Archive for the ‘How To Do It’ Category
Super Soundproofing™ Anti-Vibration Isolation Pads
Two types of sound are usually caused by machinery: Airborne sound and Vibration sound.
Soundproofing by vibration isolation:
Used for commercial sound and vibration isolation of machinery.
Some of our pads are high quality elastomeric ribbed neoprene , specially compounded to resist aging, compression set, water and oil. They are constructed with alternate rib heights, cross-ribbed, with a cork center for additional sound isolation. Durometer of these pads is 60 on the “A” scale. (The best).
Maximum loading capacity of each cork center pad: 50 pounds per square inch. Pads may be stacked for increased isolation and capacity. ( A 2″ pad will support 200 lbs).
Pick the size pad for the bearing weight, not the size of the footing! 3″ pads are best for 2X4 sills for wall studding, etc. Put under the studs or space about 2-3 feet apart under the sill depending on wall load. Use the 2″ X 3/8″ pads neoprene without cork as support for your drywall panels edge. Cork center Pads are all approx. 7/8″ thick.
Use rubber furniture cups to keep vibrating, walking, active machinery (like washing machines), on them. Sometimes some construction adhesive, like “Liquid Nails” or “GOOP” is helpful. Need softer pads? See first item below.
SPECIAL: Not available anywhere else:
2″ Soft Pads: $.99 Ea. A soft pad using a combination of foam and MLV. for delicate machinery like turntables, printers, etc. Use for sewing machines, too. (Use 2 stacked for each bearing support for heavy machines).
Pads in stock:2″ X 3/8″ thick ribbed neoprene pads: $1.00 Ea. w/o cork center.
18″ Sq. Pads $32.50 Ea. Ribbed Neoprene (W/O cork).
2″ wide by 18″ long strips: $18.00 (All prices are plus shipping!)
2″ Pads: $1.50 Ea. Cork center
3″ Pads: $3.00 Ea. Cork center
4″ Pads $6.00 Ea Cork center
6″ Pads $9.00 Ea Cork center
12″ Pads $18.00 Ea Cork center
18″ Sq. Pads $38.50 Ea. Cork Center
2″ wide by 18″ long strips: $18.00 (All prices are plus shipping!)
If your exercise machine is very noisy, creating airborne sound like a Fitdesk, or the floor doesn’t have much sound reduction, use a MLV sound barrier: “Floormat” (use the 4’6″ width with foam backing-long enough to go past the ends of your machine a foot or two!). This may be needed in addition to vibration pads.
Large machines such as the new Fitdesk or fluid trainers like Kurt Kinetic may need a floating floor made from panels like these: [BUY]
Anti-vibration motor/pump mount. [BUY]
or other exercise machine
Set of 4 pads……………………….$19.95
You can cut pads to make different sizes or to double them up for heavier machines. These pads are to be rotated/repositioned to account for wear over time.
Don’t forget the sound isolation tape– it does a good job of padding DWFC, sheetrock wall paneling from studs and sub-floor panels from joists! It can also be used effectively as vibration damping tape for many other purposes.
For more anti-vibration solutions, see also the page on soundproofing appliances!
WHY? The biggest problem with a car or truck noise reduction is that sound is coming right up through the hood- then through the windshield. (Because glass is almost transparent to sound!) Car engine noise mixed with road noise blows right through into the passenger compartment. Auto generated sound is mostly low frequency, the hardest sound to block or absorb.
WHAT IT IS: A closed cell expanded vinyl-nitrile foam in the form of a mat, one side smooth for applying an adhesive. You can use a spray-on or contact cement. (Or our “Peel-N-Stick”) Very durable. Effective to over 225 F. Won’t burn either.
PURPOSE: Used as a hood liner- sound barrier/absorber for soundproofing the car engine compartments of cars and trucks, it is also useful for boats, (won’t absorb moisture) and RV’s in their generator compartments.
