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Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, noise pollution is a part of your every day life. Whether noisy neighbours, loud traffic volume are just some of the typical noise pollutants which regularly invade our senses when we are trying to relax at home. As well as being annoying, environmental consultants in the UK believe that excessive levels of noise pollution can actually lead to ill health over time! In fact the Government has passed noise legislation for all new buildings and refurbishments(Building Regulations Part E). These regulations aims to improve sound insulation within properties and also between shared property such as rooms in hostels, hotels and residential homes. Soundproofing your home can be a good alternative to moving in cases of excessive noise. Sound is made up of low frequency waves, which keep travelling until they meet some form of resistance, such as a wall. But in some cases they can also bounce objects causing reverberation, which actually makes the sound louder. Proper sound proofing uses materials that absorb sound and prevent any reverb or echo. There are two main techniques for sound proofing; noise reduction and noise absorption, the best solutions offer a combination of both. Noise reduction works by blocking the passage of sound waves, whereas noise absorption operates by transforming the sound wave when it comes into contact with certain materials.
It is possible to sound proof your home yourself by purchasing sound proofing materials that need only low to medium DIY skills. The first step when sound proofing your own home is to work out where the sound is coming from, and therefore what part of your property most needs sound insulation. A thorough examination of walls, doors and windows is required as sound will find every crack in your home in which to sneak in. Windows are generally the biggest culprit for sound entering or leaving your home, upgrading single pane windows to double glazing alone can reduce your noise levels by up to 20 per cent. Double glazed windows with acrylic frames can reduce your noise levels by up to 50 per cent. If buying new windows is too expensive, heavy curtains are the next best thing, you can even buy special sound deadening curtains in a variety of styles. Another option is window plugs, soundproofing mats one or two inches thick that are cut to the exact size of your window frame, but for obvious reasons these are only really suitable for use at night. Adding more layers of drywall can also improve sound resistance and adding insulation to your walls can help improve sound absorption. All these materials are available from any professional soundproofing company.
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