Noise and soundproofing:
Noise consists of sounds of different intensities and vibrations. Due to its effects to the body, it can even cause damage to our hearing organs or the nervous system. The extent of hearing impairment also depends on the intensity of the noise. Other factors can affect our hearing:
- the volume,
- the pitch,
- the duration
- the time distribution of sound
- the gender and age of the person
CONSEQUENCES OF NOISE EXPOSURE
Noise, even if it is within the permissible limits, can cause serious problems. Depending on age and gender, health status, even small noises can have a negative effect on the body. Low-frequency, persistent noises are extremely harmful, and their negative consequences usually do not occur immediately, but gradually over time. Of course, not all people are affected by a particular noise in the same way, it is affected by several things.
Types of noises:
Airborne sound: sounds propagating in the air caused by walls without sound insulation
Step sounds: sounds transmitted by walls
Acoustic noises: they bounce off the walls
Is there perfect (retrospective) sound insulation?
Unfortunately, there is no perfect (retrospective) sound insulation. In the case of residential buildings, perfect sound insulation cannot be achieved afterwards. Therefore, we need to make compromises and accept that while noise reduction can create a more pleasant, healthier environment, we do not get perfect silence.
What’s wrong with homemade, do-it-yourself sound insulation?
To really attenuate noises effectively, it doesn’t hurt to have some acoustic knowledge and physical examination of the sounds. Sound is actually energy, so sound insulation is the absorption of sound energy. It is definitely recommended to go around the topic before the many, uselessly purchased useless products swallow our nerves and wealth instead of the sounds! Instead of accepting “smart” advice from online chat forums and non-experts, turn to acoustic professionals who will help with accurate measurements, helpful advice and suggestions, whether it’s a newly built property or an old or used home.
When buying a used property, we need to be prepared for the possibility that mental illness and disturbances may occur as a result of constant noise exposure. Young children and infants are even more sensitive to harmful sound effects, and in their interest, pay more attention to the development of appropriate sound insulation.
“Bad neighbourhood is a Turkish curse”
If our neighbours tend to have parties until dawn, or come home from work at night, or their apartment may resound from loud quarrels, we have no choice but to move… .or soundproofing! In the case of newly built flats and houses, before purchasing, find out about the sound insulation of the building. Many were already disappointed when they were confronted with the fact that their beautiful and carefully designed home in astronomical sums had turned into a unlivable hell due to inadequate sound insulation. In older types of dwellings, due to the use of materials, sound insulation is often better than in more modern dwellings, however, in these old buildings, outdated doors and windows are a problem in terms of insulation. So replacing doors and windows helps a lot in sound insulation. The ideal sound insulation material is multi-layered. Walls covered with styrofoam or plasterboard do not act as sound insulation at all. We also need to consider the type and material of soundproofing materials we put on the wall. Partition walls should not be heavy or heavily soundproofed, the situation is similar with ceilings. When designing sound attenuation, care must be taken to ensure that soundproofing materials do not cause an accident if they move. If we have to solve the sound insulation afterwards, an optimal solution can be found with the help of experts. Obviously, sound insulation is a much bigger challenge in retrospect.
What methods can we use in such cases?
For sound insulation, it is not enough to cover the walls with wallpaper, fibrous insulation materials, egg boxes, styrofoam boards. These alone are worth nothing, and we often achieve the opposite effect with them. The material and structure of the building are also important, all of which must be taken into account when designing sound insulation. Let’s start, let’s break down walls? For new walls, soundproof brick can be the solution. When designing new walls in your home, it is recommended to use ceramic or lime sand masonry elements specifically designed for this purpose. Manufacturers will always indicate which type of masonry element can have an insulating effect. When using soundproof bricks, accurate calculations are needed to find out if a particular property can withstand these multiple burdens.The situation is different if existing, poorly insulated walls or doors need to be adequately soundproofed.
We hit walls
If soundproofing existing walls is the task to be solved, we need to forget about soundproofing bricks. Then what way can we think? Be sure to choose multi-layer coverings, which, in terms of their structure, consist of a frame system consisting of air gaps and sound-insulating materials. For sound insulation, use fibrous insulation materials, rock wool or acoustic cotton. (Avoid the use of styrofoam or foams!) We obtain information from specialized manufacturers as to which type should be placed in the air gaps. With an insulation thickness of about 10 cm, a significant improvement can already be achieved.
