Environmental noise: Methods to soundproof the noisy home
Open floors, light construction, and a multitude of machines, high-tech audio and video equipment … prevent us from enjoying a bit of peace and tranquility without a solution that leads to soundproofing the house. In many of today’s homes, we have removed the walls to create a feeling of spaciousness. We have filled our kitchens with powerful appliances and our family rooms with home theater surround sound. Noise has become a by-product of our lives and accompanying the noise pollution we have created. For this we need to have soundproofing solutions for our homes .
The noise pollution is not like having lead in your paint or microbes in the water, it is not only irritating but it can produce disturbances of our sleep, increase our stress, violate our privacy, and in general compromise our quality of life.
Fortunately, there are a number of techniques for home sound insulation or noise reduction initiatives that can be adopted to alleviate the problem. The most effective way is to face a reform or remodelling project that soundproof our home but if it goes beyond our possibilities we can put into practice some techniques of home soundproofing for our home.
Here we look at relatively simple steps that you can take on a weekend to create a quieter home. But first that helps to understand the dynamics of sound.
How noise occurs in the home
The rupture of a plate, the rumble of a bell … all physical actions send “sound waves” through the air. When these “waves” reach our ears, they vibrate a tympanic-sensitive membrane and listen to them like sounds.
Noise is simply an unwanted sound. At home, most people consider the noise to be almost any sound other than the sound that comes from what they are doing. For example, if you are on the phone, the television in the next room is noise. On the contrary, if you are watching television, telephone conversations are noise.
Unfortunately, conventional walls and ceilings are only marginally effective at blocking noise. They have membranes (usually drywall) on the two outer surfaces of a structural frame that are filled with air. Sound waves hit a surface and transport through the air or a frame to the other surface where they are transmitted as audible noise and that needs to be soundproofed.
And where there is a very thin wall surface (or no surface at all, such as a window or open door), the sound simply moves from one area to the next without the need for transfer.
Here are some of the techniques to make your home a more peaceful place:
“Calm” is one of the main features that dishwasher manufacturers promote.
No, this does not mean sending your children to play with neighbors, although this will definitely help. Opt for quiet appliances when they need to be replaced. Manufacturers have picked up the problem and, as a result, make premium models that are less noisy. There is a significant difference between the noise of conventional fans, dishwashers and other typically noisy appliances and their less noisy and newer analogs.
Keeping appliances working properly is also part of the equation. Listen to the rattles, vibrations, hums and other noises of equipment in your home. If something seems unusually high, you have to repair it.
Hard surfaces reflect sound waves, soft surfaces absorb.
The materials that help to soundproof the home or a room are familiar to most homeowners. If you want to minimize the bounce of sound in a room you have to choose “soft” materials such as acoustic ceilings and padded carpets instead of wood, tiles, or laminates.
There are so many Companies that have a wide range of acoustic ceiling materials particularly popular to reduce the noise of transfer to and from walls and other areas of activity.
Both on ceilings and throughout the house the most effective way to minimize noise is to combine a number of different soundproofing and sound reduction methods.
Install Acoustic Doors
The biggest opening in most of the walls is a door. One of the most effective ways to avoid the noise that passes from one room to another is to install solid doors, something you can do easily whether or not you are remodelling your home.
But most of the sound does not come through the door, it comes from around it. It is important to install weather stripping or soundproof doors to provide a seal. In general, the most easily used material to soundproof an acoustic door is the high density foam tape, with adhesive backing, which is sold in rolls.
Consider the garage door
The garage door must also be taken into account if there is a room next to or above the garage. Although the typical garage door is built with an open interior frame and a sheet of plywood, steel, vinyl or aluminum on the outside, you can also buy premium garage doors that are filled with insulating foam and have additional coverage inside . These are particularly good for keeping in isolated street noise through the garage.
Avoid the screeching of old wood floors
Although the floor squeaks are not usually very annoying during active parts of the day, they can be a real nuisance when the house is quiet.
It is advisable to carry out a periodic maintenance of the woods and elements that hold them from the stairs and floors of the platform in order to soundproof the noise coming from the impact against these surfaces.
Check the noise coming from the pipes: A water hammer suppressor can keep pipes isolated from chattering and knocks.
If the pipes in your house make loud noises and knocks when you turn on the taps, close them or pull the chain, it is time to deal with this problem and proceed with a soundproofing solution. There are relatively simple steps you can take to solve these problems.
To resolve the water hammer, recharge the water supply system with air to help dampen the flow of water when it reaches the faucets. To do this, close the main water supply valve, and drain the water from the supply system by opening all the faucets in your house halfway. Next, close the lower faucets and turn on the main water supply. Go closing the taps as the water begins to flow through them.
To obtain a good isolation it is not always enough to improve the isolation of a partition, because part of the sound can come to us in indirect ways:
The way to achieve good sound insulation depends on the type of noise in question. For example, a solid concrete slab presents good insulation against airborne noise, but does not protect us from impact noise. For this you will need to coat it with a soft coating, like a carpet.