How To Reduce Traffic Noise From Your Home
Do you love your home but hate its proximity to busy streets? Do you find yourself constantly listening to horns and sirens? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then you might have thought about doing something to soundproof your home. You’re probably wondering, short of building a 10-foot wall around my house, what can I do? Fortunately for you, we have a simple guide for you to follow.
1.) Identify the weak spots. Did you ever watch that TV show The Weakest Link? Your house is only as strong as its weakest point. Walk around your house and pay close attention to sound. Where is the noise leaking in from? Common areas for leakage include doors and windows. Check under the front door to see if there’s a gap. Listen by the windows and check the seal. Even if you have a nice thick door or dual pane windows, noise could seep through if there’s a gap somewhere.
So what do you do? If the door’s your problem, you can buy a bottom door seal – usually less than $10! If the seal around your windows is the problem, fill in the cracks with some caulk, get some weatherstripping, or if you want to go all the way you can replace the frame.
2.) Change the windows. If you decide that caulking or weatherstripping is not enough, you can change up your windows. One option is to add an extra pane to your current window, with a space of air in between. This layout is specially designed to block out noise. Additionally you should check your window’s Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating. Typically single-pane windows have a 22-25 STC rating. That rating can go up to 27-33 for dual-pane. If you go this route, make sure to increase your window’s STC rating by at least 5 points. Otherwise, you won’t be able to tell the difference and you’ll be wasting your money.
3.) Check the small stuff. Look at your electrical outlets, pipes and vents, and add some insulation wherever there’s a leak. It seems small but taking care of the little things can go a long way.
4.) Upgrade the walls. It is very likely that your noise problem is coming from the windows and doors than the walls. But if you want to go all the way and you don’t mind spending the extra cash, bulk up the walls. When you go to the store, pass up the fluffy pink insulation and get sheetrock instead, as this will do a better job at blocking out the noise. Also consider getting a noiseproofing sealant, which you can put between layer of sheetrock to further block out the noise. I suggest hiring a professional.
5.) Want to keep the noise out of your backyard too? Unfortunately to shelter your yard from traffic noise, you’re probably going to have to build that 10-foot wall we were talking about earlier. However, you can offset this ruckus by installing a fountain or other noise-making water feature.
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