GNcareers, from Gulf News

Easy ways to reduce noise levels at home

Reducing noise levels at homeImage Credit: Supplied

There is nothing worse than a thudding noise emanating loudly from the ceiling above at 3am or a neighbor’s baby crying, disturbing your peaceful slumber. And even if your neighbors are not so noisy, noise can creep up from anywhere, even in the newest residential buildings.

The main premise behind soundproofing your living space is that noise should be treated at its source. The concept behind soundproofing a room is to try and stop the vibrations from reaching your side of the ceiling or wall.

Your apartment floor can easily be soundproofed using supplies you most likely already have at home. To make filler material at home, gather old pieces of cloth, foam, and rags. Cut these into similar sized pieces, and then wash and air dry in sunlight for at least two days to ensure any bacteria are eliminated.

The next step is to remove the existing carpet/area rug you already have. Clean and thoroughly disinfect the area under it. Once it is dry, carefully place the pre-prepared filler material on the clean floor in even amounts, ensuring the thickness is uniform throughout. Avoid putting too much filler near the door as it may interfere with the door’s opening and closing mechanism.

Next, use double-sided duct tape to tightly and securely attach the filler material with your rug carpet. Aim to arrange your heavier furniture on the periphery of the rug for a few days to ensure the underlying materials are not pressed out, and the area is completely smooth. Not only will this filter out your neighbor’s noise, it will also ensure your own noise stays within your home.

While walls are more challenging to soundproof, it is possible. Once you have identified which wall the sound is emanating from, aim to create natural sound barriers by placing specific sound-absorbing goods against these particular walls. These can include a large bookcase filled with books, cushiony chairs, or even your sofa. Basically, the foam and fabrics of these objects will create a mechanism that will soften the effect of the sound vibrations. Additionally, fabric wallpaper can be used to insulate walls as well.

Handy Hints
• Decorative fabric panels can soundproof walls and brighten your space
• Noise from under the main door can be soundproofed with door bottoms
• Soundproofing walls and floors ensures noise from neighbors is filtered out

Source: Saadiya Ahmad, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer