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Can Spray Foam Be Used As Underfloor Sound Insulation?By admin
Tuesday, 3 September 2019
It is amazing how easily sound can travel around your home. Simple walking around upstairs can reverberate through the floorboards – while music can take on a very irritating bass sound when it is coming from your upstairs neighbours.
Reducing the effect of this intrusive sound can be as easy as adding insulation to the space between the floorboards and the ceiling – but can you do it with spray foam, and how well will it work in practice? It’s time to find out…
Soundproofing Your Property: An Overview
Over the last few years new Building Regulations have been introduced to ensure that all new build properties (or those that have been converted) comply with certain soundproofing criteria.
The related document (Resistance to the Passage of Sound – Approved Document E) looks at noise that comes from adjoining homes or flats and noise that is generated within your own home.
The regulations depend on the type of material the floor is made out of, but in general the new rules from 2003 and 2010 significantly reduce the amount of sound that is allowed to be transmitted between floors.
It also focused on build quality and how that can impact on noise levels – for example if pipes have been placed in the floor and voids are left – this is the perfect way for noise to move from upstairs to downstairs. Squeaky floors, hard floors and no insulation all play their part too.
Since the introduction of these new regulations, the numbers of complaints about noise coming from neighbours or outside have been reduced significantly – showing that taking the time to insulate carefully can make all the difference.
Desperately trying to create a Zen-like atmosphere in your home? Spray foam enables you take back control of internal conditions, keeping your blood pressure levels in check!
Why Should I Soundproof My Floor?
Studies have been carried out that show that those people who live in noisy environments are more likely to suffer with health problems including high blood pressure.
This is because it hard to relax when you are bombarded with noise – even from within your own home. While double or triple glazed windows and wall cavity insulation can protect you from noise coming from outside – what do you do about noise coming from upstairs?
Even for those of us who are not affected by the health implications of noise, relationships can be a huge issue. Whether it is constant noise from your teenager’s bedroom or your neighbour’s toddler running around, these issues can cause tension.
Councils and noise abatement services are inundated with complaints about noise coming from neighbours and it can be very stressful to have to deal with noise on a day to day basis.
How Noise Travels: A Brief Bit Of Science
In order to understand the best way to protect your home from noise travelling between floors, you need to understand how noise travels throughout our homes.
Noise moves in sound waves and require something to vibrate against to be heard. The floorboards, walls and timbers of your home all touch one another, offering the best sounding board for these vibrations. As long as sound has something to bounce off, it will continue to travel until it reaches your ears.
Sound can move through most materials including air, water and solids – however, it can be slowed down by dense materials; this is how insulation can work to reduce the travel of noise in your home.
If noise is generated upstairs, it needs to pass through the floorboards and the cavity and then through the ceiling before it reaches you. Usually this is relatively obstacle free. If a dense layer of insulation is added to the space between the floor and the ceiling, the sound will be absorbed and lessened.
Open-celled spray foam helps you preserve peaceful conditions inside, by stopping noise transmission in its tracks-making for a considerably quieter abode
Noise Niggles Getting You Down? Here’s How Spray Foam Can Help
Spray foam is a relatively new insulation type that is used in our homes to preserve energy and heat loss. It is a liquid that expands quickly to fill spaces easily and is usually used on the underside of your roof to keep the heat in.
It works very well in this situation and is known as one of the most thermally effective insulation materials. But what about sound insulation?
The more dense the foam, the more sound protection it will offer. Spray foam comes in two main types – closed cell and open cell.
The former is more dense and will be more effective as a sound barrier – however it does not breathe and therefore can cause condensation issues in certain circumstances.
Open celled spray foam contains air pockets that allow the product to breathe and will prevent the build-up of moisture. As a soundproofing material it is still very effective as the air pockets will slow down and absorb any sound waves.
Noisy neighbours can cause some serious sound pollution (unlike the noise of whimpering puppies which is always a pleasure to hear!)
Spray Foam Soundproofing: Focus On Flooring
There are many ways that spray foam is an effective sound insulator for your floors:
● Spray foam is a flexible material and is easy to apply to difficult to reach areas. This means that it can be used to fill floor spaces, without necessarily needing to remove all of the floorboards. It can also reach into corners and areas that cannot be easily exposed.
● Much of the noise that comes from upstairs is related to knocking pipes and squeaking floorboards. Spray foam will surround pipes, both protecting them and reducing the noise they generate. It will also strengthen the floor, giving it less bounce and therefore less noise from the boards themselves.
● Spray foam is highly thermally effective and therefore offers a high level of soundproofing compared to other insulation types. This means that you will not compromise the depth of the flooring cavity or the head height in the room in order to get the best soundproofing possible.
● Spray foam is waterproof and very durable. Most types of insulation will become ineffective if they become wet. This means that an overflowing bath, a spilled drink or a leaky roof upstairs could result in much more than the floor needing to be replaced. The insulation will also need to be removed. Spray foam can even offer protection from leaks between floors. The fact that spray foam will last upwards of 30 years will also offer plenty of peace of mind.
● Spray foam can easily be retrofitted into your existing home. While it is always easier to add insulation during the building process, if you want to reduce noise inside your home it is a simple process to complete the job without too much disruption to your life.
So, regardless of whether you want to reduce noise coming from within your own home, or you want to preserve the relationship with your neighbours – spray foam insulation can help.
You also get the double whammy of improved insulation, reduced energy bills and protected building structure. That is well worth the effort to introduce spray foam sound insulation into your home. Sorted!
Noisy neighbours driving you to distraction? We hear you-and we’re here to help! Take the first step to creating peaceful conditions today, by calling 0800 1700 636, or simply clicking the button below!Related Home Logic Living ArticlesOur Offices
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