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 Fight against noise pollution

A crying child, loud music, street noise or footsteps on the floor! The noise pollution constantly pollute our daily life. Nearly 40% of French population claims to be embarrassed by the noise at home. To fight against this scourge of the modern times, the solutions do not miss, still it is necessary to know them. This week, HandymanDuDimanche offers tips and advice to reduce your noise pollution without forgetting those of your neighbors.

Some notions of acoustics

To fight the noise effectively it is necessary above all to know it well. In a dwelling, there are two kinds of noise, airborne noise and solid noise. Airborne noises spread through the air and then vibrate the walls, which in turn vibrate the air in nearby premises. That's the way the sounds go through the walls. There are two types of aerial noise, those produced indoors (by television, the hi-fi system and conversations) and those coming from outside (road or rail traffic). It is called solid sound when a wall is subjected to a shock that makes it vibrate, which also vibrates the air of neighboring premises. This category concerns impact noise (moving furniture, shocks or footsteps) and noise from public facilities (elevator, staircase, boiler room), not to mention individual equipment such as flush toilets or taps. When a sound meets a wall, its energy is partly transmitted, reflected and absorbed. Three types of transmission are differentiated: direct transmission, noise passing through the separating walls, lateral or indirect transmission when the noise passes through other walls, and parasitic transmission, when noise passes through localized defects (cracks in the wall, electrical boxes...). Each type of noise has its own physical and technical characteristics and needs to be treated differently. It is therefore necessary to identify the noise that we are dealing with and its type of transmission before starting work.

Basic principles of sound insulation

Two major rules govern sound insulation. The heavier a material is, the more it isolates. Where the air passes also passes the sound.

Isolate yourself from outside noises

Isolate yourself from outside noises

The inconvenience caused by the tumult of the street is not inevitable. To get rid of it, three solutions are available to you according to the nuisances caused by your external environment.
If the inconvenience is small (if you are located near a traffic axis), you will opt for a current façade insulation about 30dB. This operation consists of small works to improve the watertightness of windows by installing joints. They are only valid for heavy façades (concrete, stone, solid bricks) and conventional windows. There are three types of joints, those of foam, easy to install but not very effective, the hardenable resin joints, also easy to install but more effective and, more durable than the previous ones and more efficient, metal or polymer lip seals that claim the intervention of a professional.
If the nuisance is important (if your home is located on a traffic axis), a more consistent solution is to consider, theeffective facade insulation about 35dB, which consists of changing the single glazing by asymmetrical double glazing type 10-6-4 or 4-6-10 if the joinery of the window allows it, and redo the join of the window. You can also replace the entire window and change the frame, which is the fixed part.
If the nuisances are unbearable (noise of planes, metros or motorway), it is then necessary to opt for a high-performance facade insulation of about 40dB. Two solutions are then possible to obtain this degree of sound insulation. The first is to change the entire window, window and frame, which will be replaced by a high-performance acoustic laminated glazing and a new frame perfectly caulked by a putty at the pump. It is also possible to add a second window with a glass of at least 6 mm thick inside or outside with a minimum distance of 12cm between the two windows. This solution will be just as effective as the previous one but much less expensive.

Isolate yourself from interior airborne noise

Before opting for work that will cost you time and money, we advise you to try to reduce the noise directly to their sources, located most often at the neighbors. If, after an amicable discussion, the shades continue, then we must opt ​​for technical solutions and isolate the side walls of the dividing walls by reinforcing them with doubling complexes or even siding on metal framework. Available in major DIY stores, the dubbing complexes are ready to use. Composed of a mat of insulating material such as mineral wool, polystyrene or polyurethane, they stick to the wall. As for siding on metal frame, they double the wall and are particularly effective but necessarily require the intervention of a professional.

Isolate impact noises

Isolate impact noises

To limit the impact noise, it is best to directly attack the source, which is usually at the floor of the neighbors of the top. The fastest and least expensive solution is laying a soft floor. Needle carpeting or carpet will reduce the impact level by 15dB, plastic underlayments by 20dB, and textile or rubberized carpet by 30dB. More radical and definitive, a mortar screed cast on an insulating material placed on the support floor will attenuate the transmission of sound vibrations. The level of impact will be reduced from 20 to 30dB, as well as the ceiling height which will lose from 40 to 80mm. This solution requires the intervention of a specialist and is not applicable everywhere. If the insulation can not be made at the neighbors, it can be done directly, at the ceiling, isolated with a metal frame on which are screwed plasterboard and insulation. With a delicate setup, this operation must be performed by a specialist. Less efficient than the previous one, it also reduces the height of the ceiling.

Isolate yourself from the noise of installations

Isolate yourself from the noise of installations

If the noise produced by the collective equipment and installations can only be regulated by the intervention of a professional, some noise due to the individual equipment can be reduced by simple gestures. To avoid piping noise, you can equip your piping with antivibration foam collars. As for the inconvenience caused by faucets, they can be removed by installing noise-canceling faucets, available in DIY stores, as well as flush toilets that can be fitted with acoustic faucets.

To isolate without forgetting to ventilate

less noise, less stress

By isolating a dwelling from noise, we also isolate it from essential and vital air arrivals. The removal of this natural ventilation can cause many disorders, such as mold or wallpaper peeling. To remedy this, it is advisable to regularly ventilate his house, or to add air in the doors and / or windows. If environmental pollution is at the heart of all concerns, it seems important to emphasize that noise pollution itself can have very serious consequences.

According to a recent survey by WHO (World Health Organization), noise pollution has many negative effects on our physical as well as mental health. HandymanDuanche recommends you to protect yourself from the noise, and to do the same for your entourage. Remember, if you hear your neighbors, there is a good chance they will hear you too!

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