Soundproofing your house after you have already been living in it usually means your tweens have made it to teens and you have had your fill of rappers talking insensitively and openly about their lady’s woman parts or about killing cops and Korean grocers. (Amazing how Ice Cube went from being a gangsta who wrote songs about doing those two very things to being the white, black Dean Jones of his day. Dean Jones must be spinning over in his grave.)
Most sounds that acoustical soundproofing techniques dampen actually have little to do with human involvement. Yeah, sure, there are those who soundproof a garage because of their kids garage band (not understanding that for every thousand bands that never even play a live gig there are garage bands like the Clash and the Ramones that made it well out of the garage) and there are those who invest in fancy acoustical tiling beneath an attic converted into a rumpus room or video game domain of the younger set. What acoustical soundproofing really protects against are the more common types of white noise that, when put together, can raise the decibel level inside your house more significantly than even an out of tune rock amp.
Appliances like washing machines, clothes dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators and any anything else that vibrates as it operates can be drowned out with some soundproofing steps. A very simple way to cut down on the noise of large appliances is to rest them on resilient pads that will cushion against the vibration that become noisy to the point of unbearable when the appliance rests directly on vinyl, tile or hardwood floor.
Outside noises can be soundproofed while at the same time you provide decorative landscaping. Shrubs and hedges that pack up against the house can cut down on noise a lot more than you may think. Next time you try your hand at one of those life-sized mazes of corn or hedges, separate from your party and try to talk to each other through just one of them there man-grown walls. You’ll have to yell just to be heard. Yep, a conifer garden is more than just a pretty sight, it’s a soundproofing technique that can’t be beat offering delightful aromas as well as protection against noise.
Carpeting is good for two reasons. One, you don’t freeze you feet in the morning when you get out of bed and step upon it. Two, carpeting drowns out much of the vibrato taking place constantly inside the average house. A nice plush carpet can do wonders for a noisy house decorated with hard flooring. This even applies to your home theater room where the carpet acts less to soundproof against the TV than it does to soundproof against rocking chairs, sofa squeaks and the squeal of a rubber shoe on the vinyl kitchenette area.
Check the size of the plumbing pipe fittings to make sure they aren’t an improper size if part of your inside noise pollution is a singing toilet or dripping faucet or gurgling drain. If the fittings aren’t of the exactly precise size they should be, you can swap them out with new fittings. A less intrusive and time-consuming method, however, is to install an anti-siphon trap. The installation of this noise blocker is far easier than trying to work with PFUS: pipe fittings of unusual size.
Look up to those metal air conditioning and heater ducts over your head. Ever driven through a tunnel and hear the echoes of tires screeching and horns beeping. Well, the ductwork system inside your house is like sound traveling through several tunnels at once and the sound won’t stop until it leaves its trapped confines. You reduce the way that sound travels through your ductwork system by insulating around the ducts. Otherwise, it’s like having a radio antenna inside your house always tuned to the rap channel and you have no way of turning it off.