From Dean Dowd on November 29, 2007 in General Remodel
There’s a regular cacophony on your block. You have an obnoxious neighbor who insists on using the leaf blower at 7 a.m. on Sundays. A fledgling band practices every other night in an adjacent garage. A nearby dog insists on barking at everything that moves. To top things off, you live near loud street traffic, an airport, or railroad track. Even if your problems don’t include a combination of these particular nuisances, chances are you deal with some form of noise pollution on a regular basis. But worry not, for silence is within your grasp. In fact, there’s more than one way to quiet things down when you seek the tranquil repose of your own home. Here’s how.
Just as with cold and heat, the quickest way for noise to enter and leave your home is through openings. This means windows, windows, and windows. If you still have single pane windows, installing double panes can reduce noise by at least 20 percent. Also, vinyl and acrylic frames block noise more efficiently than wood ones. To further soundproof those windows, you can install window plugs made from soundproofing mats around their perimeters.
Other areas of the home can be further insulated to block out noise. This includes the attic, walls, and floors. When you purchase soundproofing material, check for high STC (Sound Transmission Class) ratings. If you have thin walls, consider adding a second layer of drywall or even hanging wall coverings with soundproofing capabilities. Sound travels through ceilings, so carpeting and soundproof tiles help absorb noise. Soundproofing mats can also be applied directly above floorboards.
Doors help carry sound from one room to the next. Homes designed with doorways across from one another facilitate this process. Simply keeping doors closed can help a lot. If your interior doors are hollow, you can upgrade to solid core.
Since sound waves will keep traveling until they meet some form of resistance, it’s recommended that 25 percent of every room consist of absorbent material such as carpets, drapes, and furniture. With these simple tips, you can keep your sanity, even when the source of sound is booming from the high-end home theater system in your very own living room.