Saturday, December 21, 2019

Minimizing Noise Through Walls

Dogs barking, neighbors yelling, loud music playing and traffic blasting by - these are all things that can be a real nuisance, causing stress and sleeplessness. If you're living in a home where these sound disturbances occur, finding ways to soundproof your living space can add significantly to the quality of your home life.

What's Letting All That Noise In?
Sound travels in waves and is transmitted through the air to our ears. All sound that we hear is classified as airborne sound, such as music coming from a radio, but may also be called structural sound, such as footsteps on the floor above or someone knocking at the door. These structural sounds are transformed into airborne sounds, which is what we hear.

Sitting in our homes, we may be inundated by sounds through a variety of means. They may come from outside through our doors, windows and walls, and from inside through our floors, ceilings, doors and interior walls. Sound waves reach us by following the path of least resistance. This could be around the perimeter of a door or window, through an uninsulated electrical outlet or through an air conditioning or heating duct/vent. Sounds also transfer through the solid structures of your home, such as the actual doors, windows and walls. In the following, we'll concern ourselves specifically with ways to minimize noise coming through walls.

How To Reduce Noise Between Rooms
Anyone living in an area where temperatures drop during winter months knows that the first line of defense against a chilly abode is to insulate the walls against the cold. This will also help keep your house cooler during the summer months. By insulating all the nooks and crannies that exist between the exterior and interior walls of your home, you're helping block temperature transference. The same holds true for sounds that, like heat or cold, travel along and through the paths of least resistance.

Start With Soundproofing Walls
While complete soundproofing should include walls, floors, doors, ceilings and windows, you should start with the walls, both interior and exterior. Soundproofing during initial construction is usually easier and cheaper than with a remodel, but good results can be obtained with either method if properly done. Effective soundproofing of walls can be achieved through several means and some are a bit more labor-intensive than others.

One simple way of doing this is by using our Mass Loaded Vinyl Noise Barrier (MLV). Flexible, limp and heavy, this specially designed material is incredibly effective at blocking, absorbing and deadening sounds. It has numerous applications and is easy to use – especially important for DIYers. This method isn’t as visually appealing as other options but can satisfy your need for quiet. Read more about Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) here .

For optimal soundproofing, the wall cavity should be completely filled with quality insulation, including all gaps and spaces between studs. This will also improve the fire safety rating of your home, serving as a means for slowing fire travel within walls. Properly insulating walls for soundproofing should include filling any gaps that could allow sound transference, such as electrical outlets, switches and even nail holes that may have been made for hanging pictures, etc. If you are building a new home or renovating, taking extra care during construction to ensure proper soundproofing throughout the process will make things easier (and quieter) in the long run.

Recommended Installation Procedure:


  1. Demo existing walls, if required. You want to have any sheetrock removed and frame exposed.
  2. Install UltraTouch Denim Insulation
  3. Install IsoMax Sound Isolation Clips
  4. Insert Hat Channel
  5. Attach a layer of 5/8” drywall leaving a perimeter gap not to exceed 1/4” 
  6. Fill gaps with Acoustical Caulk Sealant , applying a 1/4” bead of along edges of sheetrock and bevel edges of butt ends. 
  7. Apply Green Glue to a second layer of 5/8” sheetrock, at a rate of 2 tubes per 4x8 sheet. Offset the seams of the second layer from those of the first layer and fasten to Hat Channel, pressing firmly. 
  8. Finish as desired

This is a common sound isolation system for minimizing noise through walls and ceiling and is found to be a highly effective solution to lowering both structural and airborne noise. Our expert team is always happy to help guide you through making your selection – let us know how we can help !

Thursday, December 19, 2019

How Sound Affects Your Sleep Cycles

Waking up from a poor night of rest is all too common in this fast-paced world. Placing the blame on technology and busy lifestyles is certainly valid, but there's another issue that can also impact your rest. Ambient sounds from the surrounding environment can wake you every night of the week. Learn how sound affects your sleep cycles, and choose smart ways to combat this serious problem.

The Stages of Sleep

There are currently four defined stages of sleep. They include two particular kinds of sleep:
  • Non-REM
  • REM 
REM stands for “rapid eye movement.” The first three stages of sleep are non-REM types, during which you're lightly resting. Stage four is deep sleep, in which your eyes flutter underneath the eyelids.

A noise and sleep disturbance usually affects the first three stages of sleep. Your mind is still mostly aware of the outside world, which makes you vulnerable to wakefulness as the sounds ebb and flow.

It's much harder to disturb the mind in REM sleep, but this stage must be reached through a restful period in stages one through three.

Loud Sounds

A loud "bang" outside is enough to awaken anyone from a deep sleep. When stage four is disturbed, a person is rattled into reality. The heart might beat rapidly, which can be detrimental to vulnerable people with cardiovascular problems. It may be difficult to get back to sleep too.

Loud noises occurring during the other stages don’t cause as intense of a reaction, but they still stifle rest as the person opens his or her eyes and becomes aware of the outside influence.