INSTALLATION: For auto/truck car engine hoods, remove the hood, (mark your bolt mountings) remove/discard all the old insulation. Use the thickest mat possible. (2″) Plan to trim it to clear obstructions when the hood closes. Place hood on a worktable with the underside up. Clean the metal thoroughly and carefully cut your mat to fit, then apply the adhesive to both material and hood. Apply and press down well. If mechanical fasteners were used on the original material, reuse them if possible. It won’t hurt to use some sheet metal screws, large area washers or upholstery snaps to help retain the mat over time. Trimming can be done with an electric “Turkey Carving” knife or sharp razor knife. Trim to fit around the air cleaner, etc. Can be used on engine side of the firewall too.
Cut mat into panels and cement into the car body.
SIZE: Standard mat is 1″ thick. It comes as a 48″ X 48″ panel and is shipped by post or UPS in a roll. Or you can buy lengths cut from roll material.
This kind of mat is also useful for reducing “rumble” transmitted from the trunk to the passenger compartment.
You can use any thickness of “Super Soundproofing™ Mat” and stick it together with contact cement if the above thickness is not right for your project.
Vibration damping pads work by changing the ringing frequency (deadening) of the metal panels to which they are attached.
Professional car restorers use Soundproofing Liquid for application on metal surfaces such as trunk areas where reverberation is a problem in high end sound installations! 2-3 gallons will provide several buildup coats to the entire floor area of a vehicle, greatly reducing road noise!
Get the free booklet: “How to Soundproof Light Aircraft“! Info applicable to boats and cars, too.
SHOWN: Car engine hood removed from Dodge Caravan with factory “crap mat” removed and cleaned for installation of “Super Soundproofing™” 2″ thick closed cell vinyl nitrile mat.
|This kind of mat is also useful for reducing “rumble”|
|Transmitted from the trunk to the passenger compartment.|
Second method- (Takes more time and material, but esthetically worth it).
This requires four layers of ¼”:
The first one covering only the 8 small triangles of the hood,
The second one on top of the first one covering the 4 big triangles,
The third layer on top of the previous two layers covering the right half and left half of the hood,
The last one covering everything and it is the only one you can see in the picture.
Best to lay out and cut the last layer (one piece) that covers the entire inside of the hood first, then use the remaining material to cut the small pieces as shown.
Don’t buy the material that has PSA, (Pressure Sensitive Adhesive), use 3-M High Temp contact cement instead. The material that was used in the above project was 12 Lineal feet long (4′ wide).
SOUNDPROOFING A BASEMENT FOR FUN AND PROFIT!
Basements have been found to be havens and useful spaces for added living. Here we’ll explore the issues in converting this relatively useless space to important use. This is not only about soundproofing, which is important for reducing fun annoyance, (rec room, home theater) in adjacent areas, but for privacy, above and below, especially if the space is to be used for everyday living by family or rented out. We don’t get into the details of sound proofing these specific items. There are other pages here giving full detailed noise control info. Just click on the links.
Scope of soundproofing work.
- Essential areas at issue:
- Heating- Air conditioning
Aircon (Heat pump)
- Electrical – Plumbing
Floor: Little needs to be done to the floor if a standard concrete slab is involved, except consideration given to the cold and damp that may come from it.
Ceiling: Usually the ceiling in a basement is bare rafters and if left that way, substantial sound will transmit through it in both ways, up and down. A ceiling must be in place to have any kind of soundproofing. Not a drop ceiling, with is virtually worthless for sound control. What kind of ceiling depends on the noise transfer that is anticipated. If it’s just airborne sounds like people talking, above and below, a simple soundproof ceiling made of of 5/8” “Fire code” Drywall may suffice, with sound isolation tape on the bottom of the joists, depending on what the floor topping is above.
If its carpet and pad, it’s far better than tile/ wood or laminate flooring, as these hard surfaces make the floor above almost invisible to sound waves. Even so, a layer of sound barrier material called MLV (Mass Loaded Vinyl) is recommended in case your floor ceiling doesn’t have much sound blocking capability.
In the event it’s people walking, sound transmitted is down below, (Impact sounds), the vibrational sound, much like electricity, must have its path blocked. This can be done with “Sound Clips” a rubber grommet device
that attaches to the bottom of floor joists and mounts metal rails for the new drywall ceiling. Resilient channel, a 1970’s system, it not used anymore except by unknowledgeable contractors. But if you must use it, it’s here.
Walls: The walls will not be much of a soundproofing problem if the basement is deep enough where the walls are buried outside. Finish of the walls can be easily done by imitation wood paneling, etc.
