We should be aware that there are techniques and materials that we need to avoid.
- Using unsuitable soundproofing materials : Soundproofing techniques shouldn’t be based on rumors and myths, they should be based on proven scientific concepts. What is more frightening is that we could make the problem worse by using the wrong techniques and material. Some materials could actually amplify the noise or make it sound like something more irritating. Common myths can be related to the use of plastic window film and egg crates as soundproofing materials, which are essentially useless, although they are very cheap. Other rumoured soundproofing materials we shouldn’t use may include floor mats, old rubber mattresses, fibreglass batts, special paints, cardboard, old carpet, dry cellulose fiber injected into the floors or walls, timber sheets and mattress attached to the wall or floor. Pyramid or corrugated shaped foam like we see in recording studies only dampens the noise and minimize echoes caused by internal sound sources, but they don’t stop noise from passing through the wall. In short, we should get credible information about soundproofing materials.
- We don’t look for stop-gap measures: Noise pollution can be serious enough that it can affect our health and drive us to despair. It is important we find immediate compromises to our problems. The fastest, cheapest and most rational approach is a set of dependable ear plugs. In many cases, it is better to find effective stop-gap measures, before we find solutions that solve the problem once and for all. If the problem really annoys us, we should try to reclaim our sanity, so we will be in a much better state of mind. We should embark on acceptable long-term solutions that can solve our noise problems.
- Only rely on expensive soundproofing material: Laminated glass could provide us with some benefits, but they may not be as good as we might think. In addition, it can be rather expensive. Actually, it is possible achieve better result if we add a second, slightly thicker glass in our window and leave an air cavity of about one and half inches. Another excellent solution is a couple of glass sheets with 10cm of cavity between them, filled with moisture absorbing powder. However, this solution may not be applicable in many houses, however, it can be used on windows that are located near sources of noises.
- Improper Installations: Even if we have purchased effective soundproofing material, the actual effectiveness could be based on correct installation. One likely reason why soundproofing material seems to fail is because it has improper isolation. Many homeowners seek to reduce noise transmission by buying floating floors. However, this could fail because floating floors may not be properly isolated from the actual floor. This could happen although we have followed all instructions given by the manufacturer. Some floating floors could have cheap thin membrane that need to be stuffed between the original and floating floors. We shouldn’t believe it even if the manufacturer assures us that we are doing thing properly. In fact, some manufacturers don’t apply correct soundproofing methods.