If a loud sound awakens a person on a regular basis, the sleep cycles are greatly impacted. Bouts of insomnia can arise. Restful nights are now difficult to achieve.

Consistent Nighttime Disruptions

Your body needs time to move through all stages of sleep. Ultimately, you want as much time in stage four as possible. Frequent interruptions to your rest, however, stop this progress in its tracks.

If a sound awakens you in stage three, you must start again from stage one and move forward. It's possible to remain restless all night if sounds are constantly bombarding the room. Failing to reach stage four means that your body cannot really rest, and you wake up in the morning with a dissatisfied sensation. Feeling tired the rest of the day is common.

Sensitivity Varies Among the Population

It's difficult to address sleep and how sound affects it because of differences within the population. Some people simply sleep more soundly than others. A person who tends to wake up a lot during the night may be more vulnerable to sounds outside, such as traffic. These individuals would benefit from soundproofing their rooms. Wearing earplugs every night isn't practical.

Heavy sleepers may not wake up from the ordinary sounds found outside. However, loud noises can still startle them. These heavy sleepers might get away with a few hours of good rest, but they're certainly not immune. Consciously noting how you feel in the morning is a good way to ascertain how much the outside sounds are influencing a restful night's sleep.

Short- and Long-Term Effects on Health

The effect of noise on sleep can be considerable and affect your health:
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Cardiovascular damage
  • Metabolic issues
Your body performs a lot of damage control during restful sleep. If it's constantly interrupted, tissues cannot repair themselves. The body reacts with side effects that can be both immediate and chronic.

The short-term effects are usually centered around being sleepy and having clouded judgement. You might be irritable too.

The long-term effects can lead to weight gain, heart problems and other issues. Dealing with the noise disturbances is the best way to stop all of these issues from becoming major concerns.

Solving the Noise Dilemma

To avoid sleep-cycle disturbances, many people turn to white noise. Machines with specific sounds that play all night can help drown out those ambient disturbances.

If you can't sleep with any noise in your room, think about soundproofing your space. Specialized materials can be installed by professionals. Walls, ceilings and floors are all potential areas for soundproofing.

Depending on the materials, several decibels of sound can be eliminated from a home. Discuss your options with the experts because the investment isn't just in the property. Investing in noise reduction will only improve your health too.

Contact SoundAway Corporation today. Our team can help you with your acoustical options so that sounds are largely controlled. Discover a deeper kind of sleep with soundproofing products. The difference is felt in both your mind and body.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Outlining the Difference Between Soundproofing & Acoustic Treatment

A common misunderstanding is that the two terms “acoustics” and “soundproofing” may mean the same thing, when in fact, soundproofing and acoustic treatment are totally different. Their only real similarity is that they are both methods of dealing with sound. To simplify things, we have outlined the differences between the two and addressed some common questions to help you differentiate.

Here's a short explanation:
Soundproofing is a means of reducing or eliminating the source of a sound from the receiver of that sound, such as someone's ears. It can be thought of as “isolation.” Soundproofing is used to prevent sounds from either traveling outside of a defined space or encroaching into that space from an exterior area.

What is acoustic treatment?

Acoustic treatment is a method of changing the dynamics of sound waves within a given space and is designed to give listeners a clearer or truer listening experience. Application of acoustic treatments is often done to improve sound quality in music listening rooms, recording studios, lecture halls, concert halls, classrooms, churches, hospitals, restaurants, offices or any other space where critical listening or sound quality is important. The means for achieving this are vast and include options such as Acoustical Fabric-Wrapped Panels with both ceiling-suspended options and wall-hung applications.

Soundproofing Versus Sound Absorption

If you're experiencing noise problems, soundproofing enables you to block those noises to lessen the effect of sound waves either exiting or entering a defined listening space. If you like to play loud music, for example, but are getting complaints from neighbors who may not share your enthusiasm for high-volume hard rock or heavy metal, soundproofing can help. If you're setting up a recording studio in your spare bedroom at home and want to block out the annoying sounds of the traffic going by, soundproofing can be your answer here, too.

Soundproofing typically requires the application of sound-insulating materials – usually heavy, dense materials – to block out sound waves that might otherwise pass through walls, windows, doors, ceilings and floors. Using sound-insulating materials to stop sound waves from entering or exiting a defined space may not totally mitigate all noise disturbances but may have a marked effect on lessening them.

Sound absorption is an effective method of lessening certain noises and echoing effects within a space and is typically achieved by using soft materials capable of soaking up sounds as they hit the surface of these materials. Products used to achieve these results may include acoustic baffles, fabric wall panels and acoustic ceiling systems, among others. Whether it's excessive noise in an office environment, a bothersome echo (natural reverberation) in a theater or music hall or unintelligibly poor speech in a classroom or lecture hall, acoustic treatment using sound-absorbing materials expertly applied can vastly improve poor sound conditions.