Sound proofing a room from outside road noise

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by thnkgreen, May 22, 2020.

  1. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    I live in a small town that is quickly evolving into a suburban nightmare. The (at times) constant revving of glass pack engines, delivery vehicles, garbage trucks, airplanes, train hum and other unwanted noise are about to drive me up the wall. Last night at 11 pm I was trying to fall asleep with a fan producing white noise and wearing earplugs and still I could hear a faint rumble. I am wondering if anyone (especially those living in large cities) have tips for soundproofing the inside of a bedroom from outside noise? Thanks!
     
  2. AKA-Chuck G

    AKA-Chuck G Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington NC
    Start with a 10 foot tall privacy fence outside and tall bushes on either side of said fence.
     
  3. E.Baba

    E.Baba Forum Resident

    Sorry to say I think you'll have to move :(

    I've been living in 'the hills' for 20years and just been forced (by fire) to move into a noisy suburban area.
    So bad for me I've been in hospital twice recently.
    I spend all day in earplugs and noise cancelling headphones.
    Trying to move as soon as I can.
     
  4. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    We already have quite a few trees around us, though over time a lot of the woods around of have been cut down and replaced with tightly spaced houses. There is also a beltway being built not too far away, from which I expect more noise. It’s a shame, because we have lived in this house 16 years. A lot of the people living around us are transplants from other states.
     
  5. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    I think you are right unfortunately
     
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  6. AudioAddict

    AudioAddict Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, we would need a lot more specifics about your home, bedroom, and location to the problem sources. Just in general, you are looking at mass and tight fittings. Have used different rubber products in designing home studios and they work but are almost certainly not practical for a bedroom. Good luck, noise cancellation can be extremely frustrating and difficult.
     
  7. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
  8. AudioAddict

    AudioAddict Well-Known Member

    Just scanned the article and found it of interest because my Phoenix place is within minutes of Chandler and the problems noted therein. Fixing noise by removing the source is one possibility but has never been possible for my places. In Phoenix I use wooden window treatments that are fairly heavy and designed to tightly cover the entire window space. They completely remove any sound from the walking path behind my home. The problem in your article is not going to be helped by these.
    Spent many years in NC and never found it particularly loud. Has Winston-Salem changed much?
     
  9. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

  10. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Yes it has. NC in general has had a population explosion (especially Raleigh and Charlotte). A beltway is being built and if you live in between W-S and Greensboro you are subjected to the sound of traffic between the two cities. I was born and raised here and the difference between, say... the early 90’s to today is completely different. I know I won’t be here (in town) much longer. I’m trying to find a property much more rural.
     
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  11. AudioAddict

    AudioAddict Well-Known Member

    That's the best noise solution: space. Distance kills noise pollution more easily than any other method, Typically, have needed to kill sound in populous settings and that is another story -- as mentioned above, mass and tightness are required big time.
     
  12. Roland Stone

    Roland Stone Offending Member

    Location:
    Deep Maryland
    There are purpose-bred, quick growing evergreens for this problem. I was surprised when a friend moved into a townhome and within a few years these things had grown taller than his second floor deck. When he moved out they were as tall as his three-story home. They were thick with sound-absorbing greenery and seemingly stable, but not dangerously heavy and litter prone like an old, tall tree. They also don't wreck water lines or require leaf raking. Designed for maximum effect and minimum maintenance.

    Damn, the breed's name is on the tip of my tongue . . .
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  13. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Are you packing yet?
     
    Fruff76 likes this.
  14. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Not packing yet, but definitely looking around
     
  15. The Pinhead

    The Pinhead SUDACA ROÑOSO

    My street is very noisy, but my music drowns the noise every time I play it, so no probs:D
     
  16. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Location:
    Belgium
    Soundproof glass definitely helps! We had those installed our previous house, next to a busy road. Lorries and trucks were rambling by at only 20ft from where we were sitting in our living room and we could hardly hear them! Very strange sensation at first, seeing a heavy truck passing by that close through a big window and not hearing it.
    But I guess this is only an option if you plan to stay in your house.
    The secret of soundproof glass/windows is that it consists of 2 layers of glass of different thickness, because usually windows use 2 layers of the same thickness (with some gas in between), different thickness helps blocking soundwaves.
     
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  17. Chilli

    Chilli Pretend Engineer.

    Location:
    UK
    Most noise will come through windows and doors, brick walls are fairly solid but would transmit mechanical vibrations.

    I'd go with secondary glazing and a solid, well fitted door with sealing strips.

    Recording studios often go with the room within a room, you can't do that but window with a window would help I'd think.
     
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  18. guitarguy

    guitarguy Tone Meister

    Location:
    Planet Earth
    If you are planning on moving, then a large investment is probably not warranted but as Chilli recommends, highly insulated windows with special care taken to caulking and filling the gaps around the openings will help. I’ve also used heavy sound and light blocking curtains at night.

    However, window upgrades also come with energy savings and could help with resale value!
     
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  19. hbucker

    hbucker Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Denver
    IMO, there is very little you can do. If your windows are old or builder grade windows, replacing them with quality double or even triple pane windows can make a significant improvement. I've experienced this first hand. But I emphasize noticeable improvement - not blocking out all noise. Otherwise these noises are just a part of city life. - Sorry!
     
  20. LARGERTHAN

    LARGERTHAN Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eire
    Soundproofing to a high standard is possible, but done properly it's expensive. Sometimes very much so. Unfortunately it's likely better to move if at all feasible.
     
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  21. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    Windows are going to be 90% of your noise if the house is built and insulated reasonably well otherwise.

    Do you need to look outside? No? Then I would suggest laying down toolchest rubber on the window sill, a well fitting foam core panel cut to match against the window (Silverboard or such), and then filling the window space with a pile of bricks. Overlap the whole window with 12" acoustic tiles stuck to the bricks (the kind you counted holes in school).

    Still need to see? Then consider the large dead space between angled glass as used in studios, and how you might glaze in another panel in the window frame, attached not directly to the wood but mounted in softer material like butyl rubber sealant:
    [​IMG]

    Ensure you have a sledgehammer nearby to get out if there is a fire.

    Beyond that, add another layer of drywall to the exterior wall.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
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  22. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Location:
    Belgium
    Double or triple pane windows will only do so much unless you specifically ask to use different thickness for every pane. Standard double or triple pane window will still transmit noise (less than single pane of course but that's only found in very old houses here in Eu) because of the same thickness being used.
     
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  23. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    More is always better. More thickness and more air gap and more angle between panes.

    [​IMG]

    OITC above is the dB attenuation of street noise. The last section in the table is with one of the panes being laminated glass; looking up a custom-cut, a bedroom window-sized pane is about $300.
     
  24. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Location:
    Belgium
    Yes, but as you can see 6mm+3mm laminated (with same airspace in between) gives better attenuation as 6mm + 6mm.
    Why doesn't that list have for example any 6mm + 3mm regular glass ? It will have better attenuation as 6mm + 6mm regular glass (not laminated) !

    Look at these (Rw is db attenuation) : as one can see 6-16-4 has better attenuation as 6-16-6 while it has less total volume!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  25. hbucker

    hbucker Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Denver
    We replaced the existing double pain windows in our home with new, better double pain windows and the improved isolation from outside noise was very noticeable. While I don't have anything other than personal experience to refer to, this was the result.

    Also, we did this 15 years ago with our smallish home (1,600 sq.ft.) and it cost us $14k. I'm guessing the kind of custom windows you are describing, while quite effective, would cost a small home owner at least $30-40k (probably more) in the current market. But that's just a guess. Again, based on my experience.

    Anything is possible. The individual must decide what it's worth.
     

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