In the city dwellings of densely-packed Singapore, it is rare to find a home that is truly peaceful and quiet. You might have to deal with your neighbour’s barking dog, or the noise of stray cats in your estate. Sometimes, unruly neighbours or playful children also present an earful. Most times, these can be tolerated – but if you often have trouble sleeping or working due to the noise, you might need some solutions to block off the noise.
Professional soundproofing for a home is expensive, but there are some things you can do to help with the noise without going all out. You might be surprised – did you know that curtains can play a part too?
1. Seal the gaps on your door
Sealing your room off to the outside will help to block off noise quite substantially. One key area to work on are the gaps under the door. While professional-grade solutions will require the installation of heavy double-layered doors, you can try the cheaper option of sealing off your door using rubber sweeps. Of course, these will not achieve the same effect as a proper soundproof door, but it should do the trick for minimising everyday noises. As an added benefit, these door sweeps also help to keep drafts, bugs, and dust out.
2. Cover hard surfaces with something soft
Soft surfaces are ideal for insulating a room from noise, as these absorb sound instead of deflecting them. Covering the floor with a large, thick rug can contribute to your soundproofing. For walls, you can use acoustic foam or mass-loaded vinyl sheets. These are especially useful if your main noise source is coming from a room directly adjacent to you. You can also think creatively and use existing materials in your home to cover your walls. A floor-to-ceiling bookshelf is awesome for thickening your wall, or you could hang up blankets or curtains along the walls as well.
3. Use the right window treatments
Windows are also a big culprit for letting noise in. If you want to quieten a room, closing the windows is not enough. Some heavy curtains will be immensely helpful to absorb some of the noise. While there are soundproof and theatre-grade curtains around, these are often very expensive. For a cheaper alternative, you can find blackout curtains in Singapore quite readily as a good and affordable substitute for actual soundproof curtains. To further enhance the defence offered by curtains, you can seal the edges with velcro so that the curtains stick flush against the wall.
Although not foolproof, these 3 tips will go a long way in dampening the noise in your room without requiring you to spend a lot on renovations. Most of the items you need are easily obtainable at your DIY store, curtain store, or even right at home! If you are facing a noise problem, these might be just the solution for you so that you can finally sleep or work in peace. Try them out for yourself and see how well they work!