Soundproofing and Acoustic Insulation

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Noise pollution is the bane of many a homeowner's existence, especially for people who live near busy roads, airports or industrial complexes. Relatively little thought is given to noise insulation during the construction of most homes, however, so homeowners often have to soundproof during remodels.

Soundproofing a home is possible with the right insulation. Acoustic insulation blocks and absorbs sound waves. Some noise insulation prevents heat transference, as well as soundproofing.

Types of Acoustic Insulation

Acoustic insulation provides soundproofing in one of two ways. Foam batting noise insulation is thick enough to act as a sound wave barrier, bouncing sound waves back the way they came. Foam acoustic insulation works well as a sound barrier in hollow walls.

Acoustic panels provide much thinner insulation, but are made of dense material that blocks sound. Acoustic panels can be attached directly to the outside of a wall and come in a range of designs.

Installing Noise Installation

Walls, floors and ceilings can all benefit from noise insulation. Of the three, floors provide the most challenging remodel, as the existing floor must be removed, the acoustic insulation must be installed underneath and then the new flooring is installed.

If you're soundproofing using foam batting, make sure the insulation is installed snugly. Holes or gaps in insulation provide entry points for sound. Use a utility knife to cut batting to fit around pipes, electrical boxes and other obstacles.

Acoustic insulation provides the most effective soundproofing if installed during initial construction. You may be disappointed with acoustic insulation if you plan on completely soundproofing a room. While adding noise insulation reduces sound intrusions, extensive remodeling is required to completely soundproof rooms. Unless you're planning to build a home recording studio, complete soundproofing is probably not worth the cost.

Additional Soundproofing

Other soundproofing tactics work in combination with acoustic insulation. Thick carpets and under-carpet padding help muffle noise. You may want to consider switching to new, quieter-running appliances, which also consume less power than older models.

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