Whether you live in the city, near a busy intersection, or your son just took up the drums, you might be wondering if the only way to escape the noise is to move away. Well, don't give up your home so fast. There are some things you can do!
Soundproofing isn't all that different from weather-proofing in some ways. Sound travels through air or open gaps, so if you're dealing with outdoor noise, make sure your windows are thoroughly caulked inside and out, and the windows seals are not broken. If that's not the issue, look at window glass. Most glass is designed to block heat and cold, not sound, but DIYers can install soundproof windows that are made with special glass and airtight framework, like what you'll find at citiquiet.com. They ﬁt within an existing window opening, and are simple to install. They blend nicely with your existing windows, and allow you to access your existing windows for ventilation and cleaning and they reduce noise by up to 95%. Also consider getting some heavy drapes. The fabric will absorb some of the sound.
Next, look to the walls. Whether you need to block out the outside noise or the noise from another room, you can help the situation a couple of ways. An inexpensive option is to add an additional layer of drywall along with a sound damping compound called Green Glue, the standard for soundproofing walls and ceilings.
Green glue comes in tube form similar to caulk and is applied in a random pattern to a
standard sheet of 5/8" drywall. The drywall sheet is then applied to the existing wall or
ceiling surface. Be sure to stay 1/4" off the floor, and the adjacent wall because these
surfaces are very conductive of sound and shouldn't be touched with the new sheet of
drywall. You'll then fill the 1/4" gaps with acoustic sealant (sound caulk). Green glue
takes about a month to fully cure and reach its maximum effectiveness, but you should
notice a difference right away.
Other, more decorative options, would be to build book shelves along the wall at issue, create a bulletin board wall using acoustic ceiling panels, or hang a tapestry. For the floors, be sure you have a rug, as it will absorb sounds as well.
Finally, consider turning to the pros, like Soundproof Chicago, for a consultation. They can not only give you an idea of what they can offer, but probably have more DIY options to share as well. Good luck!
If you found this article helpful, be sure to hit the subscribe button so you can receive free e-mail notifications when this Examiner publishes again.