One of the greatest sources of stress in the home is unwelcome noise pollution. Whatever the type of noise that finds its way into your home either from the exterior or the home of a neighbour, it can have a detrimental effect on your enjoyment of your own property. Fortunately, there are measures that can be taken to keep the incidence of noise pollution to a minimum and in this article we describe how soundproofing can achieve that effect. Before investigating methods of soundproofing, however, we should explain exactly how and why sound travels.
Sound is, in fact a chain of vibrations, or waves, that move from the source of the sound to your ears by agitating the surrounding air particles. Because the presence of particles is vital to the travel of sound, it can not travel across a vacuum. When sound hits the wall or windows of your house some of it will be reflected, some of it will be absorbed but some will almost certainly be transmitted into your property.
Methods of Soundproofing
There are various ways of soundproofing the walls of a house, the most popular of which is to install an extra skin or layer (known as a stud wall) to the walls and ceilings to absorb the noise. Basically, this involves creating an extra layer of air space for the sound to have to travel across. The effectiveness of the extra layer in diluting the sound can be enhanced by adding insulating material to the void between the two layers. The most effective insulating materials are fibrous materials such as foams by virtue of the fact that their the strands are very efficient in absorbing sound vibrations, converting them to heat. This type of soundproofing is useful not only for reducing noise from neighbouring properties but also to add privacy between the various rooms of your own home. Some soundproofing companies produce easy, stick-on panels made from insulating material that can prove effective and which, unlike stud walls, do not reduce the interior space of the house or room that is being soundproofed.
There are other, rather simpler, methods of soundproofing the walls that do not require additional construction in your home. For instance, sound often infiltrates a property through the gaps that exists beneath the doors. Plugging these gaps with a door-stop will have a noticeable effect on the noise pollution from that source. Any gaps or cracks around skirting boards, window sills and window frames should also be plugged and/or sealed to help with soundproofing. Because mass offers an effective means of soundproofing, you might try positioning large items of furniture like dressers or bookcases against any wall through which excess sound is emanating. This will have the effect of absorbing some of the noise into the item of furniture and preventing it from reaching the room.
So far as ceiling soundproofing is concerned, suspended ceilings are frequently added whilst in the case of the floors, the choice is between adding an insulating material below the carpet, introducing insulating material to the floor space beneath the floor boards or replacing the floor boards with chipboard to create a floating floor. Whichever of these methods is employed, significant reductions in sound pollution can be achieved.
Noise pollution works both ways, of course. Therefore, if you soundproof your home it is likely to benefit your neighbours as well, as the sounds which come through to their property from yours are also likely to be reduced. Not only will you benefit from a more peaceful existence in our own property, you will also be reassured to know that the soundproofing measures that you have initiated will reduce the effect that the noises that you and your family create have upon those who are living around you. If you are interested in soundproofing your walls, ceilings or floors, why not contact thebuilderssw.com for a free, no-obligation quote.