Archive for July, 2009

Tuscon Home Soundproofing Project Almost Complete

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Homes around the Tuscon International Airport have been participating in a 17-year program to reduce noise levels caused by airport operations. As of July of this year over 880 homes have been treated and another 230 are scheduled to be completed by the middle of 2010.

The program is a partnership between the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Tuscon Airport Authority. It involves installing insulation, windows, and proper air and heating units in homes near the airports. Upgrades to each home cost approximately $25,000 – most of which is paid by the FAA.

The entire process takes about 20 months to complete – including months of applications, paperwork, designing, planning, and permit obtainment. The work on each home takes about 10 days!

Admirably, the Tuscon International Airport has taken measures to reduce neighborhood noise as well. They’ve lobbied for zoning regulations in unpopulated areas, have relocated their main runway, and are taking advantage of aircraft with quieter engines.

Despite the project not being 100% complete, the results of their soundproofing efforts are already apparent. The number of noise complaint calls have reduced significantly!

UK’s Historic Cooperage Closes

Monday, July 27th, 2009

We read a devastating story this week about a historic building in the UK being forced to close over soundproofing issues. Yes – that’s right – soundproofing. Can you believe it?

The owners of the historic Cooperage were forced to close the building, which housed a pub. Why? Because some genious architect decided to build a row of apartment buildigns on the same block and when the residents moved in they began complaining about the noise from the busy pub.

Now, we see a number of issues with this situation. First of all, why didn’t the architects, knowing plenty about the area in which they were building, properly sound proof the apartments? Second, why didn’t the people moving into the apartments take alook at the area they were preparing to move into?

Sadly, residential communities tend to win battles against businesses when it comes to noise. Despite the fact that the historic Cooperage was there first (noise and all) it was forced to close and will sit vacant until someone has the money to spend in soundproofing. We sincerely hope the building isn’t left to rot in the meantime.

Understanding Green Glue

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

The other day we came across an incredible video put out by the Markertek New  Channel explaining exactly why acoustic damping adhesives like Green Glue are quickly becoming superior soundproofing products. Green Glue allows you to isolate or dampen sound without undertaking huge and costly construction projects.

This video shows examples of hard surfaces and how easily they can conduct sound. One is bonded together with a regular adhesive material and the other is bonded with Green Glue. The results of the test are absolutely astounding and you’ll be amazed at the wonderful job Green Glue does at keeping noise from resonating. Check it out for yourself!

What is Flanking Noise?

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Before you can attempt to soundproof your home you’ll need to get a good idea of the different types of noise. Today we’ll talk about flanking noise – or noise that can get into a room without going through a ceiling or wall. Flanking noise often sounds amplified and can really have a huge impact on your peace of mind.

So you’ have a room that should, in reality, be quiet – but it’s not. There are a few things you should check first:

  • Are you in an apartment or condo? If so, the noise could  be coming from a side stud wall attaching your unit to another.
  • Is there an attic or upper floor above the noisy room? If so, you might need to consider whether or not that upstairs room sits above more than one lower room. The ceiling joists may be the cause of your flanking noise.
  • Is the noise coming from your floor framing system?

These are the main sources of flanking noise. In some cases you can use products like gasket tape to seal the joists but in others you may need to do some more extensive soundproofing work. Either way, discovering the source of your noise will save you time and money – ensuring you get to the source of the problem the first time.

DIY Soundproofing? Yes You Can!

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

A common mistake most amateurs make when attempting a soundproofing project is starting with the belief that they can’t do the work themselves. Let’s destroy this myth today.

It doesn’t matter if you’re sound proofing a home, apartment, condo, car, boat, air conditioner, or fish tank. All you need to do is determine two things: 1) what type of noise am I dealing with and 2) where is it coming from?

Once you know the answers to these two questions you’ll have the tools you need to know what part of your home (or appliance) needs work and to determine what soundproofing materials to buy. There are several different types of soundproofing materials on the market today, some more expensive than others. Just remember that cheapest isn’t always best but that you don’t need to break the bank, either. The instructions on the material packages will help you to properly and easily install the materials.

In short – soundproofing is easy and you do NOT need to hire a professional sound consultant to get the job done. Use your own common sense and svelte investigative skills and you’ll have a beautifully completed project in no time flat.

Soundproofing on a Budget

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

We all know how expensive it can be to build a house, renovate, or even add a simple addition. Therefore, we know how improtant it is to find budget-friendly soundproofing alternatives for projects where formal soundproofing simply won’t fit into the budget. So what should you do?

