Sheds serve a lot of purposes. Some use it to park vehicles while some utilize a shed to learn a guitar, drum. Some might plan building a recording studio in a shed. If you reside in a noisy place and your shed receives unwanted noise all day, it might be difficult to use the shed for learning purposes. In that case, soundproofing a shed for drums or learning music becomes necessary.
It needs to be mentioned that soundproofing a shed is different from soundproofing a room or building. In the latter case, there’s a solid structure to start with. On the contrary, sheds aren’t always made up of brick or other materials. They also don’t have the perfect finish and contain a lot of cracks, holes, and gaps. This means, soundproofing a garden shed involves a lot more than soundproofing a building or a room.
One must also know that 100% soundproofing is impossible to achieve. Some amount of noise will enter and escape. What’s possible is drastically reducing the amount of noise entering the room. If you are interested in finding out the various ways to soundproof a shed, you have come to the right place. Continue reading below to know more.
7 Steps To Soundproof A Shed
Before you proceed with the various soundproofing methods, you ought to know how comprehensively do you want to carry out this task. If you intend to use your shed for sound recording and make it soundproof enough for that purpose, it will be expensive. Creating a soundproof backyard music studio will also be a time taking process.
On the other hand, if you merely intend to reduce the amount of noise entering the garden shed, the task would be easier and less expensive. We have given a detailed account of the various steps you must follow to make your shed soundproof.
Seal Up All Gaps
Needless to say, the first step to this task would be to identify the holes, leaks, and cracks from where sound enters without any obstruction. This is the first and last step to building a soundproof shed. To make the shed as soundproof as possible, you must first make it airtight. Sheds usually tend to have a lot of gaps and cracks. Inspect the door frames, window frames, flooring, etc. Repair any crack, gap, or hole, if spotted, before proceeding to the next set of soundproofing steps.
To seal the gaps, you must use a good-quality acoustic caulk. It’s specially manufactured to seal gaps completely and prevent sound vibrations from passing through. The best part is a good-quality acoustic caulk remains effective for several years.
Cover The Shed Floor
Believe it or not, sound vibrations can pass through the floor too and create unwanted noises. Usually, people overlook the flooring and soundproof the walls, doors, and windows. As a result, they fail soundproof shed. If you are reading this guide, remember not to repeat the same mistake. There are several ways to soundproof the flooring of the shed. Let’s go through the methods one by one.
This is the cheapest and easiest way to block sound vibrations from passing through the floor. You don’t have to buy a new carpet for this purpose. If you find some old rags and carpets that are of no use, utilize them now! The thicker the layering, the better would be the results. Not only will carpeting prevent outside noise from entering, but also would obstruct sound from escaping.
The next material one can use to soundproof the floor of a shed is a soundproofing mat. These mats are specially designed to soundproof any surface. These are expensive, but worth your investment. For best results, experts advise homeowners to buy soundproofing mats. They are available in a variety of shades and qualities. Choose one that caters to your requirements. For better soundproofing effects, some people place a soundproofing mat first and layer it with a carpet.
If you have time, you can also opt to install a false floor. These kinds of floors are usually made up of plywood plates. You have to buy several pieces of such plates and call a professional to fit them properly.
Combining all three options
What experts advise is to combine the various soundproofing options available, whenever possible. In this case, laying a false floor first. Then spreading a soundproofing mat across the floor and layering it up with a carpet would be the best solution.
Soundproof the walls
Though sound waves can enter through the floor, the maximum amount of sound enters from the walls, doors, and windows. Therefore, when you intend to soundproof your garden shed, you must soundproof the walls properly.
First cover the walls with mass loaded vinyl (MLV), then add acoustic foam over MLV. This combo is an effective soundproofing method.
Acoustic foams have become quite popular nowadays. They are available in big square sizes and provide maximum insulation against sound waves. They have a sticky back, which makes them easy to be placed on the wall.
However, they are costly. If you are looking for low-priced soundproofing items, you can buy ordinary insulation foam from the market and paste them on the walls. They would reduce the incoming noise but not as perfectly as acoustic foams.
The acoustic foams are made up of specialized materials that are soft and spongy. As a result, the sound waves that strike acoustic foams bounce off the surface and strike another surface. Gradually, their intensity dies out and the sound becomes faint. Another great feature of these insulating foams is that they collect dust easily, reducing your task. Apart from walls, one can also place them over doors and ceiling.