If, like many basements, the outside ground level does not completely cover the wall, leaving space for basement windows, the soundproofing issue will be the sound coming in or going out the windows and perhaps the wall now left, which may not have much sound blocking ability. In that case a double layer of drywall and a layer of MLV should suffice unless there is a loud source of sound nearby. If so, add a layer of “Green Glue” to the sound proofing equation.
Windows: Unless light is needed, it’s may be simpler to wall them off to prevent sound in or out. If light is needed a secondary window can be simply added over the window opening as shown here.
Doors: Many basements have at least one doorway, maybe more for ingress/egress. It’s best to put in doors, not only for sound control but for privacy. Use the thickest MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) doors for this as MDF has superior sound blocking and are cheaper than wood or steel faced doors anyway. For what we know about soundproofing doors, go here: Details.
Heating- Air conditioning: Usually there’s this appliance in the basement feeding heat and/or cool air throughout the house with ducting. This unit must be walled off into it’s own room with a door to keep it quiet enough to live with and the ducting feeding to the rooms above in the spaces in the ceiling must be walled off. If they are square metal or round flex plastic ducts, use foam mat first then box them in with drywall. This is to prevent sounds from the rest of the house from coming in (down) and sounds from the basement from going up to the upstairs room vents.
If you are planning to use a window or through the wall aircon, be aware they are internally open to the outside and will pass sound easily. If you must use one, consider placing it where a noise source is not nearby.
Electrical – Plumbing: Some want to make accessibility panels in their ceiling to have “access in case of an emergency”. Best advice is to avoid this idea as it will not be needed in an emergency. The leak, etc will be quickly evident and you’ll be accessing it through the damaged ceiling. Just make sure the wiring and plumbing is in good condition before closing up the ceiling.
A provision for lighting must be made and the rule is to not cut holes in your noise control ceiling to accommodate it. “Can” lights are out as well as recessed fluorescents. A better choice is indirect lighting or low profile tube fluorescents. If you must use Can lights, etc, forget about the soundproofing as there won’t be any.
You can use ceiling fans as long as they are mounted to the bottom of the joists and not the ceiling. Caulk the through the ceiling holes for them with acoustical caulk.
If there are any noise control issues with the plumbing, (water gurgling, toilet flushing), now would be time to cover the offending piping with pipe insulation to quiet them down. If you do your laundry here, put a protective drain pan under the washer to prevent major damage to your living space if it overflows (Same with the water heater). If possible drain the pan to a floor drain.
How to do it all? Best way is to be your own contractor, as most contractors don’t know much about it anyway. We have a list of some who do, inquire. You can hire “Can do” kind of guys or handymen or you and your friends can do it. The key is to not make the mistakes of the unknowledgeable. That’s where we come in, to answer your questions and advise. See also: (How to select).
If you are planning use this space for music practice see here for additional soundproofing info.
Questions? Use the box below for a rapid reply! Talk to us about your project.
10 Questions to ask before the purchase! (For apartments, substitute “apartments” for “Condos”)!
Many people who were living in single family homes are surprised and shocked to discover they now share a wall with their noisy condo neighbor. Of course when the purchase is complete and one moves in, it’s far too late to do anything about it except to bite the bullet and live with it or investigate what options are available to mitigate the noise after the fact.
We here at the Super Soundproofing Company™ have helped many of these hapless buyers and can help you too, maybe by preventing obvious mistakes before the purchase and even after..
If you’re one of the few buyers studying up on the purchase of a condo, join the ranks of the fortunate that are armed with knowing the questions to ask before the purchase. You’d need to talk with the Seller and/or the Condo Association/Property Manager.
1) What kind of soundproofing was installed when the unit was constructed and when? (This will tell you the codes in effect at the time, and if any).
2) How effective is it? What STC and or IIC are maintained? (STC is airborne sound, people talking) (IIC is impact noise, people walking)
3) What can you tell me about my neighbors to be, left, right, above and below? (You’d want to know if they play the piano, etc).
4) How many noise complaints have you had? (If they don’t answer correctly, you may have a legal Cause of Action later, if needed).
5) Ever received attorney letters about the noise? (See #4 above).
