Quietco have helped reduce noise for hundreds of people in their home in the last 15 years. The success of all these projects comes down to following our trademark four step method of soundproofing, these principles underline our company values, integrity and give our customers peace of mind they are in safe hands.
Our four step soundproofing method:
Treat the main cause of the problem
Treat the direct noise path
Treat the indirect noise paths
Treat the fixtures and fittings.
When we say ‘Treat’ this means fix, apply soundproof insulation or apply soundproofing techniques to these areas.
Lets look at each step in more detail:
Step 1 – Treat the main cause of the problem
Here we are referring to something fundamentally wrong with the construction of your house letting noise in or out, and/or amplifying the noise making the noise problem worse.
We are not referring to the noise source, such as your neighbour’s music or their new surround sound or TV positioned on the wall.
The main cause of the problem could be things like bricks missing on the party wall between you and your neighbours. These bricks missing could be in the suspended floor void or in the loft or most commonly on a bedroom floor where the joists run into the party wall. In a flat or apartment for example it could be the service void or somewhere there is a void in the ceiling where you can get your arm through up to the neighbours. Other main causes could be the use of the wrong materials, a builder’s attempt at soundproofing a room or a building technique that amplifies the noise from next door.
Step 2 – Treat the direct noise path
When looking for soundproofing you will most likely find that everyone is trying to sell you a solution to the direct noise paths; the party wall, your separating ceiling or floor. So many solutions, all conveniently wrapped and strapped on a pallet that can be delivered next day.
You know the noise is coming from that party wall area directly, and you are right that area of your house no doubt needs extra sound insulation to cope with noisy modern living. You probably would bet your mortgage on it that the neighbour has their TV right there, right behind that alcove, if you’re in a flat you could probably pin point the location where the TV is located above your head or below your feet. And you will be right this direct noise path needs treating, however….
Step 3 – Treat the indirect noise paths
Having soundproofed so many houses and then evaluated the results of every project, we have found that most of the time the indirect noise paths are louder than the direct noise paths.
The indirect noise paths are the other walls, ceilings, floors and features in the room other than the party wall.
Your indirect noise paths for flats and apartments will be the walls whether you have noise from above or below the indirect noise paths tend to be the walls, chimney stacks and service voids.
For a semi-detached or terrace property there are many different indirect noise paths, which will be the flanking areas of that conflicting wall. Some of the most common indirect noise paths for semi-detached or terrace properties would be the floor, ceiling, exterior window walls or walls connected to the conflicting party wall.
Other not so obvious indirect noise paths would be the RSJ sitting on the conflicting party wall in your new kitchen extension, the extension walls built off the old original house wall, bay window ceilings, chimney stacks, features that create a void connected to the conflicting party wall in some way.
Step 4 – Treat the fixtures and fittings
Treating the fixtures and fitting is vitally important and needs to be consider during the initial design phase of any project. The right soundproofing products and materials need to be installed for the fixtures and fittings.
For example, plug sockets and light switches on the conflicting wall need to be addressed. We take down so many failed soundproofing projects and with every single one the soundproofing installer has cut a great big hole in the soundproofing system to fit a plug socket in the traditional way. This massive hole has compromised the soundproofing of whole wall. Sockets must have the same level of soundproofing behind them as the rest of the wall.
Treatment to fixtures and fittings covers a wide variety of finishing touches to projects that have to be address otherwise the soundproofing investment will be wasted.
Fixtures and fittings include the right lighting pedants, skirting, architrave, radiators and the finished flooring all installed in a way that doesn’t compromise the soundproofing. Coving should not be re-fitted or if absolutely necessary fitted in a way that does not compromise a resilient ceiling or wall. The floors, skirting, architrave, radiators, finished flooring all must be addressed.
Other less obvious finishing issues arise when fitting new wardrobes, new kitchens or new bathrooms to the new soundproofing investment.