I Cant Hear You! How to Make Your House Quieter
How to Make Your House Quieter In 3 Easy Steps
First it was trains, planes and automobiles. Then lawnmowers, leaf blowers and barking dogs. Now it’s loud music, big screen televisions and home theatres. If were playing Jeopardy, the question would be; ‘what is noise that is driving people nuts.’
Noise is an increasingly serious problem for American home dwellers. It used to be a problem that primarily affected people living in apartments, condos or other attached housing. Creaking floors, thumps on walls and the ‘occasional’ raised voice have been cause for more than a night of lost sleep. Though the problem still persists for the ‘condo crowd,’ unwanted noise is increasingly a problem for people living in single family detached homes situated in the progressively more densely populated suburban sprawl.
Ironically, a large amount of the unwanted noise in today’s homes originates IN today’s homes. Though our neighbors, pets and public transportation aren’t off the hook, the ear-splitting sound of our children’s music and the earth-shaking sounds produced by big screen televisions and home theatres have made noise a problem of epidemic proportions.
Builders and homeowners have traditionally dealt with noise by utilizing one of the following methods.
- Drywall and/or Insulation: Add a layer of drywall and/or add some insulation to the wall cavity. Both of these are pretty easy to do and relatively inexpensive. They’ll help, but unfortunately, barely enough to be noticeable to the human ear.
- Party Walls: A better way to reduce noise is with staggered studs or even a double stud wall. This will give you a noticeably better result. This alternative is reserved for major remodels or new construction where new walls are to be built. But, remember, that you’re using more material and a lot more labor. And you’re going to lose several inches of floor space along the length of the wall, because the wall assembly will be much thicker
- Resilient Channels: Metal channels are attached to wall framing and wallboard is then attached to the metal channels. The idea here is to ‘float’ the wall, so sound is isolated. This method can deliver good results, but only if everything is installed perfectly – small mistakes in installation can ruin the added soundproofing. This method is often used in commercial applications, but is typically not a practical alternative for existing construction since wallboard must first be removed to install the system.
Though these systems are still utilized, they appear rather archaic when compared to state-of-the-art products and technology offered by companies such as Quiet Solution, Owens Corning, CertainTeed, Temple-Inland, Georgia-Pacific and others, that have developed products that reduce sound that would otherwise penetrate windows, doors, ceilings, floors and walls.
Certain-Teed, for example, manufactures a light-density fiberglass insulation batt that is installed between studs. Georgia Pacific makes a low-density product that is installed between studs and drywall. Temple-Inland makes a sound-deadening fiberboard. And Owens Corning produces a fabric system to envelope rooms.
QuietRock has developed some of the simplest and most cost effective products. For example, they make a wallboard called QuietRock that looks and is used like regular drywall, but includes a viscoelastic polymer — what they call their “special sauce.” Simply stated, this treatment converts acoustic energy or ‘noise’ to heat energy, which people can’t hear. Viscoelastic what? Sounds pretty intimidating, but take it from us, it works!
“It’s a revolutionary, high-tech, sound-damping product masquerading as just another building material,” according to Kevin Surace, the QuietRock CEO. “It’s not fancy. It doesn’t call attention to itself. It just works.”
What makes this product so exciting is that it can be applied directly over existing wallboard without the need to demo existing walls. For example, a standard sheet of 5/8-inch gypsum board added to a typical drywall-and-stud wall reduces sound coming through the wall by about 2 decibels — barely enough to be noticeable to the human ear. But one sheet of QuietRock added to a typical wall reduces the sound coming through the wall by about 20 decibels — a 75 percent reduction in sound. Thus, if you’re remodeling a bedroom or home theater room, all you need to do is screw on a layer of QuietRock and use an acoustic sealant around the perimeter.
In new construction, one sheet of 5/8-inch QuietRock has the same noise reduction effect of eight sheets of standard drywall.
For the really ‘noise challenged,’ QuietRock also manufactures floor and ceiling systems and windows — all designed with the company’s patented “special sauce” to dampen noise. This is especially good news for apartment complex owners and condo associations who invariably suffer from more than their share of unwanted noise.
For more information visit http://www.quietrock.com/.
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