manufactured home soundproofing options

Manufactured Home Soundproofing Options 2021 Guide For A Peaceful Home Environment

Soundproofing is a combination of measures used to achieve acoustic quieting or noise control to limit the extent of unwanted sound (noise).

What is noise, to begin with?

Noise is any sound that you don’t want to hear. It can be a cat that won’t stop meowing, kids that keep squealing, or music – whether high or low volume – that you don’t want to hear as you work on your project in the study room.

Also, if you are on the phone or computer, the television next room may easily qualify as noise.

Conversely, if you are watching something on your TV, a person on a phone conversation close to you can make noise.

Soundproofing v/s Sound-Absorbing – What is What?

The acoustical coin comes with two (or three?) sides:

  1. There are products designed to absorb echo inside a room.
  2. Then there are those designed to stop/reduce or block sound transmission.
  3. Also, there are products designed to do both but not perfect enough as if they were specialized. These products are often called composites.

If you want to improve the quality of sound in your room, you should install echo absorbing materials on walls, floors, or ceiling or both.

Most of these materials are normally installed on ceilings and walls as an undistinguishable finished surface.

Products designed to block sound will be installed INSIDE your walls or ceiling – often, they are part of your home’s construction materials.

They are normally dense, heavy materials designed to decouple the assembly of the wall.

Due to their high density, they reflect the sound waves into your space rather than allowing the waves to penetrate your walls to the other side.

Note that absorbing an echo in a given space and reducing or blocking sound are done differently using different approaches and products.

Manufactured Home Soundproofing Options: How to Soundproof Your Home Without Even Trying

How do you even soundproof your home without trying?

The trick is in how you rent or buy your living space.

You will be surprised with how easy it is to avoid noise pollution by choosing your neighborhood more carefully.

When you are looking at renting or buying a property, start by asking the landlord or real estate agent a few questions about noise levels in the surrounding environment.

Pay attention to noise production while looking at assessing the neighborhood.

Some neighborhoods would outlaw noisy establishments like nightclubs, churches, or entertainment centers within a certain radius of the residential flats.

Think about the noise levels at a specific time of the day as well as the design of the building.

Controlling noise levels is often a regrettable trade-off with many other priorities.

Your decisions may also depend on what you’re willing to tolerate.

It might be useful to understand what you can change and what you can’t – sometimes the design and even the location of the property can mean there’s not a lot you can do to combat noise pollution.

However, if you can, try looking at the home at different times during the day.

Take your time and visit when the neighborhood has a few people and also when the place is busy with a lot of people.

Find out:

  1. What is the noise level like with windows and doors open?
  2. How close is your home to your neighbors?
  3. What sources of noise may be present? (we don’t think you may want to be holed up inside during the summer attempting to ward off the neighborhood noise.)

Usual sources of external noise

  • Swimming pools, hot tubs, or spas can be loud (unwanted sounds typically comes from cleaning machines and water pumps, all of which can be ongoing)
  • Heat pump units installed outdoors can generate considerable noise whether the unit is yours or belongs to the neighbor’s
  • Thoroughfares or non-residential neighborhoods including high traffic volumes, central business areas, trucks, port or airport, restaurants, schools, trains, bars, sports fields, commercial neighbors, churches, and childcare centers.

Common indoor noise sources

  • Central air-conditioning
  • Central waste plumbing or water
  • Lifts
  • A movie theatre or gym

How do you soundproof your home?

In brief, here’s how to soundproof your home:

  • Determine what noise in the room should be controlled
  • Start by opting for soft, sound absorbents such as upholstered furniture and rugs.
  • Consider more complex sound-absorbing methods such as acoustic tiles if the sound pollution is severe
  • Consider sound-blocking doors, acoustic quilts, and soundproof window inserts
  • Explore sound-blocking ceiling, wall, and floor construction methods

Now let us dig into more details:

Soundproofing is all about controlling noise. Therefore, ask yourself about the type of noise you want to control.

Household noise control can be placed in two categories:

  1. Controlling the nature and quality of sound generated in your house, and
  2. Blocking noise pollutants that you do not want to hear.

All these involve stopping all the unwanted movements of sound from different parts of the home and dampening echoes.

