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Insulation for Soundproofing

Insulation for Soundproofing
Soundproofing refers to any means by which the amount of sound reaching the receptor from the source is reduced.
Debopriya Bose
Be it motor vehicles revving on the roads or the surround-sound system installed in our homes, noise has become a part of our busy and mechanical lifestyle. Many people are relocating to the outskirts of cities to escape the exasperating noise levels of city life. However, for those who can't afford to do this, using insulation for soundproofing is another option.
It is important to understand about sound before one can think of effectively insulating one's home. Sound travels in the form of waves, and in order to be carried from one place to another it requires a medium. While some materials are excellent mediums for sound, there are others that provide good resistance to these waves. Air is a very good medium. Hence, by creating vacuum or by filling spaces with insulating materials, it may be possible to keep unwanted noise under control.
Soundproofing Insulation
  • Applying fiber glass insulation batting to the wall may help keep unwanted noise out of the room. It is important to ensure that the fiber glass is packed correctly. If the fiber glass is loosely packed, it may not be able to provide good insulation against sound. However, packing it too tightly will make it lose its soundproof insulation properties.
  • Professional help could be used to install paper fiber, foam or cellulose insulation to the wall that would act as excellent sound blocking material.
  • Soft materials absorb sound waves that strike their surfaces, whereas hard materials reflect them back. Hence, using soft materials like padded carpeting and acoustic foams instead of tiles or hardwood is a good way of installing soundproofing insulation in one's home.
  • There are a number of soundproofing materials sold in the market that can be hung on the walls. These come in the form of panels or rolls. Just hang them according to the instructions of the manufacturer and then erect the drywall as usual.
  • Curtains made from heavy material can be effectively used over windows to prevent noise from outside to enter the room. However, the main limitation that a curtain has in soundproofing is that it lacks a seal at the edge. This problem can be overcome by installing vinyl sliding or double pane windows. Beautiful sound deadening drapes can also be used to cover windows and walls.
  • Sound deadening mats can be used under the carpets on the floors of the rooms on the upper stories. Some of these have additional padding built in that help in sound damping.
  • Seal the holes or gaps around pipes and wires using flexible acrylic latex or polyurethane caulk or foam sealant.
  • Another way of making a room soundproof is by decorating it by furnishings that have rough surfaces. Smooth surfaced furnishings reflect the sound waves that strike them, whereas rough-surfaced furnishings absorb most of the sound waves.
  • Entry of sound waves through the door can be blocked by applying weatherstrips to the gaps around the doorways, or by installing a solid or a soundproof door.
It is easier and less expensive to install soundproof insulation when a building is being constructed, than in those that have already been raised.
Blown Insulation Installed Between House Floor Joists
Laminated wooden floor
Man Installing Weather Stripping in Window