What is Soundproofing?
Soundproofing is the process of insulating against the build up of sound. Sound travels in low frequency waves in all directions, stemming from the source of the noise. These waves can then travel until they hit a point of resistance such as a wall or ceiling, and can cause reverberation. The purpose of soundproofing and the use of acoustic materials is to absorb the sound waves, preventing and reducing reverberation by blocking and/or absorbing the sound.
There are two chief methods of soundproofing:
Reduction works by altering the distance the sound waves travel or deflecting them via the use of objects placed in the path of the sound waves.
Absorption works by altering the actual pattern of the sound waves through the use of specialist sound dampening materials, with the aim of lessening the sound produced from the noise pollution.
Types of Soundproofing
Many different methods of soundproofing and types of acoustic materials are available. For example, a vinyl acoustic barrier blocks airborne noise (street traffic, voices, music) from passing through a wall, ceiling or floor. Because vinyl acoustic barriers are made of heavy, limp vinyl, they are usually built into the structure and then covered with a finished surface like sheet rock or paneling. Soundproofing foam dampens noise by making sound waves pass through multiple foam cells and foam cell walls. A soundproof room contains soundproofing material in the walls, floors, and ceilings. Acoustic foam and acoustic ceiling tile absorb sound to minimize echo and reverberation within a room. They do not block noise from transmitting through walls and ceilings. Soundproof doors and soundproof windows are also designed to reduce the transmission of sound. Building techniques such as double wall construction and staggering wall studs can improve the soundproofing of a room. A soundproof wall can incorporate sound proofing and acoustic materials to meet desired sound transmission class (STC) values.
Common Sound Transmission Class (STC) Values in Decibels (dB):
Rustling leaves 20dB
Average home 50dB
Washing machine 65dB
Car in the street 70dB
Loud music 80dB
Motorcycle passing 90dB
Diesel truck passing 100dB
Business legal limit 115dB
Threshold of pain 140dB
Why Soundproof My Home?
Soundproofing is not always a common consideration in new home building and home improvement. Studies show that sound pollution can have an incredibly high impact on your well being. Exposure to high levels of noise pollution can lead to a number of physiological and psychological issues including hypertension, high stress and aggression. Where levels of noise are extremely high, tinnitus (the sensation of ringing, roaring or buzzing in the ears or head) and hearing loss are prevalent. You owe it to yourself to ensure that you are not exposed to unnecessary levels of noise that could otherwise be negated by efficient soundproofing.
Retro-fit an Existing Home
You may find that in some older homes the level of quality lends itself to a higher standard of building materials, and as such, the thickness of the walls are adept at soundproofing the home from exterior and interior noise. Some newer homes may reflect the minimum standard of building materials, and may have thin walls that are inefficient at soundproofing. Spray-tech Foam Insulation can easily retro-fit your existing home with soundproofing materials. Call today for a free estimate.