For many of us, home is where we relax, escape from the outside world, and experience moments of blissful peace. But all too often, our fortresses of solitude are invaded by the sounds of traffic, neighbours, pedestrians, and construction, seeking to disturb us and jolt our minds out of their restfulness.
This may be a symptom of modern life, but that does not mean we have to put up with it. In this article, we will explore how to soundproof your house and restore the zen of a peaceful home.
How does sound insulation work?
To answer this, we must first understand what sound is and how it operates. At its most basic, a sound is the energy produced when something vibrates. This energy travels out from the source in waves, causing the air and any objects they come into contact with to also vibrate with the same frequency.
Unlike light, sound waves travel through most objects with relative ease, which is why you can still hear traffic noise despite having your windows closed.
Soundproofing works by adding extra obstacles which sound waves must travel through, reducing the energy of each wave until it is inaudible or dampened to such an extent that it is barely audible.
Most common reasons people soundproof their homes
There are many reasons why people decide to soundproof their homes, but the most common are to stop noise from getting in/out and to increase the value of the property.
To stop noise from getting in
If you live in a noisy area with a lot of road and foot traffic, then you know how disrupting street noise can be. The sound of engines, screeching tires, horns, sirens, and shouting are all commonplace and can easily disrupt your sleep or concentration.
Inconsiderate and noisy neighbours can be a nightmare. Whether it is an obscenely loud TV or non-stop late night parties, they can seriously affect your quality of life by disturbing your sleeping patterns and denying your mind the opportunity to recuperate from a full day of people demanding your attention.
To stop noise from getting out
Musicians, vloggers, and others whose profession requires a recording space, may take their neighbours into consideration and soundproof their home, or a room at the very least. This is done in order to keep the noise that they make down to a minimum so as to not disturb the lives of others living in the vicinity.
Well-soundproofed homes provide a certain serenity. Upon entering, you are isolated from the outside world as its noise can’t reach you. This peacefulness can increase the value of your home substantially, especially if you live next to the main road or in a particularly noisy area.
How to soundproof your house from outside noise
Now that we know what soundproofing does and some of the reasons why people soundproof their homes, let’s dive into how to do the same to your house.
- Fix any holes or cracks in your walls. Inspect your walls and pay close attention to the areas around window frames, ventilation grates, and electrical sockets. If you find any holes or cracks, repair them with caulk.
- Seal your doors. Installing weathering strips to your door frames not only helps to stop heat loss, but can also help to hamper noise travelling throughout your home.
- Replace your internal doors. If the doors inside your home are hollow, you may consider replacing them with solid doors. This will reduce the amount of sound which is able to pass through.
- Replace your windows. This is an expensive option, depending on how many windows you replace. However, upgrading your windows to double or triple-paned with PVC frames can dramatically reduce noise pollution from the outside.
- Fix squeaky floors. Hardwood floors look great and can add a lot of character to a room, but if one or more of the floorboards are loose, it can cause a never-ending squeaky nightmare.
- Insulate your walls and ceiling. Installing insulation product, such as ceiling panels, mass-loaded-vinyl, neoprene rubber, viscoelastic foam, and fibreglass behind walls and ceiling panels can drastically lessen the amount of noise coming in, or out, of your home.
Smart home organising tips that help with noise absorption
If you are unable to put the above suggestions into practice due to financial constraints or you are renting the property, there are some other methods you can use which won’t break the bank or require another person’s permission.
- Make use of big, thick rugs. If you cannot bear to cover your hardwood floors, the next best option for blocking some of the noise from below is to use rugs. The right rug can really tie a room together, as well as provide a soft, warm refuge for your feet.
- Consider putting up heavy curtains. Changing your curtains for an alternative made from a heavier material can absorb a surprising amount of noise from the street. To block even more noise, make sure that your curtains also cover the wall below and above the windows.
- Rearrange your furniture. You can block some of the noise from the next door neighbours by arranging your furniture so that larger pieces are placed against the shared wall.
- Build and fill a large bookcase. This one is especially aimed at book lovers. By filling the bookcase and ensuring there isn’t a lot of empty space on the shelves, you will find that a good amount of noise from the outside, or your neighbours, is unable to make its way into the room as books are excellent at absorbing noise.
So there we have it, your guide to soundproofing your house. As we discovered, you can effectively soundproof your home in a number of ways, ranging from insulating with noise-absorbing materials to simply putting a rug down and rearranging your furniture. While you can achieve success with any one of these methods, for best results we advise you to use a few of the suggestions and apply them at the same time.