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Soundproofing Your West Michigan Home

We’ve had to deal with noisy neighbors from time to time. An angry couple up stairs, a vocal family next door with their windows open, or your own baby (or fur-baby) having a rough night and letting EVERYONE know about it. But did you know that in the long term, noise exposure is actually unhealthy? High levels of environmental noise have been linked to a variety of stress-related health conditions, including a significantly elevated risk of stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure.

But you can take steps to limit and reduce the noise exposure you get in your home, and also keep your own noise (screaming babies, barking dogs, and more) to yourself. Here’s how you should start:

Soundproofing Your Home’s Exterior

To effectively soundproof a space your first priority are any openings or weak points in the surface, so first target your windows and doors. Think of it this way: any areas that increase energy loss also increase sound transfer (door jams and window frames in particular). Many homeowners actually find that closing off exterior noise also improves energy efficiency to a great degree, as the home becomes far better at retaining heat or cold in the winter and summer months.

To soundproof your windows:

  • Opt for heavy thermal, blackout, or soundproof drapes that lay flat across the window panes.
  • Refresh or re-install window and door trim using acoustical caulk or another noise-proofing sealant. Standard caulk shrinks as it dries and may crack and weaken over time, while acoustical sealants remain flexible and provide superior sound dampening.
  • Consider adding window inserts, which are clear panes of acrylic or glass which can be installed over your existing windows to block noise transfer.
  • If all else fails, source specialized soundproof windows specifically designed to block and dampen sound transfer.

To soundproof your exterior doors:

  • Install draft-stoppers or door sweeps.
  • Consider adding a storm door to add an extra layer of ‘dead air’ between your main door and the exterior environment.
  • Upgrade to higher quality doors with an eye for solid-core high sound transmission class models.

Easy Steps to Soundproof Specific Rooms

When you’re working on recordings, or you have a new baby and you’ll be splitting nights taking care of them, having a soundproofed bedroom, nursery, or workspace can be a lifesaver. The main strategies here involve, once again, closing off gaps and holes in or out of the room and adding insulation.

  • Install padding or sweeps around the door.
  • Upgrade to a solid-core door with better insulation/sound transfer class values
  • Add soft, dense materials to absorb noise on key walls, like a strategically placed bookshelf or “decorative” quilt.
  • Add rugs or carpeting to dramatically lower noise levels, especially between floors.
  • Reduce noise in your air vents by inserting vent filters, or cover unneeded vents with acoustic foam.
  • Invest in wall-mounted sound absorbing panels. You might recognize these from studio videos or recording booths, and while they may look a bit odd, they can give different spaces a certain something if used correctly.

Soundproof Remodeling!

Depending on your needs and the level of noise coming in, remodeling may just be your best bet to really drop ambient noise levels and give you the privacy and peace you need.

When remodeling to reduce noise transfer you’ll want to add a layer of drywall over the existing walls, ideally with soundproofing drywall or another relatively thick (5/8-inch) drywall. These new sheets should be attached directly to the existing drywall with a soundproofing compound, and painted with soundproofing paint for extra measure.

Amber Valley Construction, Handyman and Home Remodeling Service in Grand Rapids Michigan!

From odd-jobs like door or window replacements, to full-scale home remodeling work, contact Amber Valley Construction. We’re an independent, locally owned and operated home remodeling contractor based right here in Wyoming MI, and we’d love to help meet your needs and give you the peace and tranquility you deserve in your home!

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