Road traffic noise: The real issue
Are you suffering from the impact of road traffic noise? Many of those with this problem, blame their windows. However, the truth is the windows aren’t at fault. The real culprit is other parts of the house letting noise in.
When we receive a case of road traffic noise, most clients have tried installing new windows and found the new special acoustic windows have not done anything to reduce the noise from the road. In fact, in most cases we find the noise is coming from the roof, the walls, ceiling and floor.
Quietco was contacted with a domestic soundproofing case of severe road traffic noise affecting the entire house. Our customer has a beautiful house with a really nice interior and stunning views. But it was located right on the busy Birmingham Road near Redditch. The customer was concerned because the road traffic noise of cars, motor bikes and large HGV lorries was entering the property. This was affecting the families sleep and everyday life.
It is a well known fact that noise pollution can effect your health. For example, broken sleep will raise blood pressure and have a detrimental effect on your health.
The customer was promised window soundproofing by a well known double glazing company. Unfortunately, the window installation team did not perform to a high standard. This was because the window specification was not adequate for the type of noise entering the property. In these types of cases, the double glazing companies need to use sound proofing insulation to seal and soundproof exposed areas instead of using traditional glazing techniques.
Quietco gave an in-depth investigation of the property and its road traffic noise problem areas. There was no need for expensive acoustic environmental surveys here. The problem areas were, as usual, traditional building techniques.
The real reason the traffic noise was so loud
The recently renovated roof construction was typically taking the thermal value to meet building regulations with foam based thermal boards. This gave no respect to the road traffic noise less than 50metres from the property.
The loft in some areas contained 150mm standard cheap loft insulation. Plus, the house had been recently renovated with dot and dab plaster boarded walls. 12.5mm plasterboard ceilings and internal lightweight stud walls separated en-suites, bedrooms and bathrooms.
The key objectives of the customer were:
- “I do not want to hear cars and lorries going passed when laying in bed at night”
- “I do not want to hear road drain covers being driven over by lorries at night”
- “I want to reduce the hum of the road traffic noise”
The domestic soundproofing solution, as with nearly every other soundproofing job that comes our way, starts with…. ‘take it all down!’
Quietco put together a comprehensive itemised quote outlining the problem areas that needed addressing to meet the customer’s objectives of the road traffic noise. The customer, without hesitation, asked for all the work to be carried out.
The solution to the traffic noise
We began by removing the cheap insulation from the bedroom walls and the ceiling exposing all the rafters. All the plasterboard was removed from all the walls. All dot & dab plasterboard was also removed.
We also opened up the floors in the bay window areas. We were shocked to find a two-foot void with no insulation in the bay walls. Not only is this terrible for noise but also a massive cold spot too.
“There is no stopping the installation team and their dedication to professionally insulate the most difficult and challenging areas of any property to get the best reduction in noise for any customer” Director Quietco Ltd
Quietco installed the best sound proof insulation to the entire loft area. We lowered the bedrooms ceiling height creating enough space to install sound proofing insulation to tackle the road traffic noise. This also resulted in it far exceeding building regulation thermal value for the roof. We then installed Quietco’s TPS50C ceiling system using resilient bars to all ceiling joists and stud frames, isolating the finished wall from the existing structure. We also treated parts of the property with our anti-vibration 52mm sound proofing panels (TPS50W). This reduced the road humming noises traveling through the structure of the property.
The final layer was sound proof boards with two coats of finishing plaster to all treated surfaces.
With any road traffic noise case, we will always suggest that acoustic secondary glazing should be installed before any soundproof insulation applied. This is because you normally will not experience any difference in noise reduction until the windows have been brought up to the acoustic soundproofing value of the walls.
This case was different, we managed to massively reduce the road traffic noise entering the bedrooms, in some parts of the house the road noise at rush hour was not audible at all.
We managed to meet all the customer’s objectives. We also treated all the cold spots and draft areas of the upstairs of the property. The ceilings and loft areas have been insulated to the highest thermal specification.
Quietco also replaced all the GU10 down lighter bulbs in the property with LED’s.
A good job completed with not only a massive reduction in road traffic noise but also a huge saving to energy bills too.