It can get quite annoying to wake up in the middle of the night because of the rushing traffic or blowing sirens whizzing past your house or apartment.
The same goes for when you have just gotten home after a long day’s work and are welcomed by the buzzing construction noise from your neighborhood or a loud argument of a couple yelling or fighting on the streets.
Unfortunately, these are some ugly instances most city as well as suburban folks have to go through on a daily basis. This is why we present you with the miraculous solution of soundproofing to cancel out all the unpleasant and unwanted noise that comes from the streets.
Below we talk about how to soundproof a house from street noise.
8 Ways to Soundproof a House from Street Noise
Start with the Walls
You have probably heard of the dictum, “The walls have ears.” This couldn’t be truer when it comes to allowing outside noise inside your precious home. If you are wondering how to soundproof a room from outside noise and not sure where to start from, it should probably be the walls.
Most houses have paper thin walls made of sound conducting materials like brick and wood that don’t do much to keep the outside noise at bay. In this case, installing an additional double layer of drywall is very effective. Drywall is a panel made of sound-absorbing materials that help in soundproofing.
Work on the Windows
When it comes to the windows, they are a sure-shot way of providing a free pathway for the sound to get in. Made of glass and wood, these materials are flimsy and unreliable for sound insulation.
Moreover, windows often have gaps, holes and air spaces in their frames that allow sound to pass through. So if you are wondering how to soundproof your room from outside noise, you can start by sealing these open air spaces and gaps in windows using acoustic caulks and sealants. Apart from this, you can also go install heavy, thick soundproof curtains and acoustic panels from the windows to improve soundproofing.
You can also insert additional thick sound-absorbing glass panels in your windows along with window plugs.
Fix the Doors
The doors in our houses surprisingly have a hollow and honeycomb structure inside with a wooden cardboard covering outside. This structure easily allows the sound waves from outside to transmit. Thus, the next thing you need to tackle in your soundproofing project is the door.
Similar to the windows, you can start by examining any presence of air spaces or cracks in the full frame of the door and seal them by caulking, and weather stripping using sealants.
Soundproof the Ceiling
It may come off as a surprise but the ceilings are often responsible when it comes to allowing outside noise to enter your house. The ceilings are home to the air vents and air conditioning ducts that are connected throughout the house as well as with the outside environment.
These have free air spaces inside which let in the unwanted noises from the street quite easily into your homes.
In order to avoid that, you can seal and block these air vents entirely using filler spray and other materials. You can also install a ceiling drywall or a sound maze that will act as an acoustic insulator and sound absorber.
Don’t Miss out the Floors
Often the outside noise finds an easy access through the floors which are mostly made of highly sound conducting materials such as wood. This might be easy to deal with if you follow a few basic steps like carpeting and foaming.
Using thick and heavy rugs and carpets to soundproof your floors is a good option, apart from covering them with a layer of rubber foam padding for extra protection. Moreover, you can also go for the installation of soundproof tiles which are extremely effective in noise cancellation.
Tackle the Exterior Walls
Once you have properly dealt with your house interiors to prevent the street noise from entering your house, it’s time to handle the exterior walls. The exterior walls are a major contributor to the noise inside. They freely allow the sound waves to transmit through them and enter the house.
Similar to what you did with the interior walls, look for and seal any cracks or air spaces in the outside walls using acoustic caulking. Other more effective options include using MLV (Mass Loaded Vinyl), soundproof drywall and resilient channels to reinforce the walls with proper soundproofing.
Fix Some External Barriers for Noise
Did you know that a line of plants and tall shrubs can act as sound barriers and help in soundproofing your house from the noise outside?
Place leafy and large plants on your porch or balcony.
You may also want to consider building a solid arrangement of fences all around your house if possible to minimize the entry of street noise into your homes.
Last but certainly not the least, resorting to white noise approach is a foolproof method of curbing the annoying street noise. As maybe understood by the name, white noise is not exactly noise.
As in, white noise is not exactly the kind of sound that is unpleasant and annoying to the ears. It has a soothing and relaxing effect instead, blocking out any unwanted noise from the streets from reaching your ears.
There are many white noise sound machines available and even fans, ear plugs and certain headphones with binaural sounds work great for this purpose.
These methods mentioned above are just a few of the ways you can keep the aggravating noise from the streets away from your house. If you are fed up of the hustle and bustle of city life and are finally wondering how can you reduce noise when living in a busy street, consider these steps to be your guide in launching a DIY project to completely soundproof your house from the noise outside.