„At every step “
If you want to attenuate noise coming through the ceiling, it is advisable to place insulating material under the floor covering. In this case, in addition to the insulation materials mentioned earlier, polystyrene or plastic foams are also suitable. There are also lugyan-resistant insulation materials, but they do not insulate against noise, they are more for the roof! Find out before you start purchasing soundproofing materials.
Chink in the armor
In the case of insulation of doors and windows, regardless of whether the door is in use or not, the gaps must be sealed. Although we insulate the doors from the side and top, the most important thing is to insulate the thresholds. The sound insulation of the doors can be easily solved with rubber profiles and self-adhesive sponges.
Alias: slab — that is, what about the roof structure?
Optimal sound insulation of the slab can be achieved during construction. However, if you only have the opportunity to do this afterwards, it is advisable to install a suspended ceiling. While it doesn’t completely eliminate noise from above, it does dampen it somewhat.
What mistakes should you avoid?
If we do the sound insulation ourselves, we can make a lot of mistakes. If the frame of the walls is carved from planks instead of metal, it can be at the expense of quality. Under no circumstances should you save on insulating materials, because if you use poor quality materials, the material may warp and deform during use, and thus it will not perform its function properly. Many online forums recommend the use of egg boxes for sound insulation and acoustic sound absorption. I would like to emphasize that egg boxes are not suitable for any purpose, they are also combustible and even dust collectors! If we do not put soundproofing materials on the plasterboard walls, they will only amplify the unwanted noises even more.
Let’s look at the noise level of some sounds:
Computer cooler, mosquito buzz, leaf rustling,: 10 dB
Rattle, ticking of the clock: 20 dB
Whisper, breath: 30 dB
Infiltrating street noise: 40 dB
Quiet rain, kitchen refrigerator, low radio: 50 dB
Bird chirping, conversational speech: 60 dB
Vehicles in motion: 70 dB
Loud speech: 70−85 dB
Motorcycle: 80 dB
Shouting: 80−100 dB
Piano: 60-95 dB
Lawn mower, storm, train: 90 dB
Typewriter: 95 dB
Air hammer: 100 dB
Entertainment venues, circular saw: 110 dB
Waterfall: 120 dB
Jet engine: 130 dB
Airbag deployment close-up: 160 dB
Fireworks: 170 dB
Rifle shot next to ear: 180 dB
Noxious effects of noise as a function of noise level:
Above 40 dB, it has a negative effect on learning and concentration
Persistent noise above 60 dB can already damage our hearing
Persistent noise above 65 dB can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 20%
Above 85 dB it can cause more serious damage
Above 120 dB, it can cause hearing damage, even in a shorter time
The noise is made up of sounds of different pitches. There are some of them that we don’t perceive with our ears, these sounds are out of the range of audible sounds. The lower sound limit includes infrasounds, sounds above the upper range, ultrasounds. Although we do not physically perceive these, they do affect us. The amount and intensity of noise exposure also depends on the volume, duration, and pitch of the sound. The time of onset of hearing loss due to noise exposure is influenced by the nature, intensity, duration of the noise, as well as our body, health, age, and social status.
What are the possible symptoms of noise pollution?
Tinnitus, ringing in the ears,
Dizziness, balance disorders,
Noise lace: experienced at 4000 Hz, first covering high tones, nerve hearing loss
By reducing the noise level in our home, we can create a calmer, happier and healthier environment.
On our planet, harmful and disturbing noises increase by 1 decibel every year. About 40% of the population of the European Union and about 25% of the population of Hungary, so roughly two and a half million people are forced to work or live at a noise level of 50-60 decibels. Continuous noise can damage your health. Unfortunately, despite the fact that there are now many types of sound-insulating and sound-absorbing materials available, only a few contractors and builders pay special attention to the importance of noise reduction when building properties.
Noise takes years out of our lives
According to WHO (World Health Organization) surveys, we lose 1 million years of our lives every year in Europe due to diseases caused by the harmful effects of noise! The WHO therefore recommends that the noise level in our homes, workplaces and living spaces should be kept below 35-40 dB during the day and 30 dB at night so as not to cause damage to health or interfere with our concentration and performance. The WHO compared the effects of noise pollution in the modern world on health and the soul to that of a plague in a 2011 study. About 3,000 Europeans die each year from noise-induced heart disease! Take the dangers of noise seriously!
