Noise Pollution Creates Stress, Anxiety, and Health Concerns: DIY Soundproofing by Homeowners Now Possible with Acoustic Vinyl Barrier Products

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Although noise pollution is a growing problem, a homeowner can now find relief by using sound blocking and sound absorbing products to make the home a peaceful refuge from the noise of the outside world.

American Micro Industries, Inc. (http://www.soundprooffoam.com) has announced a complete line of home soundproofing products designed specifically for the DIY homeowner. Noise pollution has become a problem not only in urban areas but suburban and rural as well. Homes that once backed up to woods and cornfields now have highways almost in the backyard.

In urban settings the sounds of automobiles, tractor trailers, construction, airplanes, trains, voices and cell phones are creating levels of noise that are not only distracting and annoying but a health concern as well.

Recent studies show that prolonged exposure to noise actually results in adverse health effects ranging from sleep disturbances, increased blood pressure, decreased learning ability, elevated stress hormones, and loss of productivity. Some individuals complain of increased heartbeat, digestive cramps, breaking out in a cold sweat, or uncontrollable trembling or shivering. Clearly, the levels of noise to which many people are exposed every day is not only unwanted but actually a serious problem.

The average homeowner or condo resident can’t do much about the noise in public spaces, but at the end of the day, inside their own home, there are ways to block unwanted outside noise and create an environment of calm and quiet within.

Mike Crabtree, Acoustic Sales Consultant with AMI, notes the increase in inquiries from DIY homeowners. “We believe we have developed the right combination of materials and installation methods to allow the average DIY enthusiast to tackle most soundproofing projects”, he comments. “Our recent introduction of QUIETWRAP, designed to quiet noisy pipes, has been particularly successful.”

A few facts about sound are helpful in understanding how to block or absorb unwanted noise:

• Sound travels in the form of waves.

• Sound waves can be reflected by some surfaces causing echo or reverberation. Hard, smooth surfaces such as bare walls reflect the most sound waves.

• Sound waves can be partially absorbed by some substances. Carpet partially absorbs the sound of footfall (people walking) and more sound waves are absorbed in a room with furniture, carpet, and drapes. Porous materials with small air cells absorb are good sound absorbers. However, some sound waves travel on through the porous materials.

• Sound waves can be blocked by some substances. Traditionally, lead was the most effective sound-blocking substance available because of its extreme density. Recently, lead-free barrier products have been developed that are more dense and more effective than lead at blocking sound.

• Acoustic Vinyl Barrier Products block sound waves. Acoustic vinyl barrier material is composed of sheet vinyl impregnated or “fortified” with a heavy substance so that it is actually more dense than a sheet of lead and excellent at blocking sound.

Two acoustic vinyl barrier products now available from American Micro Industries, Inc. are Quietbarrier and Econobarrier. So dense that they actually block sound waves, Quietbarrier and Econobarrier prevent sound from passing through a floor, wall, or ceiling to an adjacent area. They keep the outside sounds out and the inside sounds in.

If the loud airborne noise of traffic, voices, music, or TV is the main problem, Quietbarrier is the material of choice. If the noise is not loud but still audible, Econobarrier, the lighter-weight version, may be sufficient. Both products can be installed on existing walls or attached to the studs during new construction. Because the barrier material is black vinyl, resurfacing with sheetrock or paneling is needed to produce a finished wall surface. Weight is a factor to be considered (Quietbarrier weighs 64 lbs. per 4 X 8 ft. sheet and Econobarrier weighs 32 lbs.) so installation, although not complicated, is best accomplished by two people. At AMI, rigorous in-house product testing directed by the staff has resulted in a simple step-by-step method for installing these barrier products and resurfacing the wall at the same time. The steps are clearly shown at http://www.acousticalsource.com/how-to-soundproof-a-wall.html, “How to Soundproof a Wall: Installation Instructions.”

Although noise pollution is a growing problem, a homeowner can now find relief by using sound blocking and sound absorbing products to make the home a peaceful refuge from the noise of the outside world.

For additional DIY home soundproofing products available for walls, floors, ceilings, pipes, and windows, call American Micro Industries, Inc. toll-free at 1-800-558-2058 Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, or go to http://www.soundpooffoam.com. You can also Email them.

American Micro Industries, Inc., a privately held company founded by veteran Michael E. Lehman in 1995, is located in Chambersburg, PA. AMI is a manufacturer and distributor of American-made acoustical and soundproofing products for DIY homeowners, residential, commercial, marine, and industrial applications.

Media contact:

Sally Smith

Phone: 1-800-558-2058

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