Proper insulation for your home or office is mandatory in this day and age. Especially since the temperatures are rising during the summers and winters are unpredictably cold.
Soundproofing a house can be a tough task on your own. There are many ways for the acoustic insulation of various parts of your house. This includes the roof, the ceiling and floors, and even the pipes that run water or steam.
For the roof, you can use fiberglass loose-fill insulation, which is one of the best economic solutions. The crawl spaces can be filled with fiberglass insulation too. Even though these particles cause respiratory issues since the roof is rarely visited it will not be a big problem.
The Need for Acoustic Insulation
Sound pollution can lead to many physical and mental health issues. People who are constantly working in a noisy environment are more likely to suffer from hypertension. This reduces productivity in the workplace. Since the pandemic forced many of you to work from home, outside noises can cause a lack of concentration. By installing good acoustic boards for the walls you can reduce noise from entering your home.
Good sleep is necessary for a healthy human body. So having your rooms insulated from outside and from each other will prevent you from waking up at midnight because the neighbor dog was going crazy. It is advised that you need soundproof rooms for your kids, and this is a must if you have babies at home.
Acoustic boards will help prevent loud traffic noises if you are in a city area. These can be useful also for homes near industrial regions.
Apart from these sounds from the outside, the appliances inside your house can also generate noise. Kitchen appliance sounds from HVAC systems, electrical devices and gadgets are also major sources of unwanted noise.
Steps for Installation
Before even starting the work, do a proper checkup of the walls. Make sure there are no unwanted holes or rots anywhere in the structure. Installing insulation batts over rots and mold formation will reduce the life of the material.
Especially if you are using fiberglass, there is a high chance of mold formation under the influence of moisture. On the other hand, Rockwool wall insulation displays better thermal and acoustic resistance and exceptional hydrophobic property as well.
Fixing wall studs
The wall studs or joists are used to keep the insulation in its place. These are cut in standard sizes and most insulation batts come in the same width as well.
Place the batts over the cavity to get an idea of the length you need. If there is a need to cut, never make a cut too small or too large. This is because the fit should be perfect, not too tight or loose.
In some cases, you might have to reduce the batt width because the stud bay is too narrow.
Do not push and make the insulation tight in between the studs. It is ideal for the batts to have a snug fit, not too loose and not too tight. This is the best practice to ensure the best insulation while using acoustic boards.
While fixing the wall or acoustic ceiling insulation, do not close any air ventilation slots or vents. This can do more harm than good. Only close holes or crevices that may let the air out or into the house from outside.
Air vents function hand in hand with the air conditioning unit by circulating cold air throughout the house. If you close them off the AC unit will have to work more thus use more energy to cool down the rooms.
Some batts come with a vapor barrier and some do not. Never remove them as they help prevent moisture and molds from getting to the insulation. On the other hand, if it does not have a vapor barrier you can add one of your own. Polyethylene plastic is commonly used that is good enough for water and gas from entering the fibers of the insulation.
Electrical Wires and Pipes
If you have electrical wiring running through the wall there are two ways you can use to install insulation. One is to split the batt down the center and sandwich the pipe between each half of the insulation batt. This is more preferred than sandwiching the wire between the insulation and the wall.
Even old piping can cause noises and make your house sound like a haunted house. Consider using the Rockwool pipe insulation for both reducing the plumbing noises and for preventing the pipe from freezing during winter.
It can take similar initial steps while installing acoustic floor insulation as well. The sealing of holes is a must in any part of the house before installing insulation. The process takes longer or shorter depending on the material used. Generally, acoustic boards are easier to install compared to spray foam.