Even when we don’t notice it, the noise has an inevitable effect on our health and behavior. Scientists proved that prolonged exposure to loud sounds could lead to brain damage; more information about this, find on this link. Our sense of hearing responds to a high range of sound waves; however, any sound that goes beyond 80 decibels can cause permanent hearing damage.
Modern facades have a layer of insulation that somewhat reduces the passing-by of sound waves. However, they are more efficient as thermal insulators and are primarily intended to prevent heat losses. For additional noise insulation, house owners should do the soundproofing of internal walls. But there are also some other measures to take in order to eliminate noise pollution from your home.
Protect Interior Walls
When you do wall and ceiling insulation (if you live in a building or a floor house), you’ve done most of the work. What you need to know is that soundproofing your home doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You should be familiar with insulation materials and have at least some experience with the tool.
Before you even get started, you should make a plan and basic calculation. It may not be necessary to insulate the entire home if most of the noise comes from, for example, the apartment next to yours. Then you should focus only on the wall between flats. If the street noise is what bothers you the most, then only the outer walls should be insulated.
Acoustic foam panels and vinyl mats are the materials you need. The first one is useful for preventing most of the noise coming from the neighbors, but also for insulating the exterior walls. These panels can absorb high-frequency sounds so that they will mitigate irritating noise like car sirens or yells.
However, the acoustical foam does not act as a sound blocker. That is why low-frequency vibrations will travel through this porous material. It means you may not hear the neighbor’s shout from the apartment next door, but you will hear their TV. In these cases, Soundproof Pros suggest combining these panels with vinyl mats.
Vinyl for Fighting Low Frequencies
These mats are a slightly more expensive solution than acoustic foam panels, but the price difference is justified. While the foam acts as an absorber, the vinyl acts as sound-repellent. They also successfully block low-frequency vibrations. Not entirely, but quiet enough so that ambient and external noise won’t disturb your rest.
The process of installing a vinyl barrier is easy since it’s self-adhesive. This material is thinner but denser and more massive than foam panels. It is this thickened structure that makes the sound waves ‘break’ on the vinyl surface.
Mineral Glass Wool
Glass wool fibers are intended for interior walls, respectively, as a panel that absorbs sound in partition plaster cast walls. This insulation material is very soft and light, comfortable to handle, odorless, and non-toxic.
Glass wool panels are the right solution for placing an extra layer on the ceiling and walls. However, since this material is primarily a thermal insulator rather than a sound insulator, it is advisable to combine it with vinyl or an extra layer of plaster, for even better results.
Windows and doors on the house are necessary because, besides the aesthetic, they have a functional value. However, over time, carpentry loses its properties. Gaps and cracks appear, and they are ideal for passing sound, wind, and cold.
The easiest way to solve this problem is to use weatherstripping tape. It’s easy to use and quite cheap. Just cut a piece in the dimensions you need, and fill the holes. Also, you can make simple acrylic panels, which you will insert into the frame whenever the windows are closed. The double-layer window has proven to be great for solving noise problems.
If you are not into DIY projects, you can try soundproofing curtains. Compared to standard drapes, they are made of thicker and heavier materials and have a dense weave. They block sound waves, but light too. Place them over the ordinary curtains, and pull them on as needed.
Noise can also come from dynamic sources, like everyday activities in your home (walking, children’s play, moving furniture). And sometimes, the creaky floor is what gets on your nerves. That is why flooring must have certain elasticity in order to minimize sounds.
The mass absorbs noise, which means that an extra layer of the carpeting needs to be added to the hardwood floor (parquet or decking). House owners should think of soundproofing floors when building the house.
If you skip this step, you can place an additional soundproofing layer on the existing floor. Placing carpets will effectively attenuate sounds in the living space and, at the same time, protect it from outside noise. Even if you put only a few mats here and there, they will significantly muffle sounds.
On the page below, learn how sound travel through different matters:
Do the Rearrangement
One more way to deaden sounds is to put some things on the walls, but also to rearrange your home. Stuff you have on your walls, whether it’s accessories, bookshelves, or paintings, will prevent echo. Plus, this is a very budget-friendly way to decorate your own apartment.
Proper placement of furniture can significantly affect the transfer of noise through your apartment. It is necessary to put furniture near the noisy areas in your flat. These should be upholstered pieces like sofas or beds or solid wood furniture. Extra pillows will do wonders too. Also, do not fully lean wardrobes on the walls; because of the hollow interior, they can act as resonant boxes.
Your home is your shelter from the outside world. Sometimes you can’t escape the traffic, the crowds in the streets, and even the noise coming from a neighbor’s apartment. But even when you live in a noisy and crowded area, you can solve the problem of loudness that reaches the interior of your living area.