Your Noisy Home
There is nothing worse than hearing the neighbour start his lawn mower at 7am on a Sunday morning. Your only sleep in for the week ruined as you hope he can’t hear the verbal abuse your shouting in discuss.
Let’s face it. We all hate having a noisy home. It’s all fine when we’re creating the noise, but when it’s someone else’s, it’s not on.
Did you know that it’s not only making you grumpy, but effecting your health?
According to medical professionals, excess noise has the ability to raise stress, disrupt your sleep and overall decrease your quality of life.
To help you understand how noise gets into a typical Perth home, we thought we’d share our tips and tricks to reducing noise transfer.
1. The Ceiling
The largest surface area of your home is your roof, therefore a lot of noise penetrates your home via the roof. Whilst a tile roof offers better sound absorption than a tin roof which tends to reverberate, there is little you can do to the roof after construction. This is where we look at ceiling insulation. Whilst most beneficial where there are planes flying overhead, the ceiling can still transfer external noises from the roof, as well as room to room noise.
So how do you reduce this noise transfer?
Whilst most homes generally feature a ceiling insulation product, there are products that are specifically designed for acoustic performance whilst still offering thermal performance. These are generally denser products, containing thicker fibres to allow noise absorption.
One such product we recommend in Bradford’s SoundScreen. Specifically designed for acoustic noise reduction, the fibreglass batt is Australian made and also provides thermal performance up to R3.1. If your insulation is good already, we can lay the SoundScreen as a top-up layer on top of existing insulation, otherwise we recommend using a Bradford Gold R3 in conjunction with the SoundScreen R3.1.
You don’t have to leave the window open to let noise into your home! Due to the thin nature of glass windows, it’s a no-brainer that noise can be entering the home through them. This is particularly worse when you have them on a busy road side of your home or noisy neighbours who love their late nights and loud music.
Typically, noise enters through the windows in two ways;
1. Outside noise creates vibrations through conduction in the windows leading to internal noise, and;
2. Noise enters through gaps around the windows and brickwork, as well as through poor seals.
So how do you control outside noise being transmitted through your windows?
Typically, the simplest method is to look at noise-reducing technology like double glazing. By replacing a single pane window with a double glazed window featuring two panes of glass, noise essentially has to travel through twice thickness and the outer pane absorbs a large portion of the vibrations. The frame, chamber and seals of a double glazed window also mean there is less air gaps for noise to be transmitted through.
Double glazed windows come in a huge range of designs suitable for new homes, as well as older heritage style homes.
Once replaced, double glazed windows can reduce noise transfer through windows up to 65%.
Besides your roof, your walls are the second largest surface area of your home. Often backing on to busy streets, as well as noisy neighbours, it’s understandable that a large amount of noise transfers through your walls.
In Perth and Australia, the differing wall construction methods play a role in how much noise penetrates the home. Double brick constructions tend to be superior to brick veneer and stud frame walls at absorbing sound waves, however it depends on what insulation was installed during construction. Brick veneer and stud frame walls sometimes have insulation batts between the joints, creating a thermal and acoustic barrier. Unfortunately, nearly 99% of double brick homes have no acoustic insulation installed.
So how do we increase acoustic performance?
For timber frame and brick veneer new builds, fibreglass batts like the Bradford SoundScreen provide optimum performance for sound dampening.
When you consider existing homes, whether double brick, brick veneer or stud frame, we recommend our acoustic cavity wall insulation SoundShield. Made from Rockwool, the fibres are dense meaning that sound is absorbed and not transmitted into the home. This product is great in injecting into walls between rooms where there is no insulation in the cavity. We recommend that any bedroom in the home should have the internal walls also installed for sound dampening.
One of the largest opening in your walls is your door. Therefore, it makes sense that sound would penetrate through the door, as well as around the door through the seals.
When you look at the construction of the door, most exterior doors either solid wood or glass. For the solid wooden doors, it’s important that you address the seals around the exterior door, whilst with glass doors, it’s worth considering double glazing to reduce noise transfer (see above information under “Windows”). Most internal doors are honeycomb in nature; two skins with an air filled cavity. This lack of density means that they are poor at absorbing noise, allowing sound to transfer from room to room.
We recommend that hollow-core doors should be replaced with either a composite-core or solid-wood door to provide a sound barrier between rooms. There are also specifically designed acoustic doors which can reduce sound transference. The composite, solid-core and acoustic doors are more expensive than the traditional doors, coming in a range of styles to suit your home.
It’s important that you reduce noise sneaking around the door through the installation of weather strips. These high density foam or rubber weather strips seal gaps around and beneath the doors, making sure sound doesn’t enter the home or individual rooms.
5. Garage Doors
The garage door is the largest door in your home. Whilst not opening directly into your home, the noise that enters your garage can easily penetrate to adjacent rooms in your home. This is particularly common in homes, where the walls adjoining the garage and living spaces are only single brick construction (as opposed to double brick).
Sound can easily enter the garage due to the construction of your typical garage doors. Most garage doors are built with an interior framework and faced with a sheet of steel on the outside. These offer very little resistance to noise from outside, and coupled with the single brick construction inside the garage, sound is easily penetrating your home through the garage.
So what’s the answer?
Look at swapping to an insulated garage door. These panels are constructed with an expanded polyurethane core with a complete weather seal system, meaning not only is sound reduced through the door, but sound sneaking around the door is also reduced. They are also quieter to operate, offer a thermal performance of R1.77 and reduce roadside noise by approximately 80%.
Interested in creating your quiet place? At InsulGuard, we create tailored solutions using those featured in this article and more. Contact us on 1300 467 854 to learn more or fill out the form below.