It doesn’t matter whether you live in a bustling city centre or a less busy suburban neighbourhood, you and your family deserve some peace and quiet when you’re at home. Sometimes the noise comes from a nearby street or your neighbour, but you also have to admit that you too may be quite loud when talking to your friends, listening to music or honing your carpentry skills in the garage.
Since noise is actually quite detrimental to people’s health, it’s important to make your house as immune to outside noise as possible and the best way to do that is by soundproofing it. This task has become even more difficult with modern trends insisting on thinner walls in order to get more space or even an open-space design. Still, various technological developments have made it possible for us to cancel quite a lot of noise. So, what is it that we can do to soundproof our home?
Tackle the source of the noise
One of the most effective steps you can take to reduce noise within your home is by replacing old and noisy appliances with new ones, which are quieter and consume much less energy. Also, some of them might be rattling or vibrating because they are not properly placed or are malfunctioning. So, check whether that might be the problem first.
The more soft material and items you have, the less sound bounces around a room, which is why you should consider installing curtains and padded carpeting. For the maximum effect, make sure that such sound-absorbing items are placed underneath noisy items in the home, like the dryer, speakers and large-screen TV sets.
Acoustic foam or tiles
If you want to soundproof your home properly, you might want to look into acoustic foam and interlocking rubber flooring tiles, which are designed to catch and hold sound, and install them wherever you can. Depending on what quality of insulation you need, you can choose from a range of foams and tiles, which are rated for their noise-reduction ability. Naturally, the higher the rating, the better your insulation will be, which means you should probably buy the best one you can afford.
If you have hollow-core doors, you’re likely to be exposed to much more noise than necessary, which is why you need to replace them if possible. Make sure you buy quality soundproof doors of medium or high density. Another option is to install exterior doors inside, but that might be a more expensive option, especially if you’re planning to replace all doors. Traditional methods, such as caulking and weather-stripping, can also play an important role in making your home quieter, which is why you shouldn’t forget them.
When it comes to outside noise, all you can do is seal the holes and cracks around windows and doors. Ideally, you could also add a cap to your chimney to prevent at least some noise from coming into the house. Finally, any extra layer that you add to the walls would be beneficial, but you need to be aware that it would also take up some indoor space.
There are elements, such as heating and plumbing systems, which do not only create noise, but also distribute it. For example, some noisy sections of PVC pipes could be replaced with cast iron pipes to reduce noise. Similarly, if you have separate runs of duct for each register, you’ll notice the difference in the level of noise produced.
Windows are actually very important when it comes to soundproofing your home, since a lot of noise enters and leaves your home through them. Their role is particularly important in a house with lots of windows, which is why you need to invest in quality windows, which can provide excellent protection and be the key element of your sound reduction plan. You might also consider improving sound insulation by simply adding a new window behind an existing one instead of replacing it, because this double-window system will provide even better protection from the outside noise.
With noise being one of the biggest environmental issues, it’s quite important that you do whatever you can to make your home as quiet and soundproof as possible. Depending on the materials available and your budget, the changes can range from minimal to substantial, but the most important thing is that you take some steps in order to provide better living conditions for you and your family.