There are 2 soundproofing techniques used for controlling sound movements:

  1. Sound blocking and
  2. Sound absorbing

Sound blocking relies on methods and materials that reduce or stop the transfer of unwanted sound.

Sound absorbing methods soaks up the sound to prevent it from bouncing from one surface to another.

To soundproof your room effectively, use a combo of sound-absorbing and noise-blocking techniques and materials.

You can install sound blockers to stop noise from traveling between/through the walls, windows, doors, ceiling, floors, and openings like doorways, or even use materials that absorb the noise from outside and inside the room.

So What’s an STC Rating?

STC rating is a key parameter when it comes to soundproofing. When you are dealing with considerable household noise, it is important to take the measurement of the effectiveness of your soundproofing.

Sound Transmission Class, or STC, refers to the ability of any material with soundproofing properties to block sound.

This rating reflects rough decibel reduction in unwanted sound provided by an object or partition.

What you can hear through a wall STC Rating
Normal speech that can be understood
25
Loud speech that can be understood
30
Loud speech that can be heard but not understood
35
Loud speech that resembles a murmur
40
Loud speech that can be heard but isn’t audible enough45
Loud sounds that can be heard faintly 50
Good soundproofing (most sounds do not
disturb)
60

This chart (courtesy of Wikipedia) lists the type of noise you can hear when a wall has various STC soundproofing ratings.

Sound absorption is normally measured by a Sound Absorptions Average (SAA) or Noise Reduction Coefficients (NRC) rating.

In all these two cases, high ratings mean the material or method is more effective at doing the job.

To effectively block loud speech, your walls require an STC rating in the region of 40 – 50. For perfect noise blocking, you will need an STC rating between 50 and 60.

How Do You Soundproof Your Home from Outside Noise?

Noise from outdoors is quite easier to stop than that from indoors.

Most of the time you don’t need to install special equipment or materials.

You just need to make simple adjustments to what you already have on your home.

1. Fix any cracks and holes in your walls

Start by inspecting the walls while paying attention to areas around your electrical sockets, ventilation grates, and window frames.

If you find cracks and/or holes, repair them promptly with caulk.

For more substantial damages, hire a qualified professional to work with the drywall or plaster holes and cracks.

2. Seal your doors

Leaky doors can be the source of noise encroachment.

Installing weathering strips in your door frames can kill two birds with one stone:

  • helps stop heat loss
  • and secondly, help hamper noise movement from outdoors into your home.

3. Upgrade your internal doors

Does your home still use old and hollow internal doors?

Maybe it is time to replace them and keep noise at bay.

If that’s the case, proceed to upgrade them with more solid doors. This could cut the noise passing through.

4. Repair or replace your windows

The window replacement process can be expensive for you, but it can go a long way to significantly reduce the amount of noise seeping into your rooms through leaky windows.

The high cost can depend on the number of windows you plan to replace.

However, replacing your windows to triple- or double-paned complete with PVC frames can reduce noise pollution quite considerably.

5. Fix squeaky floors

Does your home have a squeaky floor?

If yes, then you’ve probably thought of fixing it just to get to stop the irritation you get whenever a person walks in and interrupts your concentration.

But it would be more than just removing the irritation; squeaky floors are noise pollutants as you might have noticed.

Hardwood floors come with stunning looks and can be used to add character to your room, but if two or even one of your floorboards are loose in their fasteners or start rubbing against each other, it can become a source of an eternal squeaky nightmare.

A fresh installation is often recommended if you want to get the flooring back in its former working state.

6. Insulate your ceiling and walls

installing insulation products like ceiling panels, viscoelastic foam, neoprene rubber, mass-loaded-vinyl, and fiberglass behind ceiling panels and walls can drastically reduce the amount of outdoor noise coming into your home.


Smart Home Organizing Tips That Boost Noise Absorption

Indoor noise is just as troublesome as outdoor–sourced noise.

If you can’t implement the above suggestions due to any constraints or you live in a rented property, there are many other methods that can help you cut or manage both indoor and outdoor-sourced noise.

You can apply which won’t hurt your purse or require another individual’s permission.

1. Buy huge, thick rugs and a pad

If there’s a lot of noise emanating from below – from the basement or underlying floor or even problematic hardwood flooring – you can add a large thick rug and let it cover the whole floor.

Rugs, especially the rubbery and fluffy ones, are the best at blocking noise from below.

