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Trains, Planes, Automobiles, and Roosters? How RetroFoam can Help with Noise Reduction

How do you make your home quieter? Many homeowners report they can hear a difference in outside noise while the installation of injection foam is taking place. RetroFoam fills every gap and crevice, getting a great seal every time and dampening sound.
Mother and Daughter relaxing peacefully

I’ll preface this by saying I’ve lived everywhere. Ok, maybe not everywhere, but a lot of places. I’ve lived in 13 different states and closing in on 20 different cities. I’ve lived in suburban neighborhoods, apartment complexes, inner-city, and so far out in the country, the closest grocery store was 40 minutes away. Apartments, houses, travel trailers, duplexes, mobile homes, whatever form of housing, I’ve probably spent some time in it. And I’ve heard the neighbors, the airport, the trains, all of it.

All that being said, I think home should be a sanctuary. It should be a place to retreat from the rest of the world. That looks different for different people. It can be downtown within walking distance of everything or so far out you can’t see the neighbors. But, what do you do when you want to relax, but your neighbors on the other side of the wall love action movies? Or the dogs won’t stop barking at the squirrels, or the noise from the busy street is directly outside your bedroom window? Or, in my case, the roosters decide to start crowing at 4:30 in the morning? How do you make your home quieter? 

Can You Make a House Soundproof?

Before we get into the specifics, let me say right now that unless you are building with specialty materials and engineering, no home will be completely soundproof. The main reason is that sound travels through the air. As long as there is airflow, there is typically sound transmission as well. Noises enter our homes through doors or windows that are old or not well sealed. A great place to start quieting the noises coming in from outside is to make sure you have a good weather seal on your doors and windows. If your windows are old or single pane, then putting in window inserts can make a drastic difference. The difference is not only in sound but in energy efficiency as well. 

The walls being the largest surface area of your home, have the most sound transmission, so they are the most common area we look to for noise reduction. Having an air seal will be an excellent place to start your sound dampening. According to the Soundproof Expert, some of the best materials used for soundproofing or sound dampening will also have excellent insulating properties. Because they trap air while absorbing and diffusing soundwaves, they can make rooms and even the whole building more energy efficient.

How Does RetroFoam Reduce Noise?

Using RetroFoam injection foam in your walls can help reduce noise and deaden sound. This happens for the same reason it is a better insulator for your home. It creates an air seal and mitigates the airflow in the stud cavities. By filling these cavities and voids, the foam cuts down on the resonance. It also can reduce the sounds from inside the walls like, flushing toilets and clanging pipes. 

Insulation is measured using a rating called STC, Sound Transmission Class. The higher the number the better. To give you an idea, fiberglass insulation has an STC rating of 36. RetroFoam has a minimum STC sound rating of 41. That’s just the foam without the addition of sheetrock or exterior sheathing or anything else that makes a wall. So what does that mean? According to sound laboratory tests, having RetroFoam in your walls will decrease noise levels by 45-50 decibels. 

In real life, when the neighbor’s lawn mower starts at 7am on your day off, that mower runs at an average of 90 decibels. With a noise reduction rate of 45-50 decibels, you won’t be hearing much at all. Or, when your teenager decides your garage is the perfect place for their band to practice. Having the walls insulated with RetroFoam not only gives you a more comfortable space but takes those drums pounding away at 100dB and can reduce that sound transmission by up to 80%. 

What Do Roosters and Jet Engines Have in Common?

Now for me, it’s the roosters. I have a small flock of chickens which I enjoy. But did you know a rooster’s crow can reach 130 dB or higher? If you were standing right next to that bird when it  crows, that’s nearly the same decibel level as standing 50 ft from a jet engine when it takes off. That noise at 4:30 in the morning can really make you want chicken fried steak. However, having the walls injected with RetroFoam dampens that sound considerably. Imagine being able to sleep without that wake-up call from outside. 

While it’s not the primary function of RetroFoam, it is insulation, after all. Many homeowners report they can hear a difference in outside noise while the installation is taking place. Traditional batt insulation is cut to fit around utilities and boxes during the construction process, but it leaves space. RetroFoam fills every gap and crevice, getting a great seal every time and dampening sound.

If you’re looking to get a better air-seal on your home, increase your energy efficiency, lower your monthly energy bills, and as a bonus, have a home that’s quieter from outside noises, then contact us for an estimate.

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I was impressed. There are not a lot of products out there that can do the job of air-sealing, insulating, and even sound-dampening with so little environmental impact. I am very happy that I didn’t have to worry about what was going into the walls of my home.

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