SOUND OF SILENCE
Silence promotes brain cell regeneration and also has a positive effect on memory, emotions, and learning abilities. It effectively relieves stress, relaxes the brain, which can process the incoming information at rest. It also has a positive effect on blood pressure and cerebral circulation. We spend very little time in complete silence, almost constantly exposed to sound effects. The world around us demands constant attention from us. When we create a calm, quiet atmosphere, our brains are able to relax. Silence can also be used for therapeutic purposes, such as depression. The human brain is constantly working, filtering out incoming stimuli, and even preventing certain signals from reaching the brain. However, we cannot rule out sounds as we cannot close our ears. The reason for this is probably to be found in prehistory. It was vital for the prehistoric man to always hear all sounds and noises, even during sleep. Therefore, our brain processes every sound that gets into our ears. The more noise is made around us, the more stressed our brain is, the more it is unable to rest, our ability to concentrate and learn decreases, and our performance may deteriorate.
To avoid misunderstandings, it should be noted that silence alone does not have healing properties, but it can be said that silence reduces or even neutralizes negative effects. It is not necessary to strive for complete silence, because when we go hiking in nature or walking on the beach in the evening, we are not surrounded by total silence either. In the woods, the birds chirp, the leaves rustle or rustle, and the delicate sound of the ripples on the beach breaks the silence. These sounds could not be called unpleasant or disturbing noises. So what matters more is what those particular sounds are like. Soothing, subtle noises and sounds can be especially beneficial. Well-arranged music to suit our tastes makes you feel good, recharges your energy and can also improve your health. So it is important to create a pleasant, balanced acoustics in our environment so that listening to music, watching movies or even our afternoon rest will be truly enjoyable and relaxing.
Noise reduction methods with sound absorbing panels:
- In workplaces where the noise level is permanently above 80 dB, workers must wear protective equipment. In the offices, phones are constantly ringing, computers, photocopiers are ringing, colleagues are talking loudly, and so on. In order to work smoothly, it is absolutely necessary to reduce noise.
- The use of sound-absorbing coverings and materials in buildings can be the solution to sound insulation. It is very important to take into account the structure and surface of the walls, because there are rooms where the deep sounds predominate, which makes the space more resonant and echoing, in other types of rooms the high sounds can become disturbing. It is recommended to entrust an acoustic specialist with the examination of the given room to make sure that we buy the right materials and equipment for the given room.
- Unlike hard, flat-surfaced tiles and tiles, softer materials, carpets and curtains absorb sounds more effectively. Not only can these furnishings prove to be an excellent choice due to their sound-insulating properties, but we can also more freely shape the atmosphere and style of the apartment to our liking.
- Nowadays, one-room offices are becoming more and more common. We can reduce noise by using partition walls, acoustic curtains or screens. When working on the interior of an apartment in an apartment, we try to avoid large, flat, empty wall surfaces as much as possible to prevent the reflection of sounds. The same applies to horizontal surfaces, it is advisable to cover stone or parquet tiles with soft-surfaced materials.
- If possible, do not place noise-generating devices or machines near colleagues, if possible, place the noise sources in a separate room or surround them with noise-reducing materials.
- The use of sound-absorbing materials and covers in addition to noise-generating devices can help to prevent noise.
- Occasionally take a break at our workplace if there is a lot of background noise and we have the opportunity to do so.
- Which workplace allows it, we can use earphones, listen to relaxing music — of course, making sure the music from the earphones isn’t loud either — which has a beneficial effect on our performance and mood as well.
- We can protect against external noise by soundproofing the doors and windows with a sponge or rubber tape made for this purpose.
- The idea that foamed plastic boards also have sound insulation is wrong. Although these materials are suitable for thermal insulation, they are not suitable for sound absorption at all. Their hard structure tends to reflect sounds. We choose porous, multi-layer materials for sound insulation, so we can be sure that the desired noise reduction is achieved.
Noise reduction and perfect acoustics at the same time?
Of course, this can also be solved. Perfect Acoustic’s acoustic panels, bass traps, acoustic curtains and sound insulation panels not only provide the perfect sound for the room, they also function well as sound insulation thanks to sound absorption, both for outward and inward sound effects.