6) What was the prevailing Noise Level Code this condo was built to, and when?
7) Are there any tenants with state supported rent? (Sometimes the parties never stop!)
8) Can I bring my sleeping bag and spend a night and day there? (This doesn’t always work as it has happened the seller gave a paid vacation to noisy neighbors to go away so the condo could be sold!)
9) Whats the policy for installing wood floors, etc?
10) Ask “Anything I should know before I buy”?
You’d need to know the kinds of soundproofing employed while the building was under construction in the case of
A) Concrete walls, floors or
B) Double framed walls with sound proofing insulation.
The level of sound control of the condo would have been established at the time of construction, so it’s important to know what it is. That level will determine if it’s sufficient or not for your living enjoyment. If not, you’d be faced with expensive retrofit of sound panels or even have to demo out walls and ceiling to do a major remodel.
A quick determination for the sound levels in the condo can be done by using your ears as a tuning meter. The human ear is quite sensitive to not only the direction of the incoming sound, but also the level.
For instance, listening carefully at the wall, (a few inches away), then the window will give a relative reading of the traffic noise entering the room. Your cell phone playing music will allow you to get a reading of the sound transfer through a common wall. Many times these walls are all constructed the same in a condo building; it may very well be they will be the same for adjoining rooms of the next door neighbor. So, if you hear noise well through your walls, so will you hear it well through his walls, too. (And he’ll here you too!)
Even if you find there was “Soundproofing” in place from the time of construction it may have been insufficient considering the aging of the building and the inevitable traffic noise increase of the neighborhood in general.
Wall, floor, ceiling and window soundproofing is not cheap, though some ill-informed may refer to outmoded techniques from the 1970’s.such as extra layers of drywall, cork, fiberglass batting, etc. as sufficient. Modern day costs to accomplish proper soundproofing may well run into the thousands and misguided efforts to save money may lead to unacceptable results.
* Walls: Using a layer of MLV (Mass Loaded Vinyl) under another layer of Gypsum board will double the sound blocking of an existing wall.
* Floors: As above, Using a layer of MLV (Mass Loaded Vinyl) under carpet and “Rebond” carpet pad will double the reduction of airborne sound. Using MLV with closed cell foam bonded to it will reduce both airborne sound (STC) and impact sound (IIC). This works well for laminate floors too.
* Ceilings: If the floor above is not accessible, then the option is to demo out the ceiling and use “Sound Clips” to float a new ceiling of Gypsum board on “Hat” channel.
* Windows: They are the most likely to be the cause of outside noise entering the condo. A window “plug” is easiest to use to block incoming noise but will block light until removed. A “Secondary” window provides the same sound blocking as well as light and is easily removed for cleaning, air, etc..
Of course such costs vary drastically from state to state, city to city, but should be figured into the costs associated with buying a condo needing soundproofing.
Here are some approximate materials costs:
* Walls/ Floors: Basic MLV is about $1.50 per sq ft, the composite MLV and foam about $3.60 per sq ft. Other products may be needed.
* Ceilings: Sound Clip run about $5.40 each and you’ll need one for every sq ft of area. “Hat” channel runs $4 for each 5’ length. Plus locally obtained drywall.
* Windows: The 2” foam plug costs $8 per sq ft and the locally obtained clear plastic sheet for the Secondary window about the same plus the magnetic tape and angle for mounting is $3.50 per lineal foot (measured around the perimeter of the window frame).
See the shopping cart For more detailed costs.
Many times such deficient housing is purchased by savvy investors who can get a good deal because of these sound control issues and then remedy them for a nice profit. But it takes careful consideration and a knowledgeable buyer to avoid getting burned.
Take a walking tour of soundproofing an apartment.
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MOBILE HOME SOUNDPROOFING .
Soundproofing may be thought of as a way to keep noise out or in. For instance, external traffic noise is a keep “OUT” example or keep “IN” if it’s loud music, etc. to keep the neighbors happy. In many cases there is a privacy issue too, both inside and out.
Because of the unique structure of a Manufactured or Mobile home, certain considerations apply, but are similar to techniques used in a typical house.
“Soundproof” is a misnomer as there are levels of sound control which are obtained at higher costs of materials and labor. Usually the level to be described here are average levels that can reduce the sound to a level of annoyance that can be easily tolerated.
