suitable systems. Homeowners most commonly add layer (or two) of drywall, with damping glue in between. You can also cover the floor with thick soundproof mats and install carpets on them.
Soundproofing the Ceiling
The additional mass of drywall and damping compound won’t greatly benefit heavy concrete ceilings. Instead, add a drywall layer in between with an air gap, or fill the gap with fibreglass insulation. You can install an acoustic ceiling to help quiet the noise of a room that is below other rooms.
There is a wide range of acoustic ceiling materials that are particularly popular for sound deadening inside a room and can help to reduce noise transfer to and from basements and other areas of activity.
Acoustic tiles and drop-ceiling systems have excellent acoustic characteristics. You might be happy to find that they need not look like an office ceiling. People who think that conventional acoustic ceiling styles are somewhat too institutional will like some of the newer styles available.
Cover the hard surfaces to reduce reflection of sound
Noise reflects hard surfaces, such as floors, walls, and ceilings, adding to a room’s overall level of noise. So that the reflection of sound, cover bare walls and even ceilings with something fuzzy, so it doesn’t sound like voices, barking, or even the commotion created by a running vacuum cleaner.
A shag rug on the ceiling and woven rubber mats on the walls softens annoying noise inside the apartment while absorbing disturbance from neighbouring units as well. There are a variety of materials that you can use to cover the hard surfaces in your home. However, the materials are different for walls, ceiling and floor, and you need to do some research before getting them for soundproofing.
Heavy-duty soundproof window dressings can help you to enjoy a beauty sleep blocking the outside noises. For a standard size of window, an acoustic curtain is installed on a wall or window-trim for blocking the sound and deflect it back outside. To enable fast opening and closing, some noise-absorbing curtains are installed to slide on the tracks.
If you are looking to block the external noises but not the view from your apartment, consider installing window inserts. They are clear glass or acrylic panes which you install over your existing windows. They are designed to create an airtight seal that reduces 50 per cent or more outside noise. Some are designed to pop out quickly when not needed, making it convenient to open the window to fresh air.
Another method is to replace your existing windows with noise-cancelling windows. They come with double glazing glass that makes them soundproof and blocks the external noises. The noise cancelling windows Melbourne are highly effective in blocking any type of noise. Soundproofing experts in Melbourne recommend installing noise-cancelling windows to homeowners.
Since modern single-pane windows do very little to block noise, they are a major obstacle for shut-out exterior noise when it comes to soundproofing. A dual-glazed window (or “double-glazed”) has an STC level of 28 to 32. Dual glazing can be an effective energy upgrade for your house, but the change is only marginally noticeable as a soundproofing enhancement.
A better choice is to choose double glazing, which has two different glass thicknesses. These windows do a better job of filtering out different noise frequencies and will deliver about 34 STC ratings. Most manufacturers of large windows offer special soundproofing windows, so check around. And be sure to get multiple bids if you are seriously thinking about this sort of big investment.
Caulk wherever possible
Your aim is to make the interiors airtight. Caulk around things like electric boxes, light fixtures, and lines for plumbing and heating. Seal up the gaps and even the smallest holes. Remember, if the air is able to pass, so it can sound.
Now, as you know these effective soundproofing methods, you can use them for your home. A single method or material may be inadequate to soundproof an entire house. You need to use a combination of two or more techniques to soundproof your house. The materials or methods you choose depends on your budget and requirements. Any method you use for soundproofing should fit your budget and satisfy your soundproofing needs.
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