Soundproof Your Rental Units with These 4 Tips

When neighbors are noisy, apartment life can be hell. Virtually all of us have experienced the frustration that comes with loud neighbors. From sports fans shouting at their favorite team playing on television to dogs barking to late night parties, these intrusions can be truly infuriating. A good landlord knows that soundproofing walls will go a long way to prevent conflict between tenants. But how to go about soundproofing? Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management has four tips for you. Follow them and you’ll be on your way to peace and quiet in your community!

  1. Check your heat ducts and vents.  Sound waves travel like water, and the waves are constantly looking for the path of least resistance. When voices and other noises travel though duct work, though, they can become amplified by the hollow metal space. Acoustical insulation can help keep this echoing effect to a minimum. Landlords should also consider replacing duct work near vents with lined duct work and lined grills.
  2. Install thick carpet and carpet pads. Many downstairs neighbors grow frustrated by the footfalls of the residents above them. Even if the tenant isn’t stomping around, thin carpets and hardwood floors carry every small sound. Consider investing in thick carpets and carpet pads to help mask the sounds.
  3. Install fiberglass insulation. Though not a quick, easy or cheap option, this insulation can help save on energy bills on top of limit the sounds that travel between rental units.
  4. Install pre-built doors and windows designed for soundproofing. While this sounds like quite the investment, the specialized soundproof equipment can go a long way to prevent tenant conflict for years after the initial installation process.

If you’re not in a place where you can afford a bunch of soundproofing upgrades right now, it can help to talk with noisy tenants. Many times, they don’t even realize they’re being overly loud. There are many ways tenants can help to soundproof their own spaces, too. Pictures, tapestries and draperies can help absorb noise coming from an apartment. For extra sensitive tenants tired of hearing from their neighbors, suggest a white, pink or brown noise machine for their apartment. Though these devices can get expensive at the high end of the market, a simple bluetooth speaker and an iPhone app are all you need to start blocking out noisy neighbors!

— Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management