TP Soundproofing was contacted by a family in the Cotswolds that had just moved into their beautiful barn conversion, they were not told by the estate agents about the road noise before the sale. So, after moving in it was a horrible feeling for them as this road noise was extremely intrusive. The road noise comprised of tractors, motorbikes and cars along the street immediately outside the recently converted barn. You could also hear people talking when they walk passed, especially during the school run.
The walls were the original stone work and really thick and solid. The floors were concrete on the ground floor and the upstairs was oak floor boards. The bedrooms have all the beautiful oak beams exposed and some of the original supporting beams and purlins remained in place for the conversion.
The road noise was coming in mainly from the roof, it was very clear, as a car drove pass the house on the street outside, you could follow it with the noise across the room…when standing in the bedroom you could hear what direction down the road the car was driving. When a heavy goods lorry or tractor drove passed it was incredibly loud. The clients were struggling to sleep and could only do so with earplugs. Road noise like this can have a detrimental effect on your health, raising stress levels and blood pressure whilst sleeping.
The roof was constructed using modern building techniques to meet local building regulations. Thermal values to them are more important than sound transmission. The roof construction included 150mm polyurethane insulation, roofing battens, felt and a stone tile. The Polyurethane insulation is terrible with low-frequency noise and does nothing at all for road noise. Used in the wrong way we have found it can emphasis these kinds of road noises.
It was very important to our client that any solution did not change the look of the house and the oak beams were left exposed. We considered the options of re-doing the whole roof externally using soundproofing materials and removing the polyurethane Celotex type insulation. After a detailed consultation it was clear the Celotex sheets had been laid over the rafters and removing them from inside was not an option.
TP Soundproofing designed a solution that was installed between the rafters, sound deadening the polyurethane insulation before installing TPS50C to the under side of the rafters, keeping the purlins and the larger supporting rafters exposed. The installation was priced in the in the region of £8k, cheaper than removing the whole roof externally. Within 7 days the guest bedroom was completely plastered and ready for painting and decorating.
Each layer of acoustic board, rubber, fibre board had to be shaped and cut on every side, creating an airtight seal between the purlins. We have seen many properties like this, and the key is to isolate the new soundproof ceiling system from the structure as much as possible. Simply replacing the existing plasterboard with sound bloc board will not do anything and may emphasis the noise if used incorrectly.
What did the client think….“so much better, great result….thank you again for all your hard work”
Many of our clients including this one can be contacted on our reference list available with every estimate.
6 months later this same client contacted us again to come and treat the main bedroom ceiling and walls for road noise. We achieve another amazing result and the clients can now sleep without earplugs!
Road noise soundproofing is one of the hardest but most rewarding soundproofing services we offer, it requires a detailed survey and good understanding of the building and noise problems in order to design an effective solution. In nearly all cases unfortunately, it involves removing a lot of the work builders have already done. Plasterboard, and lightweight sound insulation and chipboard that is readily available at the builders merchants is normally all removed. This is a costly, dusty process of waste disposable before we have even started improving the noise problem.
If you live near a busy road and are thinking about having a loft conversion or new extension built, it might be worth giving a soundproofing company a call to discuss the specification with the architect before you start.
See our other post on Road traffic Noise on a house in Birmingham