They also absorb some indoor noise like that from sound systems.

The right type of rug can tie your room together and also provide a soft and warm refuge for feet.

Note that an average underfoot rug can achieve between 50 – 70 percent noise reduction. The effectiveness increases if you accompany them with a pad.

2. Consider adding heavy curtains

Did you know curtains can actually reduce indoor noise pollution?

Yes, changing your curtains from lightweight fabrics to heavier alternatives can absorb a great deal of noise both from the room and from the street outside.

To absorb even more noise, ensure that the curtains extend from the windows all the way to the wall below as well as above your windows.

For a superb job, consider hiring a person experienced in fitting residential curtains.


3. Rearrange your furniture

It is actually easier to block some of the indoor noise by making simple adjustments to your furniture than taking some radical changes to your home.

You can block a significant amount of noise emanating from your next-door neighbors or next room by arranging the furniture in such a way that larger pieces are put against the shared walls.

When the sound penetrates the walls, it gets absorbed by your large puffy sofas.

4. Build and fill your large bookcase

Find a bookcase if you don’t have one already. This can be especially easy to do for book lovers.

Choose either flat pack assembly kind of bookcase or bespoke furniture.

By filling your bookcase and making sure there is no empty space on the shelves, you will realize that most of the noise produced from both indoors and outdoors is no longer a bother.


Other Sound Absorbing Options

Some people like to soundproof their rooms using cheap items, even hang some thick moving blankets on walls to form an ingenious DIY sound-absorbing surface.

If you are looking for finished or more professional products geared towards better performance, check out these fantastic sound-absorbing items on the market:

Wood Wools

Cementitious wood-fiber panels that are both decorative and paintable

Fabric-wrapped acoustical panel

Decorative, sound-absorbing panel for any kind of space where speech intelligibility or good speech privacy is important

Acoustical foam panel

A traditional method to absorb indoor echo

Wallmate stretch wall systems

Professional-looking, stretchable fabric, high tension, acoustical wall, and ceiling system with almost unlimited panel sizes

Echo Eliminator or CFAB Cellulose

Very cost effective and eco-Friendly (“green”).

PolyMax acoustical panels

Just the right blend of performance, cost-effectiveness, and aesthetics.

Here Are Some Sound Blocking Options

So what materials do or can block noise?

Materials designed to block noise from leaving or entering a space are virtually always found within the wall construction but there are those that are installed to be are part of walls.

There are 3 basic ways to keep unwanted sound at bay by blocking it:

  1. increase/add the density and mass of the wall (this makes it heavier)
  2. dampen the vibration of the wall,
  3. and decouple the assembly of the wall assembly (one side of your wall is made to not touch the other).

If you are searching for a way of adding sound-blocking materials on the walls of your room, consider these products:

Soundbreak XP soundproofing sheetrock

Sound deadening drywall often applied in the construction of structures with high STC wall assemblies.

Mass Loaded Vinyl Barriers (MLVB)

Acoustical barriers made of high-density limp weight barrier material to cut on noise transmission

RSIC-1 Clips (or resilient sound isolation clip)

Designed to prevent transmission of sound from your noisy neighbor’s room through the ceiling or wall to your space

Green Glue (a vibration-dampening compound)

Sandwich this “glue” between two thick layers of sheetrock and greatly dampen most of the vibration energy traveling through your walls

In a nutshell

Soundproofing is a combination of measures used to achieve acoustic quieting or noise control to limit the extent of unwanted sound (noise).

If you want to improve the quality of sound in your room, you should install echo absorbing materials on walls, floors, or ceiling or both.

Most of these materials are normally installed on ceilings and walls as an undistinguishable finished surface.

Products designed to block sound will be installed INSIDE your walls or ceiling – often, they are part of your home’s construction materials.

They are normally dense, heavy materials designed to decouple the assembly of the wall.

Due to their high density, they reflect the sound waves into your space rather than allowing the waves to penetrate your walls to the other side.

STC rating is a key parameter when it comes to soundproofing. When you are dealing with considerable household noise, it is important to take the measurement of the effectiveness of your soundproofing.

Sound Transmission Class, or STC, refers to the ability of any material with soundproofing properties to block sound.

This rating reflects rough decibel reduction in unwanted sound provided by an object or partition

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