There are several areas involved in soundproofing any structure:
The techniques involved are ones easily understood and that can be performed by most any handyman or DIY’er. The pitfalls are that these techniques are sometimes replaced by preconceived notions on how to go about it. Even some contractors are notoriously misinformed and many times they do jobs that actually can make things worse.
Let’s look at some common solutions that have been proven to work well with minimum expense and effort.
Walls: Simply cover them with a sound barrier material named “MLV” (Mass Loaded Vinyl). It’s only 1/8” thick, comes in rolls 4’ wide and can easily be applied with staples, tacks or even has adhesive backing. The entire wall must be covered with no gaps or open seams (sound is like water, it will take the path of least resistance). It works best if covered with Sheetrock (Gypsum board). Use the 5/8” thick “Fire-code” type. If you don’t wish to cover the MLV, you can paint it with Latex paint or buy the white colored variety as shown here:
MLV comes several different types, fitted to different sound control solutions, but the one mentioned will double the soundproofing of any wall.
Windows: There are several solutions for soundproofing windows, depending if you want light or not.
A “Window Plug” is simple a slab of special 2” thick Vinyl Nitrile foam cut a bit oversize to be a press fit into your window opening. Don’t push it up against the glass, leave airspace, it will work blocking sound better.
If it’s in direct sun, a layer of reflective foil may be in order.
A better solution that means you may not have to remove your blinds from the window opening as in the previous solution and it can be left in place to provides light: a “Secondary” window.
It’s a 1/4″ thick clear plastic sheet that fits over your existing window opening creating a dead airs pace. Since sound doesn’t like to travel through dead air very well, it is very effective in blocking sound. A steel “L” angle is placed around the perimeter of the opening. The magnetic tape holds it in place making removal easy. Again, if in direct sun light, it may fry your blinds- a layer of solar foil on the inside will help.
Doors: Because sound likes to travel via the easiest path, sealing around the closed door is essential. You must use a closed cell foam tape around the perimeter of the door where any light can be seen coming through.
The large gap at the bottom of the door must be closed off with a door sweep. Typical door sweeps are just for drafts, but there are specially modified ones that also block sound. They install simply with a few screws.
So there you have a few of the solutions for quieting your mobile home.
Free advice can be had from the Super Soundproofing Co™ at 760-752-3030 8-5 or email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Products mentioned above are more fully described at www.soundproofing.org home (above)
And available from the shopping cart at www.supersoundproofingsales.com
AIR CONDITIONER SOUNDPROOFING
Things you may need:
Things you need to know:
There are several types of air conditioners, each presents different problems regarding quieting, but generally most have some things in common.
1) Older units are more noisy than newer units, mostly because they are near the end of their lives, while newer units are likely inherently quieter.
2) Compressors make more noise than fans and when near worn out can be very difficult to quiet down. Replacement is the only option.
3) Fan blades can make a lot of noise if coated with dirt through long use and can become imbalanced, causing bearings to go bad, adding to noise. Cleaning them can not only reduce sound, but add years to their lives.
4) Sometimes it’s cheaper to replace a whole unit (even if it’s not yours!) than it is to try to remodel against the noise.
These are difficult to quiet and many times it’s not the noise of the unit that’s the problem, it’s the noise that comes in when it’s OFF, because the air flows right through it from outside in and so does the sound of traffic, etc.
If you removed the front vent panel and filter, you can see outside! Therefore, sound has an unimpeded path into the room. Such a condition can be helped by a shield fitted to the outside of the unit, thereby making the airflow and the sound take a right angle path into the air intake of the aircon. Lining the shield with sound absorbing closed cell foam will really help reduce sound coming in. Your local sheet metal shop can make one for you if you give them the dimensions of the unit it to which it is to be fitted.
Pad mounted (Outside) Units:
These types move a lot of air and are usually pretty noisy, even when new. They tend to be large, because they cool (and sometimes heat) large areas. Because the sounds from them are loud and varied, (A combination of compressor and integral fan noise, as well as vibration), trying to soundproof them directly with material on them is usually fruitless and some sort of barrier/fence must be set up.
