living in a condo or Multi Family unit has it’s advantages and disadvantages. The advantage of having your neighbors close by brings with it the number 1 condo complaint: NOISY NEIGHBORS. In this article we will attempt to offer solutions, starting from the least effective to the most effective. Asking your neighbor to tone the noise level down has shown little or zero effectiveness and can actually exacerbate the problem. Eventually people realize that if they want some peace and quiet if they don’t help themselves nobody will. The first thing that comes to mind in sound reduction is insulation which results in getting somebody to drill holes in your walls blow in insulation plug the holes and paint, quite an expensive proposition especially when all the dust settles and you find yourself with the same problem albeit a little more muted. Next people will start considering building a whole new wall, not a bad idea, except for the fact that the space in your condo is small to begin with, additionally if you do not remove the drywall from your original wall you will still suffer from a triple leaf effect (to be discussed in a future article). So what can you do to properly sound proof your condo or multi family unit without breaking the bank?
In this article we will discuss sound proofing techniques that allow you to leave your existing walls in place, although not the very best option, you can still get remarkable results with the best bang for your buck. The first principle in Sound Reduction is to understand that sound travels as a wave, when that wave hits a solid surface it will cause it to vibrate which in turn will vibrate the air on the other side thus continuing the sound pattern. We can stop this vibration at its source if we can somehow dampen the vibration of the surface. That material exists and is called Visco Elastic Damping Compound. The most advanced compound available today is called Green Glue which comes in 28 oz. tubes and is applied in random pattern with a standard caulking gun. Green Glue must be applied between two rigid membranes, therefore you would apply a layer of Green Glue onto a standard 5/8″ drywall put it up on top of your existing wall and screw into place. We always try to stop the noise at it’s source first, therefore if you can get your neighbor to install the same on his side your results will improve dramatically. Alternatively you can double up on the Green Glue by adding a third layer of drywall giving you two layers of Green Glue.
Hopefully this article will go a long way in saving you time, money and aggravation when you are ready to get some real sound reduction for your noisy condo. Additional techniques like floating walls and ceilings through the use of advanced Resilient sound clips like Whisper Clips require more time and effort and will be discussed in a future article.
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