Soundproof the windows
Windows are again a major source of noise entering the room. Even if you keep them closed all the time, they have gaps, cracks, and holes which allow noise to pass through easily. Therefore, it’s important to seal the existing holes and gaps first. Once you are done with that, paste plastic sheets to the window’s surface.
The sheets form a layer on top of the glass, making it tougher for noise to enter and escape. You mustn’t forget to inspect the rubber seal and see if it’s in good condition. If not, you must replace it immediately as a lot of air can pass through a loose rubber seal.
When talking about soundproofing windows, there are a lot of appropriate items available in the market. They are as follows:
Soundproof curtains and blankets
This is the fastest solution. All you have to do is hang a few soundproof curtains from the window and you are done. These curtains are effective because they have a layer of soundproof material that captures the sound waves that pass through them. Eventually, the material prevents sound from reaching your ears. Not just sound, these soundproofing blankets, and curtains also reduce the echo inside any room effectively.
The next option one can try is using window plugs. There are different types of plugs available. Some are plastic plugs while some are glass window plugs. Experts suggest homeowners use the latter for better soundproofing results.
One can also use a weather strip to seal the window frames and holes. Not only does it prevent outside noise from entering but also stops the rain from entering your room. There are various types of weatherstrips available online.
Soundproof the door
Just like windows, doors too, are a major entry point for sound waves. Usually shed doors don’t have any rubber seal due to which sound and air can pass and escape through the holes and cracks. Therefore it’s important to seal the existing cracks and gaps first.
Instead of inspecting the door carefully to find out the holes and gaps, you can cover the entire door with a plastic sheet. This will make the work easier and faster. Around the door frames, you can attach a rubber seal for better soundproofing results. Also remember to cover key locks, as sound can pass and escape through them. You can refer to the soundproofing solutions mentioned below for more prominent results:
Use a weather strip
We already mentioned how doors and windows have cracks, holes, and gaps all over. One can use a weatherstrip to seal all existing holes on doors as well.
Hang soundproof blankets
One can also hang soundproofing blankets on doors to prevent unwanted noise from entering the shed. They are available in a variety of sizes. If required, cut it to the required size and hang them from the top. A good aspect about these blankets is that they can be easily removed once their purpose is over.
Use acoustic foam panels
We have already talked about acoustic foam panels at the beginning of this guide. One can attach the panels to the door as well. You simply need to clean them regularly to ensure their longevity.
Utilize damping methods
If you have researched a bit about soundproofing ever, you must know that there are four ways in which soundproofing works. One extremely effective method is a process called damping. In this process, the kinetic energy of sound waves is transferred into heat. The mechanism might sound complicated but your work is pretty simple.
All you have to do is create a “sandwich effect ” by using two insulation panels and a damping compound. As of now, Green Glue is the best compound available in the market. It can be used between drywall, resilient channels, plywood, MDF, and rigid paneling. To create the sandwich effect, one needs to buy readymade drywall from the market. By using the drywall along with a damping compound, a secluded “room within a room” is created.
This sandwich structure prevents sound waves from entering not only by the damping method but also by decoupling. When you attach an additional layer of drywall to the already existing wall, you separate the two walls. That’s so because you don’t nail them together. Instead, the inner wall is connected to a decoupler, which is in turn connected to studs. By the time the sound waves pass through the outer wall, they lose much of their intensity.
Don’t forget the ceiling
Oftentimes people forget about the ceiling and think their soundproofing project is complete. If you want a good soundproof shed, you must pay attention to the ceiling. For soundproofing the roof, one can use the same methods one used to soundproof walls.
For instance, one must insulate the roof, as he did to the walls. First cover the roof with mass loaded vinyl (MLV), then add acoustic foam over it. If you use plasterboard, you might not get desired results. A lot of people also use egg crates. However, we suggest homeowners use acoustic foam panels. They greatly reduce outside noise from entering the room through the roof.
If you have attached acoustic foam panels to the ceiling, you must clean it and take good care. Cleaning is necessary to prevent dust from settling inside the panels.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are different steps one needs to do to soundproof a shed workshop. Even if you implement a few of the methods listed above, you would get the desired results. After you have finished soundproofing every part of the shed, you must give it a final inspection. Once that’s done, you are ready to test your new shed! You would instantly feel that your shed is quieter and calmer than before, something that you would definitely love.