How To Increase The Sound Insulation Of The Walls

All you need to know about the sound-absorbing materials and coatings used for the acoustic insulation of the walls of homes and rooms.

Noise pollution is one of the major sources of stress and the disturbance caused, in the long run, can generate serious repercussions both on the psyche and on the organism; annoying noises often come mainly from neighbors, and this implies that we ourselves are also a potential source of annoying noises for our neighbors.

Noise can originate both from normal household activities and from appliances used in the home, such as TVs, stereos, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and other household appliances. The solution to the problem consists in the acoustic insulation of the walls obtained through the installation of specific materials, often in the form of acoustic insulation panels , also commonly called soundproofing panels .

The acoustic insulation

The soundproofing panels , as previously mentioned, are made with materials that have specific properties; however, it is necessary to distinguish between those that have sound-absorbing properties and those that have sound-insulating properties.

The soundproofing materials par excellence are lead and especially rubber, which is cheaper and easier to work with; these act by reflecting the sound waves towards their source, consequently they are mainly used to block out noises. Lead is more efficient but it is also extremely expensive, consequently it is used only when there is the need to soundproof the environments where there are systems that generate high noise, such as the engine room or the boiler room of a large building.

Sound-absorbing materials, on the other hand, are less effective than sound-insulating ones, but in the home they have a more than sufficient yield; they also offer the further advantage of acting as thermal insulators and are therefore far more common. Among these we find cork, polystyrene and polyurethane foam, rock wool and glass wool, wood fiber and other materials with a porous consistency or in any case structured in such a way as to absorb sound waves instead of reflecting them.

The soundproofing of the environment

Usually domestic soundproofing occurs as a natural consequence when the installation of airtight fixtures and insulating panels is carried out for the realization of the thermal coat. The materials used for thermal insulation, in fact, also have sound absorbing properties.

When the need arises to acoustically insulate a condominium building or an environment intended for specific purposes, such as a recording room, a public place where live music is played or a cinema, then it is necessary to take into account the regulations governing the acoustic insulation present in the law 447/1995 and in the Prime Ministerial Decree of 5 December 1997. These standards establish and indicate in decibels the minimum and maximum values ​​to be respected, depending on the type of building or environment, and it is clarified which are the greater sound dispersion, in order to act on them in a targeted manner.

In fact, depending on the case, instead of soundproofing the wall , floor and ceiling as a whole, it is possible to soundproof a wall only to obtain the desired results anyway.

Ceiling and floor

The most sensitive areas, where the sound insulation is sometimes not able to reach maximum efficiency, are the ceiling and the floor. In fact, both pose different problems, starting with the complexity of the required restructuring interventions; the floor, in particular, to be suitably insulated against noise requires the demolition of the existing covering and then the application of the layers of insulating material.

Furthermore, the latter are effective in reducing the propagation of internal noises towards the floor below, for example those produced by one’s own footfall, but they are far less effective in shielding airborne noises coming from the lower floor.

The acoustic insulation of the ceiling, on the other hand, as in the case of the thermal coat, is obtained as a result of the restructuring of the roof when this has the purpose of creating a ventilated or thermally insulated roof. Other solutions, on the other hand, such as those adopted for the floors, provide for soundproofing by creating a plasterboard false ceiling in whose cavity the panels of sound-absorbing or sound-insulating material are inserted.

How to cover a wall in an economical way

If you are tired of listening to neighbors’ complaints every time you use the car polisher in the garage and you are wondering if it is possible to soundproof a room economically , the answer is yes but you must still be aware that the efficiency of the soundproofing will be proportionate. the shopping and the work done.

One of the cheapest methods is to collect a sufficient number of cartons used for transporting the eggs, arm yourself with silicone, heat gun , nails, cotton wool or rock wool in adequate quantities and then proceed to coat the walls to be soundproofed. As absurd as it may seem, this method ensures acceptable results, especially considering that the material required has a negligible cost and that the installation intervention is completely do-it-yourself.

Our advice, however, is not to over tighten the purse strings; in fact, with a reasonable cost, it is possible to soundproof a room effectively without resorting to the intervention of a technician. Take the measurements of the room to be insulated and calculate how many square meters you need to cover, bearing in mind that you are not obliged to completely cover the environment and that you can limit yourself only to the walls bordering the outside or with the neighbors.

You can then cover the affected area with rock wool, the cost of which varies from 20 to 30 euros per square meter, and with plasterboard walls, the cost of which varies from 3 to 5 euros per square meter.

It is also possible to opt for the assembly of only the insulating material, thus reducing both the overall cost and the working time; in fact, some types of material, such as cork panels or anti-noise plasterboard, unlike rock wool and polystyrene, have the advantage of being aesthetically “finished” and therefore of not requiring the application of further coverings. Both cork and anti-noise plasterboard are available at a price between 25 and 40 euros per square meter, depending on the thickness.

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