Residential Acoustical Management: Types of Insulation

19 June 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Sound management is important in residential buildings because external noise causes extensive discomfort, particularly at night. In addition, loud sounds can cause damage to ears and lower sensitivity to audio warning signals. Unwanted noise in residential areas can come from a wide range of sources, including nearby roads, construction projects and general neighborhood clamor. You should consider adding acoustic insulation to the structure of your home to mitigate the noise and restore serenity. There are diverse products in the market designed to absorb, deflect and even dissipate the sounds. Here is a brief description of the primary types of acoustic insulation.

Gypsum Panels

Gypsum panels provide effective sound attenuation and they can be installed in walls and ceilings of the house. The structure of this material consists of a high density core, and generally, these panels are thicker than regular thermal insulation alternatives. You will find these products marketed as acoustic plasterboard in the construction and home improvement market. The level of insulation offered will depend on the thickness and general quality of the gypsum panels. Moreover, there are different methods of installation used to increase the insulation properties of gypsum panels. For example, the material can be installed together with mineral wool to reduce non-airborne noise such as vibrations.

Blankets and Batts

Insulation blankets and batts are made from rolls of fibreglass and mineral wool. These materials comprise of fibres from glass, rocks and cotton which are spun and compacted to form the insulation layers. The batts and blankets are primarily used to provide thermal insulation, but they are also ideal for promoting sound attenuation. Basically, they reduce noise by increasing the general density of the building and by absorbing the acoustic waves.

These products can be placed in roof framing and wall studs, as well as inside of the floor. It is important to note that the best acoustic insulation is not provided by the blankets or batts with the highest structural density. Low frequency sounds and vibrations will travel effectively through such solids. You should consider engaging an acoustic consultant to advise you on the right product depending on your surroundings.

Viscoelastic Products

There are different types of proprietary viscoelastic insulation products in the market. These materials are polymer-based substances that are somewhat similar to caulk. They convert the acoustic vibrations, which are mechanical energy, into heat, which is dissipated into the air. The viscoelastic layer can be added between layers of materials such as plasterboard, drywall and plywood.

For more information, contact acoustical consultants in your area.