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Soundproofing vs Sound Dampening a Room: What’s the Difference?

injection foam insulation | spray foam insulation | existing home insulation

Soundproofing vs Sound Dampening a Room: What’s the Difference? Blog Feature
Amanda Ringler

By: Amanda Ringler on July 16th, 2018

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Neighbors yelling, dogs barking, noise from the highway, and kids playing are just some of the sounds that make you want to soundproof rooms in your home.

Did you know foam insulation can help keep that noise down with its sound dampening qualities?

The first thing you need to know about reducing noise is the difference between soundproofing a room and sound dampening a room. We know quite a bit about this as many homeowners contact us about reducing airborne noise in their home.

Homeowners need to have the right expectations when it comes to controlling sound in their home. They should have clear goals in mind of what they want to accomplish and then review the appropriate sound deadening or sound proofing solution that will meet their needs.

Now, let’s break down the differences between soundproofing and sound dampening.

RELATED: RetroFoam Customer Sees, Hears, and Feels Benefits of Foam Insulation

Soundproofing vs Sound Dampening

If a room is soundproof, it means it is impervious to sound.

Sound dampening works a little differently. For example, if you update the insulation in your exterior walls with injection foam can reduce sound transmission by up to 80 percent. It doesn’t eliminate the noise completely, but it does greatly reduce it.

If you’re looking to completely, 100 percent soundproof a room, then you need acoustic sound panels, noise and isolation foams, sound barrier materials, and noise absorbers, just to name some of the materials, according to Super Soundproofing Co.

Foam Insulation as a Sound Deadening Solution

If you have a new build home or a pole barn, you can start the sound dampening off right during the building process. Open cell spray foam has the same sound dampening qualities as injection foam. It’s great to use in your new home because it will dampen the sounds of the TV, talking, as well as flanking noises like sounds originating from within the walls like toilets flushing and showers running.

If you are putting up a pole barn, then you can also use open cell spray foam to dampen the sound coming from your workshop. Open cell is more commonly suggested in pole barns when the walls are going to be covered when compared to closed cell spray foam.

It’s important to note that closed cell spray foam doesn’t have the same sound dampening qualities as open cell.

There are other things you can do with the addition of foam insulation that works to greatly reduce airborne noise.

Upgrades like acoustic curtains and double-pain windows. Ensuring the spaces around doors and windows are sealed will also help cut down on the amount of noise transmitted into your home.

Other Benefits of Foam Insulation

You’re worried now about the outside sound in your home, but what about other comfort issues?

You know what to do about the sound now, but there are several signs and symptoms your home is in need of an insulation upgrade. Check out our checklist to see if sound is not the only insulation-related problem you’re experiencing.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of foam insulation, check out the Learning Center on our website.


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About Amanda Ringler

Amanda previously has worked as a breaking news and crime reporter, TV news producer, and editor in Flint and Detroit. Throughout her career as a journalist, she has won several awards from The Society of Professional Journalists - Detroit Chapter and the Michigan Press Association. As part of the RetroFoam of Michigan family, Amanda uses her experience as a journalist to write content that will help educate homeowners on the benefits of foam insulation. When Amanda isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and rescued huskies. She also loves knitting, making art, cooking, and hosting dinner and a movie night for friends and family.