If it is a roof mounted assembly, make sure there are adequate vibration pads under it to help reduce vibration transmitted into the roof. A noise barrier made of MLV can help reduce noise created and going down through the roof. If mounted on a concrete pad there will not be this kind of problem.
Determine direction of the soundpath that is causing the problem and plan a fence barrier between it and the target of the sound. (A bedroom window, for instance). Build a fence (no gaps in the slats!), at least 8′ high and 6′ wide that goes all the way to the ground as close to the unit as practical and line it with sound absorbent closed cell foam. 1″ thick is a good choice. If the soundpath is angling upwards, add a overhang to your fence to help block the path. If there is more than one soundpath, a fence in the shape of a “V” or even 3 sided like a “U” may be necessary. In some cases a boxed in area may be needed, complete with a roof to contain the sound. Access doors and ventilation will have to be planned for this type of solution. Some hints on how to baffle a noise source is here.
Attic Fans and Air Conditioners:
Some times it’s necessary to “Hang” these units from vibration mounts rather than set them on pads to reduce vibration to an acceptable level. When belts are used to drive the fans, problems can arise due to wear and aging of the assemblies and bearing blocks. Units that are comparatively quiet can become very annoying over time as loose parts begin to sound off. Usually it’s necessary to add sound barrier and vibration absorbing mat around the installation to reduce sound transfer into the structure of the building. This is best done at initial installation rather than later when it will be much more difficult.
Ducts/ducting and air vents.
Ducting needs to be covered with closed cell sound absorbing foam (not open cell foam), for sound and thermal insulation. Metal ducting needs to be physically isolated from the fan shroud or aircon unit with a flexible coupling. Otherwise is will re-radiate sound vibration along it’s length. Fiberglass or flexible ducting usually won’t have this problem, but will lose thermally if not insulated.
Liquid soundproofing can be painted/sprayed on or in the metal ducting for even more sound vibration reduction.
Vents are a problem if the design causes an air noise. To see if this is a problem, temporarily remove one to see if the sound level drops appreciably.
Watch for vents to rooms that have a single common feed up through the wall- (or down through the floor to the ceiling below), if you can peer though the vent into the other side, it means sounds in one room will transfer to the other room.
If you are buying an AirCon, don’t just take the sound ratings the dealer may give for quietness- find out where the different brands/models are installed and go check them out- you will definitely be glad you did!
Super Soundproofing™’s Privacy Notice
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SECRETS REVEALED ABOUT SOUNDPROOFING TECHNIQUES!
1. Carefully analyze your noise situation, before closing up walls and floors.
2. Consider using real sound control windows where needed.
3. Use special low-cost building techniques now to minimize the requirements for expensive soundproofing materials later.
4. If you’re on a budget, at least use sound isolation tape and inexpensive resilient channel for some kind of sound control. (Something is better than nothing). If real results are what you need, use soundclips and some MLV barrier.
5. Keep in mind that some building materials are better than others for sound control. Low cost brown “Soundboard” from the hardware store is NOT real “SoundBoard”. Real soundboard is imprinted with the name: “Sound Deadening Board“. Anyways, it has a minimal effective as a sound control material.
6. Lead lined drywall is available from us! Or we’ll show you how to make your own!
7. Give some thought to the attic soffits and outside noise reduction.
8. Planning to use plants and trees for a sound fence? Don’t, It doesn’t work.
9. Take a walking tour of soundproofing a house!
A special note about having a home office.
Look here for some words about putting in wood or tile floors! (You must have some resilience to the floor or the people underneath will hate you!)
What you need to know about insulation, such as cellulose and other types of “Blow-In’s” (Rock wool is the only common product of this type we know of that has appreciable soundproofing qualities).
New! Cotton fiber insulation provides thermal and sound insulation and it’s a “Green” product!!
If you are a Homeowner:
Often, homeowners think about their basement remodel or the extra space coming with their home addition and they overlook the companion projects that usually ride shotgun with these improvements. So don’t just think new windows or fixing the roof, but consider the other areas of improvement that are likely to go hand-in-hand with any home project, like sound control and air purification for the add-on, etc.
“Backer Square” is cheaper and less labor-intensive than multiple thicknesses of acoustical caulk for filling large gaps.