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Todays Noise Pollution Causes and How to Reduce it

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/27/2007 | Home Improvement

In todays society noise pollution is an increasing problem, as we hear unwanted sounds from inside the home and outside the home, through machinery, traffic, television. There are ways of reducing the transmission of noise through you home but it is important to firstly understand the different types of noise. There are mainly three kinds of noise, airborne, impact and flanking.

Airborne Sound - You are probably aware that sound travels through the air in waves. It is at the point when the noise waves hits a surface of some kind, that the noise is absorbed and there is a reduction in sound. Therefore, wall insulation is good for reducing the level of sound. The more insulation the better. There are insulating panels available which have an inner layer of mineral wood. The outer layer is made of plasterboard, and these panels are attached to the existing plasterwork and can dramatically reduce the noise levels within a home. Acoustic padding can also be used to line walls and ceilings to reduce airborne sound.

Impact Noise - This is when sound travels through a material or object that does not absorb any of the noise whatsoever. The material actually conducts the sound. One such material is a wooden floor. One way of reducing the sound here would be to use fiberglass between the joists and good quality, thick plasterboard on the ceiling to reduce the travel of the noise to upstairs rooms (if the wooden floor is ground level).

Flanking is a mixture of airborne and impact noise. It is noise that reaches you indirectly. It could be open spaces such as corridors, chimneys or unsealed gaps within the home. Some useful ways of soundproofing are to use sound reducing acoustic layers under the carpet. Tiles are available from any retail sources. Sheep Wool Underlay is an Eco friendly product that can reduce noise by 21bd and is ideal for use under timber floors.

Another way to reduce noise within the home is to use rubber flooring that can reduce noise by around 20 db. You could even have a floating floor - that is you could float another floor above the original and use acoustic plasterboard to minimize noise.

Ceilings can be sound proofed again by using plasterboard of good quality, or using two layers. Alternatively, a false ceiling can be built.

Windows and doors are generally now double glazed and can reduce noise from outside by around 24bd. Make sure there are no gaps round windows as this will allow sound to travel and be extremely cold as well!!

White noise is also a factor to consider, this comes from things like televisions and street noises from traffic. Sound proofing walls will reduce this sound but not eliminate it.

In a modern world we have to be realistic about increased noise pollution and apply the correct method of insulation to successfully reduce the noise.