Does Insulation Reduce Sound Pollution?
The number one aim of insulation is to do what it says on the tin; insulate your home, keep it warm! Think of insulation as wrapping your house up in a fluffy dressing gown, keeping the cold out and the warm in. It makes your home all cosy and warm. But, there is another massive benefit of insulation that people often forget about; want to find out more? Keep reading!
Insulation works as soundproofing, helping to keep noises from travelling into your home, and even prevent sound from leaving! We all want peace & quiet at home, to be able to sit and relax without hearing next door’s TV blaring into your bedroom! Let’s discuss in further detail how insulation can be used for soundproofing in your home.
What Is Sound Pollution?
Sound pollution is when an excessive or unpleasant noise takes place, it usually applies to unnatural sounds. It relates to sounds that cause disruption or inconvenience to the surrounding environment, usually to people and animals.
The modern way of life makes it challenging to escape sound pollution. From traffic to electrical appliances, we often have to put up with hums and beeping sounds.
Sound pollution can cause Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHC), alongside high blood pressure, sleep disturbances, stress and even heart disease! It affects all ages, unfortunately, especially children. Studies have shown that young children living near noisy streets suffer higher levels of stress and problems such as reduced attention levels and memory.
Types Of Sound Pollution
Here are three main types of sound pollution in properties.
These are noises you hear through the air. Airborne sounds can be from external and internal sources, such as traffic passing down your street or your television.
Direct Impact Noises
These are sounds created by impact; vibrations caused by movement. Something causes impact, which then sends shocks and vibrations through walls, floors and ceilings. Direct impact noises include footsteps and appliances such as washing machines/tumble dryers.
Water running through heating systems can cause noises, especially in older systems. Pipes running throughout older properties can create loud noises. This is especially common in flats, where multiple people use the systems simultaneously, causing the sound to travel between individual apartments.
How Does Sound Proofing Work?
First, we need to understand what sound is and how it travels. Sound is energy produced when something vibrates. This energy then travels out from the source in waves, causing anything the waves come into contact with to vibrate.
Light doesn’t travel through objects, but sound does. This is why sound pollution is a bigger housing problem than light.
Soundproofing adds extra layers for the sound waves to travel through. These additional layers reduce the energy of the soundwaves, causing the sound to decrease or even become inaudible in some cases.
The Best Types of Insulation to Reduce Sound Pollution
Mineral Wool and multifoil are the best types of insulation to use to reduce sound pollution. They insulate well but also have noise-reducing properties.
Insulation creates a tight barrier, meaning sound waves can’t pass through gaps in structures. Insulation is also absorbent, meaning sound struggles to pass through. Insulation installed in walls, roofs, ceilings, and flooring is a great way to soundproof a property.
Due to SuperFOIL insulation being made up of many different layers, which helps to reduce outside noise pollution and impact noises. It also creates an airtight barrier, which is an important factor when it comes to noise pollution.
Mineral Wool Insulation
Sound is absorbed by mineral wool insulation, but it will not block the sound. Mineral wool insulation traps soundwaves in the insulation and prevents them from passing through. Mineral wool insulation can also be used in conjunction with foil insulation for ultimate results!
NRC rating stands for noise reduction coefficient; this is used to determine how much sound a product can absorb. The rating ranges between 0 and 1.
Average mineral wool insulation measuring 3.5 inches thick has a rating between 0.90 and 0.95, so it rates highly! In residential properties, insulation is usually installed in walls, roofs and ceilings. If extra soundproofing is required, it can be possible also to install insulation into flooring.
Other Ways to Soundproof Your Home
So, we know how insulation works for soundproofing homes, but what else can you do to reduce sound pollution in your property?
Fix Any Holes In Your Walls
Take a close look at the walls in your property. Pay extra attention to electrical sockets, skirting boards, and around window frames. If you come across any cracks, fill them with wall filler and caulk. If there is any extensive damage, you may need to contact a professional to plaster your walls.
Use Big Rugs & Thick Curtains
Carpets are great for soundproofing. If you want to keep hardwood flooring, rugs are your best option to reduce sound pollution. They block noise from below and absorb noise passing downwards. Not only this, but they look nice and make the room feel cosy!
Seal or Replace Your Doors
Install weathering strips to your door frames; this helps with heat loss and stops noise travelling between rooms.
Hollow doors are not good noise reducers; solid doors stop sound from passing through different rooms. If your doors are hollow, consider getting new doors. It is recommended you get a professional to fit these for the best result.
Replace or Repair Your Windows
This option will be pretty pricey but worth it if your windows aren’t currently in excellent condition. Upgrade your windows to double or even triple-paned, and you will see a massive difference in your heating levels and sound pollution!
Find Out More About Soundproofing Your Home With Insulation
There is so much information to know about insulation and how it can reduce sound pollution. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us at SuperFoil. Send us an e-mail or give us a call on 01636 55679. We understand the importance of a comfortable and relaxing home. Our team of technical experts are here to help you every step of the way.
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