Get up to speed by reading our information on soundproofing and what advancements are available.
If your job involves preparing a space for soundproofing, then you must understand the science behind it as well as the current guidance and advancements. Doing this will ensure that the soundproofing is at its optimum, and you will be able to feel confident that you have adhered to all the current building regulations. Take a moment to get up to speed by reading our information on soundproofing and what advancements are available before you start work. Also take a look at this guide for further background on soundproofing for building regulations.
How Does Soundproofing Work?
The purpose of soundproofing is to reduce noise enough that a room or building is optimised for the people that use it. There are three main ways that soundproofing works:
- By blocking noise through adding mass to the building so that it sound can be reflected or even converted into heat through the mass.
- By absorbing sound through specific materials like Rockwool. This absorption means that less noise travels through the space and so it is quieter.
- By de-coupling structures to stop sound vibration travelling from one to another and thereby reducing the impact of sound on each structure.
As with any form of work, soundproofing is only as good as the quality of work that goes into making it happen. It is vital that no gaps are left so that the optimum sound barrier is put in place.
How Is Sound Measured?
When it comes to measuring sound, there are two areas that you need to be aware of: airborne sound and impact noise. Both of these are measured in decibels, but each type of sound tells a very different story:
- Airborne sound is a type of energy that is passed through the air or the atmosphere and is made up of all the types of sounds that occur within the vicinity of the building. These noises all travel through the air and hit the side of a structure, causing it to vibrate.
- Impact noise is a type of energy that is produced when one object comes into contact with another. For example, the sound of a chair being pulled under a desk or footsteps walking across a floor. These noises travel through the floor and create an impact sound that can be heard around the area being used.
To measure sound properly, it is important to take readings from both sides of a structure to gain an understanding of the level of noise you need to block. To work out a target level, you take the loudest decibel reading and take it away from the normal noise level range to get the target level to aim for.
The Latest Advancements In Soundproofing
There are lots of methods for soundproofing on the market, but to fall in line with the latest advancements and to get the best results you would be advised to use a combination of the following methods:
The Rise Of Acoustic Mineral Wood
Good quality, genuine acoustic mineral wool can be used to provide soundproofing by installing them between both joists and stud work. Interestingly, you need to be aware that many acoustic wool sellers are not selling properly acoustic mineral wool and you should only buy it if it comes in slab form rather than on a roll to ensure it is the genuine material.
Having an airtight seal is a great way to reduce the impact of noise, but this is not easy, and many contractors find that they fail testing because of poorly attempted seals. The key to this is to ensure that there are no holes or gaps in the seal and that you have filled the void with the best quality materials that will absorb the sound.
If you want to disperse sound waves effectively, then it is also wise to add in a layer of damping to each wall and ceiling. This is straightforward and can be installed as an add-on to the previous two methods as long as you ensure there is a minimum of two layers of plasterboard being installed as well.
In short, when it comes to soundproofing a space, you must ensure that you have the knowledge required to measure the impact of noise and then come up with a plan to rectify it. Many contractors fail sound tests purely because they have not harnessed the power of the latest advancements in soundproofing. Each of the methods listed in this article can be used in tandem so that you get the best possible results every single time.