In this blog post, we will talk about “how to soundproof a brick party wall” and why aren’t these walls completely soundproof. We will also discuss the tips and tricks to soundproof the brick party walls and how to do so.
How To Soundproof a Brick Party Wall?
Following are 5 effective ways to soundproof a brick party wall;
- Construct Double Brick Wall
- Seal the Cracks and Holes
- Use Soundproofing Panels
- Add A Layer of Drywall
- Use Mass Loaded Vinyl
What Do You Need to Soundproof a Brick Party Wall?
To soundproof a brick party wall, you can use a wide range of materials. Normally, acoustic tiles and acoustic panels are used to soundproof these walls.
Additionally, you would need acoustic sealant caulking to seal the cracks and holes before starting the insulation process. You may also need acoustic foam to insulate the walls perfectly and minimize resonance.
A brick party wall is a shared wall separating two dwellings or homes. There isn’t much you can do from the other side and insulating the inner wall is all that’s possible.
What is Brick Party Wall?
To effectively resolve the brick party wall noise problem, you need to know the basics of a brick wall. Bricks are hard, dense, and thick, this makes them a natural sound insulator.
There’s a reason why party walls are usually brick walls rather than drywall as bricks provide relatively better insulation. Having drywall as a party wall will make it feel like you and your neighbors live under the same roof.
Brick walls are harder, thicker, and better, but they aren’t completely soundproof. It is important to remember that it’s a shared wall, and sound only needs a small crack, hole, or crevice to penetrate your home.
However, there are still many things you can do from your end to make the shared party walls soundproof. You can even add another layer of drywall or layers of drywall to insulate your home from the sounds of a neighbor’s house.
Why Is My Brick Party Wall Not Soundproof?
Your brick party wall may have poor insulation properties for one of many reasons. It may be constructed improperly with zero insulation or it is simply outdated.
The main reason why poor soundproofing or insulation is associated with old brick party walls is due to their lightweight material and poor construction technique.
In the past, Victorian brick walls were commonly used with a flawed construction technique. With wide gaps and air spaces between the bricks, they had incredibly poor sound insulation characteristics. It is not entirely wrong to say that sometimes there’s only a bit of plasterwork separating your home and the adjacent one.
Up until the start of the 21st century, the materials or brick used for building party walls were relatively lightweight. This destroys the whole concept of restricting airborne noise with the help of mass.
However, modern construction confronts the regulation to insulate and today’s brick party walls are built with heavy, dense, and thick bricks.
This certainly makes them resistant to airborne noises, yet they are still not completely soundproof. That’s because their hard, dense, and thick material creates resonance.
The sounds from the indoor on striking the surface of these walls bounce back into the room with the same frequency and this amplifies the intensity of sound.
Not to worry, there are many simple and modern techniques you can use to resolve this issue and properly soundproof your brick party walls.
Tips and Tricks to Soundproof a Brick Party Wall
- Always check for holes and cracks before starting any insulation process.
- Seal the holes with an acoustic sealant to augment the efficiency of soundproofing techniques.
- Add more mass to the wall by using high density/mass products.
- Improve sound-absorbing characteristic of the wall to resist vibrations.
- Use techniques of mass addition and sound-absorbing in conjunction to achieve perfect insulation.
- Construct brick with high mass materials as they provide better insulation against airborne noise.
Soundproofing a Brick Party Wall?
Shared walls or party walls are a serious cause of concern if you have noisy neighbors. Soundproofing the brick party wall can help you regain the peace and comfort of your home by isolating the neighbor’s noise.
Above all else, soundproofing a brick wall is relatively easier than drywall as there are only a few things you can do. Let’s explore some effective ways to soundproof a brick party wall;
Construct Double Brick Wall
Two is better than one – Double brick walls are the same as your single brick wall but with an extra layer of bricks and insulation. The best way to cut down the noise from your neighbors is to construct double brick walls.
This is not for those who already have a brick wall but if you are amidst the process of constructing a house remember to construct the party wall as a double brick wall.
These walls have two layers of brick with an insulating layer in the center. This makes them better against both the airborne sounds and resonance.
