At some point or another, pretty much every homeowner would have considered soundproofing their house or apartment. The reasons why are endless, and many of them stop being an issue almost as quickly as they begin. Sometimes, though, noise problems persist.
As you’re reading this, I’m guessing you find yourself in the latter camp...and the chances are also good that you’re at your wits end. If that’s the case, I sympathise. Hopefully this article will shed a little light on how to soundproof your home and help point you in the direction of the results you’re looking to realise.
Let’s crack on, shall we?
What are you trying to achieve?
Before we go any further, it’s absolutely vital to figure out exactly what you’re trying to accomplish. Some scenarios lend themselves to soundproofing better than others, and you wouldn’t be the first person to fall foul of misplaced expectations when it comes to guarding against noise.
The first question is, are you trying to keep noise out or in? For those who are battling against noisy neighbours, this may seem like an incredibly daft question, but the reverse could be said by the keen amatuer drummer reading this piece. Knowing what you want to achieve is vitally important if you want to get the best results.
For most, however, it’s fair to assume that keeping noise out will be priority number one. If so, it’s time to think about what type of noise is annoying you: Impact or Airborne.
As the name suggests, impact noise is caused by things coming into contact with one another. So, think things like footsteps, doors slamming, DIY being done, and the aforementioned drummer banging away at his kit.
Airborne noise is different to impact in that it doesn’t result from things clashing together, it’s usually produced by something instead. Now, this could be cars revving their engines, stereos pumping out music, conversations and shouting, TVs playing the latest blockbuster, or even kitchen appliances whizzing and whirring.
Knowing what you are up against will greatly influence your decision when it comes to selecting the correct type of soundproofing for your home. Equally, knowing where that noise is coming from can also alter what you need to do to effectively block out the noise. There’s no point concentrating on your walls if the noise is coming from above, for example.
How does soundproofing work?
The science of soundproofing is actually pretty complex and probably beyond the scope of this article. However, if you’re serious about getting the best results when soundproofing your house or apartment, doing a bit of homework will certainly pay dividends.
Check out this article from Explain That Stuff to find out more about how soundproofing actually works.
Which rooms benefit the most from soundproofing?
Again, a lot will depend upon your end goal but, suffice to say, bedrooms and home offices, alongside other rooms where you spend a lot of time or feel the need to be quiet, will benefit most from soundproofing solutions.
This is obvious when you think about it, but many get carried away and spend thousands on soundproofing rooms where it really is unnecessary to do so. Does your bathroom really need to be soundproofed? Probably not.
Know the limitations
While soundproofing can certainly help lower noise levels considerably, expecting it to do away with noise altogether is likely to set you up for a fall. Noise is incredibly difficult to block effectively, and this is especially true when trying to install soundproofing retrospectively.
Although you may find numerous wonder kits online stating differently, the truth of the matter is that proper soundproofing requires a fair amount of invasive work to be effective. This will commonly involve significant decoupling of ceilings and wall. Adding a bit of matting or foam board isn’t going to cut it, in most instances.
How to soundproof your home...can it be done?
If you’ve read all of the above, you’ve probably already reached the conclusion that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to soundproofing your home. You may read elsewhere that plugging holes, filling cracks, and adding a rug or two will be an effective barrier between you and the annoying noise, but the truth is often a lot different than what you may be led to believe.
Sure, the above ‘solutions’ may dampen things down a little, but they’re not going to make them go away. To really make a difference (a very noticeable difference), you’ll probably need expert help.
While many companies will offer up DIY solutions, unless you are extremely handy it’s probably best to get a professional in to do the job properly. Think of sound in a similar way to water and you’ll get an idea of just how easy it can be to leave a ‘leak’ behind if you attempt to soundproof your home yourself.
If you’re thinking of moving home in or around West Essex or East London, let Petty’s take the strain. Our team of friendly property experts take great pride in helping people just like you achieve their property goals, so give them a call.
We have been operating in London’s E11 postcode for well over a century now, so you know you’ll be in safe hands with us. Get in touch today to find out exactly how we can help you make your next move.