Marty's Helpful Tips consists of weekly posts on helpful tips in many areas to assist with improving the quality of life around home ownership. The subjects are varied and often have guest contributors. Check back each week to see what is next...
Monday, July 16, 2012
For many homeowners, the days of hearing the neighbor’s radio through paper-thin walls are gone. But noise can still be a problem, even under your own roof. Lower the decibel level in your abode with some ideas from TLC. First, find out how sound travels in your home with one simple step. Turn off the lights in one room while leaving the rest of the lights on in surrounding rooms and look for any light that’s peeking through the walls. If light can travel through, so can sound. Use acoustical caulk, available from most hardware stores, to seal off these hidden cracks between walls, ceilings and floors. Put carpet or rugs on higher-level rooms to reduce the noise traveling to lower floors. To help reduce noise in other rooms, in-wall insulation can help, but it requires cutting holes in the walls. For an easier fix, buy wall coverings that have soundproofing capabilities and repaint them to match your décor, or hang noise-control curtains in the room. The most time- and cost-intensive fix — but also one of the most effective — is to replace standard windows with double-paned ones, which greatly reduce noise. Don’t forget the outdoors. Block off sounds from the street by placing heavy shrubbery and evergreens with large leaves near doors and windows. And consider ornamental fountains for a more welcoming sound.