Let’s try to keep it quiet!

July 7, 2009

Eradicating Elevator Noise

Filed under: — admin @ 8:57 am

Moving into that high-rise apartment or condo building seemed like a great idea at the time, didn’t it? That is, until you realized that your new humble home was located directly in front of or next to the building’s main elevator shaft. What a noisy contraption!

Thankfully, there are a few things you can do if you are considering soundproofing a room that is located next to an elevator shaft but you must do a little bit of digging first. The first thing you must determine is the actual cause of the noise. Yes, we know – it’s coming from the nearby elevator – but why?

Is the nhoise coming from the cable system or motor attached to the elevator itself or are you in the unfortunate position of inhabiting the unit next to the engine room on the top floor of the building? Answering this question will help you to determine if you are trying to sound proof against mere operating noise (or flanking noise) or against the sound made by the impact of the elevator reaching the top floor.

If the noise is coming from the elevator shaft itself, from the movement of the cables and motor, you should be able to solve your problem by installing a layer of mass loaded vinyl over the offending wall. The mass loaded vinyl you choose should be at least 1/4″ thick and weigh approximately 2lbs for every square foot of wall you need to cover. If you want to enhance the effect of the MLV you should consider gluing it to the wall with a damping compound like Green Glue. If that’s not an option then staple it to the wall as usual, glue in between the butted seams, and then tape over them. Apply a second layer of drywall over top, plaster it appropriately, and paint. Your soundproofing project is complete.

The project may become a bit more complex if you find that the noise is caused by the impact of the elevator itself or the switch used to control the elevator activating. In this case you might need to float the wall closest to the elevator shaft using whisper clips and some other stronger soundproofing products.

Soundproofing an apartment or condo against the noise caused by a nearby elevator shaft may be an inconvenience but in the end it will be worth the effort you put forth. Pretty soon you’ll be able to enjoy a good night’s sleep without wondering which neighbor just got home!

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