Seal the Cracks and Holes
There is no way to emphasize the importance of sealing cracks and holes in your brick party wall. Did you know that 50% of the sound waves can penetrate through 1% of uncovered space or holes?
There is no point in investing tons of money and resources on insulation techniques if you plan on skipping this crucial step. No matter what technique you use, always seal the cracks and holes first.
Use Soundproofing Panels
One of the easiest ways to soundproof a brick party wall is by using acoustic or soundproofing panels. These panels aim to minimize the vibrations and follow the principle of sound-absorption.
Typically in the range of 25mm to 40 mm in thickness, these panels aim to absorb the sound waves before they strike the walls and cause a nuisance.
These panels usually come in standard sizes and 1 square meter is commonly used standard size. These panels are highly popular because they are not only effective but also easy to install.
These panels can easily be screwed to the walls and can also be decorated to satisfy the aesthetics need.
Add A New Layer of Drywall
A brick wall is good in restricting airborne sounds while drywall creates minimal resonance. The idea of combining the two is a great idea to soundproof your home.
For particularly noisy neighbors, you can even add multiple layers of drywall to achieve high-end insulation. Glued with a composite compound, Green Glue, it further adds to the insulation characteristics of a brick party wall.
Green glue is a soundproofing adhesive that can easily adjoin multiple layers of drywall with a brick party wall. The ease of installation and insulation properties make this combination a perfect mix for sound insulation.
Not to forget, adding drywall to the existing brick party wall also add up a good deal of mass to the wall. Strengthening the overall structure, drywall is a good solution to better restrict airborne noise and curtail resonance in homes.
Use Mass Loaded Vinyl
Mass-loaded vinyl is extensively used in soundproofing floors, ceilings, and walls. Vinyl is a highly-flexible material that is equally dense and heavy mass.
It is a great compound that effectively curtails sound transmission and helps resolve problems due to resonance. It is also highly versatile and available in a wide range of types and quality.
A cheap quality MLV solution still does the trick though it is best to use standard quality mass loaded vinyl. Extra polymeric plasticizers are added to MLV to improve its quality and enhance its insulation characteristics.
In this blog post, we talked about brick party walls and why aren’t these walls completely soundproof. We also discussed the tips and tricks to soundproof the brick party walls and how to do so.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to Soundproof a Brick Party Wall?
How do you soundproof a brick wall?
To soundproof a brick wall, you need to reinforce it with sound-absorbing materials. Acoustic panels can effectively insulate the brick wall and minimize the resonance due to the hard and dense surface of the brick wall.
Acoustic panels are usually suspended from the ceiling while other alternatives like acoustic tiles usually cover the walls. Additionally, it is best to try adding more furniture to the room to restrict sound waves from bouncing off the brick wall.
Can you soundproof a shared wall?
Yes, you can soundproof a shared wall by insulating them with the right materials. In simple words, you need mass to insulate your walls against airborne sounds.
It is not uncommon to hear voices through shared walls. Sounds from your neighbors’ home can easily travel to your home and the same goes for you. To soundproof a shared wall, you can try adding double drywall. Most importantly, sealing the holes and cracks is the first thing you need to do to soundproof a shared wall.
Is brick good for soundproofing?
Yes, bricks are one of the best natural insulators and insulate your home from external noise. They restrict the passage of external noise but are not a complete soundproofing solution.
The thick and hard surface of bricks gives a rise to resonance as the indoor sounds bounce back into the room by reflection. In general, brick walls are certainly more soundproof than ordinary drywall.
Further modifications can be made to improve the bricks’ soundproofing qualities such as using a double brick wall or adding acoustic panels.
Additionally, mass-loaded vinyl is also an excellent fix to insulate brick walls. They add extra mass to the structure and also help minimize resonance.
How do you block sound through walls?
- Build homes with brick walls
- Use noise-reducing drywall
- Insulate home interior walls
- Seal the holes and cracks in your walls
- Use white noise machines and fans
Why can I hear my neighbors through walls?
The sounds you hear in your home usually travel through the air and are referred to as airborne sounds. Music, voices, and TV sounds are all examples of airborne sounds.
When the airborne sounds from your neighbors hit the walls of your house, they resonate with the same frequency. This vibration energy penetrates through drywall with ease and that’s why you hear your neighbors through walls.