Noise is both a threat and a nuisance. Asides from being a source of irritation and disrupting your peace and tranquility, it can also cause health issues. To this end, dealing with noise effectively will be of immense benefit to you and your family.
While sometimes you might be able to do something about the source of the noise, most times, you might not be able to do so. What then do you do? You prevent the noise from getting into your space through soundproofing and insulation.
What is Soundproofing and Insulation?
Soundproofing is the practice of using insulation to prevent sound energy from transferring between two spaces. You can learn more about it here. It is isolating, blocking, and preventing sounds through any means of insulation, including the use of insulating materials, using wall coverings, floor underlayment, or acoustic materials between framings, etc. It may also include creating a space or vacuum between the sound source and where you want to prevent it from.
The soundproofing method you implement will be largely dependent on the kind of noise you are dealing with. While low-volume noise may be dispelled by simple soundproofing, noise with high sound pressure levels will require more drastic measures.
On a basic level, an Insulation is a material that prevents a transfer of energy from a place or area to another. This energy might take any form. It can be thermal, electrical, sound energy, etc. The most common type of insulation is thermal insulation that prevents heat or cold from getting into or out of an area. A very popular example is a hot tea or coffee in a flask.
Imagine pouring hot coffee in a plastic cup and holding the cup. It’s certainly not something you will want to try. However, with a flask or mug, you can easily carry the coffee around. The rubber coatings around wires is another prime example of insulation. It prevents electric current from flowing to harm a person when the wire is connected to a source of electricity and held by that person.
For the purpose of this article, we will be concentrating on sound insulation. As you have guessed, these are materials that prevent sound energy from transferring from any source into your home or from your home to the outside.
Where Do You Start?
To start with, you need to ask yourself why you are soundproofing, what exactly you are soundproofing and what you need to do so. You may also want to see some ideas here: https://www.strategiesonline.net/8-ways-soundproof-house/.
Considering the first question, it may seem obvious, you are trying to prevent noise! But are the sounds coming into your home or going out? Or is it around or within the home? If you have a studio or home office where you will likely produce a lot of noise, you will want to insulate to prevent that noise disturbing both your household and your neighborhood. Also, you may want to prevent sounds from one section of the home from reaching another. For example, you may want to prevent noise from the upper floors of your house from reaching the basement. As you can see, it is not only sounds from the outside that you may need to prevent.
This leads to the second question of what you are soundproofing. Is it the walls, the floors, the basement, the particular component producing the noise; maybe a fridge, air conditioner or other gadgets around the house? It could even be the doors and windows to prevent noise from entering through spaces and openings around them.
What are the Insulation Materials Available for Soundproofing a Home?
Having decided on the why and the what, you now need to decide on the method and material that will be suitable for your needs. You can read more about materials in this article.
There are many types of insulating materials and whatever you are soundproofing will determine the kind of material you will need. These materials include:
- Soundproof curtains to prevent sound from entering your home.
- Underlayment for the floors.
- Acoustic foams, panels, fiberglass or acoustic mineral wools for covering the walls.
- Acoustic caulk or sealant to block holes and spaces in walls and other materials.
- Weather stripping materials for doors to block noise and weather elements.
- Anti-vibration floor mats.
- Soundproof blankets for electrical components and other gadgets.
There are so many other options available. That is why you should decide beforehand what you are soundproofing as this will help you in choosing the material that is right for your needs. If you do not have a serious noise issue, it may be enough to simply soundproof your walls with insulation since to a large extent it will significantly reduce sounds coming in.
Talking to or consulting with soundproofing professionals and experts before taking any step will be of immense help and benefit to you as they can guide you on what to do and what you need. Your best bet may also be to allow them handle your whole soundproofing project, especially if you are not so sure of what to do. You can be certain that they will do a much better job of insulating your home than you may be able to.