Instead of worrying about buying extra drywall, mass loaded vinyl, or any other soundproofing materials, simply buy yourself a role of gasket tape. Apply the tape to the face studs and joists before you screw your drywall into place. Just this little bit of effort will aid in significantly reducing the amount of sound vibrating throughout your home as a result of the joists creaking and settling.

This isn’t the best soundproofing option available  but it’ll do if you’re in a pinch and don’t have the money to take a more formal route. Besides, you can always go back and finish soundproofing the room later on.

Bathroom Soundproofing

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

We get lots of requests for information on how to soundproof a room but very rarely do we get requests for information on how to soundproof a bathroom. It’s not that it can’t be done but so very few people consider the bathroom a source of invasive noise.

There are, on the other hand, plenty of people who find bathroom noise to be incredibly annoying. Imagine living in  a house where one person works a day shift and another a night shift. You may come home from a long overnight shift, settle into a deep sleep, and then suddenly wake up to the sound of the rest of the house taking their morning showers and flushing the toilet. In these cases – yes – we can see how you might find bathroom soundproofing necessary.

The project shouldn’t be too tough but you have a lot of extra material (permanently installed bathtubs, showers, and cabinets) to work around. You may need to float the walls or ceilings and install some mass loaded vinyl. We’ll be honest – this project may be a bit more difficult (if for no other reason than space) and should probably be done during the process of remodeling or gutting your entire bathroom for best results.

You won’t be sorry when you’re done, though. Imagine – a full night (or day) of sleep without hearing the toilet flush!

Does Your Car Wake the Neighbors?

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Do you have an old clunker of a car that makes so much noise even you can’t stand to drive it? Does coming home late at night mean waking up the household or – worse – your neighbors? If so, you might want to consider soundproofing your car.

Now let’s be real. The idea of soundproofing your car does not mean you’re going to end up with a silent, stealth vehicle. What it does mean is that you’ll be able to significantly cut down on the amount of noise your automobile makes – perhaps saving you from the nasty glances around the kitchen table in the morning.

Sound proofing a vehicle is easy, too. All you have to do is get some mass loaded vinyl and contact cement. Remove the current hoodliner, clean it carefully, and once it has dried glue a piece of mass loaded vinyl cut to size under the hood.  If your car is really noisy you can repeat the process with the headliner inside your passenger cabin – just make sure you save the original headliner to reinstall over the mass loaded vinyl for aesthetic purposes.

We understand what it means to have a reliable old car despite the noise it makes. Take a few steps to soundproof your vehicle and you’ll be able to keep her even longer.

How Does Green Glue Work?

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

By now you’ve probably heard of Green Glue. It’s one of the nation’s top soundproofing materials and is considered one of the most effective and easy to use. It does look a little strange, though – doesn’t it? In a container that reminds one of a caulking material, we’re not surprised to hear that some people are questioning whether or not it works.

The reason Green Glue works is because it acts like an elastic damper. This means you can install it between layers of drywall and it will allow you to create a soundproof space without forcing you to float your walls or ceilings. A case of Green Glue, which includes 12 tubes, will cover more than 192 square feet of space, making it one of the most economical soundproofing solutions you’ll ever come across as well.

You should definitely consider trying Green Glue, especially if you are conducting a small soundproofing project or really want to avoid using soundproofing techniques that will minimize the space in your room. Using Green Glue is a decision we’re sure you won’t regret.

Do I Really Need Soundproof Flooring?

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

We often get questions from individuals designing new homes and one of the most popular is whether or not it is really necessary to use impact reduction flooring or soundproofing materials. The answer here is a resounding YES.

There are two main reasons. First, it’s much less expensive to install soundproofing and specialized flooring materials during the actual construction process. You’ll end up spending a lot more money if you have to rip out what you originally installed, purchase new materials, and do a second installation. You will also waste a lot of time and manpower so you may as well just do it right the first time.

The second reason is simple. You don’t want to wake up one evening wishing you had soundproofed those floors – as the sound from your downstairs neighbors (or children) flies up through the air. If you’re in a situation where you do have downstairs neighbors – or even a downstairs office – you’ll want to minimize the amount of impact sound that travels down through the floor and ceiling as well.

The concept is relatively simple. If you want to live a quiet life you’ll have to take care of your noise problems from day one!