Noise pollution can be a real problem, especially if you live in a hustling and bustling city. When you combine the sounds coming from the outside world with loud neighbours, the noises of our daily lives inside our homes can be equally as noisy as the outside world. Too much-unwanted noise can mess up our sleeping, increase our stress levels and make things generally unpleasant. If you’re looking for easy ways to make your home a little quieter, follow these steps and you’ll be enjoying the silence in no time.
Reasons for Excessive Noise in Our Homes
The truth is we’re a lot noisier in 2018 than ever before. Think of all the technological advancements we keep in our home; now think about all the beeping and buzzing those machines make. From microwaves and dishwashers to smart home tech that actually talks back to us, our homes create a lot of noise on a daily basis.
Ways to Cut Back on Noise
1. Update Your Appliances
These days there’s an appliance for just about everything. Take a look in your kitchen and it’s likely you have a countertop or cupboard full of devices that are supposed to make chopping, juicing, or cooking easier in some way. In addition to the small appliances, think about the big appliances you have throughout your home. Dishwashers and laundry machines are notorious for being noisy and the older they get the louder they become.
If your machines have seen better days, consider upgrading to a newer, quieter model. If brand new appliances aren’t in the cards for you right now, make sure you’re keeping them well maintained. If you start hearing buzzing or vibrating noises that are louder than they usually are, call in a service professional to take a look. Keep in mind that the closer the appliance is located to sleeping or living areas, the quieter it should be.
2. Add Sound Absorbing Materials
Basic science tells us that sound is absorbed by soft surfaces and reflected by hard surfaces. This means that if you live in a very modern and minimalistic condo you’re likely to hear more than your eclectic neighbour living with overstuffed furniture and velvet paintings on their walls.
One easy way to dampen sounds is to add absorbing materials to your space. You can do this in a number of ways, but the two most common are through carpet pads and curtains.
Sound-blocking curtains are an inexpensive and quick way to minimize outdoor noises and absorb some interior room sounds. You can buy sound-blocking curtains online which is great if you’re looking for a quick and easy fix. As an added bonus, these curtains often quite thick, making them great for insulating your room as well.
Carpets are another great material for absorbing sounds. If your living room is quite bare, consider adding a padded or high pile carpet to help absorb some of the daily noise. You can also buy and install sound absorbing underlays for your carpet. If you’re having new carpets installed in your condo or apartment, be sure to consider this. Your downstairs neighbours will thank you.
3. Update Your Doors
Open doors allow sound to easily pass from one room to another. Even with your door closed, certain sounds can still sneak through. This is because most of our doors are made from hollow materials, meaning they’re not made from one solid piece of wood like you may think.
Ideally, installing new solid doors throughout your home would be the best option to cut back on noise pollution. However, this is pretty unrealistic unless you’re planning on renovating your home in the first place. To help stop sounds from sneaking in, an alternative to new doors is to add weather stripping around them.
By adding weather stripping, you’re filling in the slight space between your door and its frame where sounds tend to slip right through. The best weather stripping is made from adhesive-backed high-density foam tape. It’s easy to install and inexpensive which means you can DIY this project.
4. Rethink Your Sound System
Do you have big speakers set up in your living room to provide a home theatre experience? If so, it’s likely that your subwoofer is causing those living below you a lot of grief. To be a nice neighbour, consider purchasing a subwoofer isolation pad, or place some form of insolation underneath to take some of the low rumblings away.
Another alternative is to use wireless headphones. This way you can enjoy your favourite tv shows late into the night without disturbing anyone else in the home who may be trying to sleep or do anything else that doesn’t require the sound of a television.
If you’re considering adding a sound system to your home, be sure to have a professional install it as they will be able to determine the best placement not only for your quality of sound but to ensure your neighbours don’t hear it either.
5. Handyman to the Rescue
A quieter home might be one call to a handyman away. Fix anything that clinks or clangs in the middle of the night (or at any other point throughout the day). For example, pay attention when you turn faucets off or flush the toilet. Can you hear your pipe working? If so, you should have a service professional come out and take a look. The same can be said for those annoying squeaky floorboards. If there’s anything in your home that’s making noise when it shouldn’t be, it’s best to have someone come out and take a look at it.
Now that you know some of the causes and corrections for a noisy home, you can start enjoying some much-needed silence. If you’re looking for a service professional to help you with your next project, start on HomeStars and find the right pro for the job right now.