How to soundproof your home
Soundproofing is a very important aspect when it comes to keeping noise at bay. When one lives beside noisy areas like airports, or function halls, highways, etc, there can be a high degree of noise in the background. This noise affects the day to day living for an individual, and hence it is important for them to ensure their home or property is as quiet as possible.
Before one goes ahead doing soundproofing, one needs to understand some basic things about sound. Sound is made up of certain low-frequency waves which are quite like radio waves. These waves tend to keep travelling in all directions of space until and unless they meet some form of opposition in the form of a wall or a sofa. Sound waves also have a tendency of bouncing off these surfaces which offer resistance creating some form of reverberation in the room. In order to avoid the sound to travel, you can do the following-
- Create Space: Sound travels and the more space, the more sound will need to travel. Sound due to its low-frequency nature tends to get less and less powerful as it travels through a large space and this leads to the noise becoming less loud. But as we all know this will not work in a home unless you live in an airport hanger.
- Create Mass: When heavy items are placed within a space, they tend to absorb the sound, creating less noise. Eg: Thick stone walls can be used for absorbing the sound
- Stop Sound Vibrations: Sound vibrations when stopped within a room tend to dampen the waves of the sound, suppressing the noise. Ad simple materials like carpets, furniture and some other soft materials aid this cause of dampening of the sound waves.
Understanding about Soundproofing Ratings-
The materials which are used for the purpose of soundproofing places and rooms are all graded for their effectiveness. This grading is known as STC (Sound Transmission Class) rating which helps one identify or understand how much sound can be stopped by different materials. The better and higher the rate, the higher will the soundproofing capabilities of the material. In fact, all the items like insulation, curtains and windows have an STC rating.
How to do Soundproofing
To soundproof a home, the following things need to be looked at-
1) The Windows: Windows by default is the source where noise travels through, most of the time. Allot of homes have single-pane windows which might be installed on a wooden frame. These windows are not good when it comes to offering noise insulation. The following tricks can be tried in order to ensure that less amount of noise travels through-
- Buy New Windows which are double or triple-paned: Windows which are double-paned, come with an acrylic frame which helps keep the noise at bay. The double / triple-paned windows typically have an STC rating between 28 to 35. It can easily be said that these panes are more effective to their single-paned counterparts, reducing the sound almost by 20%. Add to that the acrylic frames, and the sound reduction capability goes up to 50%.
- Purchase certain Sound Deadening Drapes: With the purchase of sound deadening drapes, the entering and the exiting of sound can be arrested to a large extent.
- Make Window Plugs: The window plugs are made out of 1 to 2-inch soundproofing mats which are inserted across the window frames. These plugs tend to form a very tight sound barrier avoiding any kind of gap, which might be left behind.
2) The Walls: Noise can easily pass through walls which are thin drywall, causing discomfort to those residing within it. The following things can be done, in order to ensure that the walls do not transfer the sound-
- Adding Drywall: By adding additional layers of the drywall to the existing wall, one can improve the resistance to sound. The thicker the size of the drywall, the more resistance to sound it has on offer.
- Adding Insulation: One can do the soundproofing of walls and floors by adding insulation. The thicker the insulation or better the material, the better will be the soundproofing. And this is one of the most crucial aspects in terms of soundproofing. There are several ways in which these insulations can be done and there are several brands which have these insulation products on offer. Some of the most prominent ones include Rockwool Insulation and Knauf Insulation. Under Rockwool Insulation, the following are some of the most used insulation types-
(a) Rockwool RWA45 - Its a superior quality bonded resin flexible slab which offers excellent thermal, fire and acoustic insulation, is water repellent, easy to install, resists high temperatures of up 1000°C, highly cost-effective with almost no maintenance
(b) Rockwool RW3- It is a semi-rigid bonded resin slab which offers great thermal, fire and acoustic performance, easy to cut & install, maintenance-free, has a zero ODP & GWP < 5, CFC & HCFC free, highly durable & cost-effective with the ability to resist extreme temperatures
(c) Rockwool RW5- Just like RWA45, it is a good quality bonded resin slab which offers excellent thermal, acoustic & fire insulation while being water repellent and resisting high temperature. They are suitable for curve surface installations.
(d) Rockwool Flexi-slab- It is a semi-rigid acoustic & thermal insulation material made from volcanic rock, thus making it extremely durable and fire-resistant. The advantage of this is, it comes with a very innovative one-sided flexible edge which allows for a perfect fit. These slabs are made up of 97% recyclable & renewable materials which are easy to install, which produce no waste and have no GWP & ODP potential.
(e) Rockwool Rollbatt- It is a medium density, multi-functional, lightweight insulation matt, which is economical, maintenance-free, non-combustible & water repellent. It offers excellent thermal characteristics while being environmentally friendly.
(f) Knauf RS45, Knauf RS60and Knauf RS100- It is an unfaced, rock mineral material wool slab, having densities ranging from 33 to almost 200 kg/m3. The advantages of this slab include, they are odourless, rot proof, non-hygroscopic, rot proof, lightweight and easy to install and handle.
(g) Knauf Acoustic Partition Roll- It is a very flexible mineral glass wool quilt having lightweight, non-combustible, flexible and resilient property. These are manufactured to a density of 10kg/m3. They are odourless, non-hygroscopic, rot proof, offering exceptional acoustic absorption quality.
- Adding Wall Coverings: When one cannot do wall insulation, they need to cover the walls with wall coverings. They can be done simply by painting to suit the wall décor.
3) The Ceiling: When it comes to the ceiling, one can do floor installations or do proper carpeting in order to ensure that soundproofing takes place.
In order to know more, or to buy the insulation products, one can visit www.insulation4less.co.uk. For all the orders above £300, one will get a free nationwide delivery.