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Soundproofing Materials Help Reduce Noise at Home

What happens if the house has gotten noisier as the family has gotten bigger? There may still be time to soundproof a home, rather than waiting until the hearing loss is permanent! Using drywall or other soundproofing materials can help drown out the sounds of the dog, the oboe and the chain saw, and allow for a little quiet time within those four walls.
Experts make the comparison that sound Is like water-anywhere water can leak, such as cracks and openings, sound can pass through as well. Acoustical caulk can be used to plug holes and gaps around ceiling fixtures, switch and receptacle boxes and door casings to stop unwanted noise.
Sometimes, simply adding sound-absorbing materials to a room can make a difference. Wood floors are popular and low maintenance, but may have the unwanted effect of conducting noise back up from the floor. Adding carpeting to a room-and perhaps some drapes-can reduce vibrations and decrease ambient noise. Even an area rug can help.
Other ways that can help reduce noise are installing solid-core interior doors instead of hollow doors and adding a sweep to reduce airborne sound under the door. Weather­ stripping can also be used around the frame of a door to create a tighter seal when the door is closed.
Sound is a wave, a wave with amplitude (height). As sound waves moves through a medium such as air, water or even steel strings, the waves create vibration, allowing us to hear sound. To quiet It, material can be added to walls to reduce vibrations and absorb the waves. In the average residential home, It would be almost Impossible to create virtually silent rooms, but it is possible to block or isolate some of the annoying sounds that may interrupt concentration or homework.
One way to decrease sound vibration is through the addition of heavy, dense material to a room to serve as a sound barrier. Brick or stone walls are more sound-absorbent than drywall, but too heavy, cumbersome and impractical for interior walls. To get around using stone, a second layer of drywall can be added to a specific room to quiet things down.
To go one better, sound can be trapped using a caulk and drywall sandwich. This concoction can be whipped up using two layers of drywall with an acoustic caulk filling in between.
The sound may get through the first layer of drywall but will then be slowed down by the sealant and stopped by the second layer of drywall. Acoustical caulk is different from regular caulk, in that it is designed to remain permanently flexible. Caulk that hardens can eventually crack or shrink or the film can separate so that it no longer provides an effective seal, leaving a seam defenseless against the passage of sound. But acoustical sealant remains flexible, similar to “50-year” or “non-hardening” caulk, and creates a much more longer-lasting seal.
But walls do not have to be covered in additional drywall to make them sound-resistant. Adding mass can also be accomplished through the use of sound-absorbing panels. These panels are typically constructed of expanded polypropylene panels (PEPP). The panels deaden and trap sound, and may come wrapped in fabric to coordinate with room decor.
For those who prefer a more organic product, acoustic cotton panels offer an affordable solution that is attractive and generally non-allergenic. Cotton panels can be attached to walls, on cubicle partitions or on ceilings. They are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified and safe for people and the environment. Recycled polyester core acoustical panels are also available for sound-baffling. These panels are made of polyester with a 60% recycled content. The panels offer a rigid surface that can double as a tack board.