Your home should be peaceful, and nothing disturbs the peace like the neighbor's noisey lawnmower. Can spray foam insulation help reduce the noise in your home?
Sound is terrific—take listening to birdsong or soft classical piano, for example. But sounds we don't want to hear are downright noise, an annoyance that can make peace and quiet hard or impossible.
If a racket unsettles you, the most straightforward approach is to nip the noise in the bud, but sometimes it's not as easy as that. Reducing sounds may be challenging work if you live near new construction, a few feet from a loud neighbor, or if the next-door neighbor’s dogs just won't. stop. barking.
Perhaps you have the reverse situation: maybe you have a noisy hobby or job—you might be a singer or musician and want to be respectful and considerate to the people around you while you practice songs or instruments. Either way, you're thinking of giving spray foam insulation for soundproofing a shot.
But does foam insulation reduce noise?
Spray foam works as a highly effective thermal insulation. It's known to be generally affordable and easy to install. Homeowners tend to ask if spray foam also reduces the noise from outside in the same way it seals their home from the elements.
Spray foam or spray polyurethane foam significantly reduces sound, but it's not nearly as effective as other insulation materials such as fiberglass insulation and mineral wool. Additionally, fiberglass and rock wool are better fire retardants than spray foam insulation. Does spray foam insulation reduce noise? Let's look more into this below.
First, let's set expectations that reduction does not mean elimination. Noise reduction is but one stage in the whole soundproofing process.
Why is it essential to reduce noise? Noise can be detrimental to your health if left uncontrolled. If you can’t sleep, for example, you can suffer the consequences of that in myriad ways. Living and working in a noisy setting is not sustainable to say the least, and taking measures to reduce noise is valuable for overall health and efficiency at work.
One step you can take to reduce noise is to prevent noise from being carried by ductwork in your home. Ductwork is a tube system that runs through a home's walls and ceilings and is part of the ventilation or heating system.
Yes. Spray foam is the premium choice for insulation, particularly attic insulation. It effectively seals all gaps and crevices. Spray foam insulation helps reduce sound by expanding & covering entire surfaces and filling hard-to-reach air leaks and holes that would otherwise carry noise into or out of your house.
You can further reduce noise by lining your ductwork with different types of insulation like fiberglass or mineral wool.
Spray foam does reduce sound but does not wholly eradicate it. It's worth noting that it's also not intended for sound deadening throughout the home.
Soundproofing means utilizing special material in a building or home to avoid sound from passing out of or into it. Acoustic fencing, soundproof blankets, soundproof curtains, acoustic ceiling systems & tiles, door seals, sweeps & gaskets, soundproof doors & frames, acoustic glass, soundproof wallpaper, soundproof paint, anti-vibration soundproof floor mats, and soundproof spray are some of the widely-used soundproofing materials.
Sound Transmission Class Rating and Noise Reduction Coefficient are some soundproofing terms to recall.
Soundproofing materials often come with a Sound Transmission Class rating (STC).
STC is a measure of how much noise reduction a product renders. The higher the STC rating, the better it will reduce noise. An improvement of 10 STC makes the unwanted sound seem lowered by 50%.
Rockwool insulation has an STC rating of 45, and fiberglass insulation and open-cell spray foam have 39.
A Noise Reduction Coefficient is an average rating of how much sound an acoustic product can absorb.
A soundproof spray or acoustic spray foam is not to be confused with spray foam insulation. A spray foam sound insulation does not exist.
Spray foam insulation does wonders for sorting out leaks and drafts in your house and moderately helps with soundproofing the attic. Spray foam insulation & soundproofing go hand-in-hand, but their intended uses are ultimately separate from one another. In other words, spray foam insulation enhances soundproofing, but it won't work as well as materials explicitly designed for soundproofing.
What is the best soundproofing insulation foam? Certified attic specialists recommend open-cell spray foam to support soundproofing the attic space.
As attic insulation, open-cell spray foam significantly reduces the amount of pollen that infiltrates the house and effectively keeps other contaminants out. Open-cell foam also reinforces your roof and the structure of your home. Let's see how it aids in soundproofing.
Does spray foam insulation act as a sound barrier? Both closed-cell and open-cell spray foam insulation work as sound barriers that block sound transmission through the air, resulting in a quieter space.
How does open-cell differ from closed-cell spray foam? Open-cell spray foam insulation in the attic and wall cavities prevents sound leaks and reduces sound wave loss inside your home. As for outside noise, it's excellent at sound-absorbing, trapping, and dissipating sound waves.
Certified attic specialists put open-cell spray foam between building materials to muffle noise. There are more types and kinds of open-cell spray foam depending on the density of material.
It's difficult to source commercially available open-cell spray foam. You'll have to work with a certified attic specialist in most cases to get it.
On the other hand, experts advise against using closed-cell spray foam in soundproofing a room as it makes your home prone to echoes, and it carries sound (also known as sound transfer) rather than absorb sound.
Plus, closed-cell spray foam is more expensive and heavier to work with.
Sound deadening, like noise reduction, is one aspect of soundproofing. Sounds are vibrations, and to "deaden" unwanted sound, you place sound deadening material over something or around to reduce vibrations, thereby decreasing unwanted noise. Remember, if you read the term "deadening," it's referring to the process of stopping vibrations or rattling caused by noise.
Sound deadening is not something that spray foam insulation can help with. There's a specific sound deadening spray foam and other sound-deadening materials and techniques for soundproofing your home like:
While spray foam insulation has limited sound deadening benefits and ability to prevent sound transmission, it is awesome at reaching hard-to-reach places such as cavities, crevices, walls, & ceilings. It is also a superior air & moisture barrier and thermal insulation.
You will undoubtedly see a considerable drop in your electric bills when you install spray foam insulation.
Certified attic specialists recommend using a combination of spray foam insulation and batt insulation to achieve the best soundproofing effects.