Many contractors already offer spray foam as a building and remodeling solution for energy efficiency, structural support and overall home comfort. But what some may not know is that spray foam insulation can double as both insulation and a sound barrier for noise control. Homeowners want the most for their money, and offering spray foam insulation as a sound deadening measure provides a great value to offer as a multi-solution product.

Oftentimes, traditional sound barriers require an extra step in the construction process, resulting in a "nice-to-have," but not "necessary" feature. Choosing to use spray foam instead of applying vinyl sound barrier products to walls or ceilings after insulation has been applied, allows contractors to tackle both in one simple application process. This can help save time for contractors and money for homeowners, while increasing the home's overall comfort.

Where Should A Sound Barrier Product Be Applied?

Applying a sound barrier product differs slightly from applying a product strictly as an insulation material. When applying insulation, some of the most effective spots to insulate for thermal efficiency include rim joists, attics and crawl spaces, in addition to walls. When applying a sound barrier product, such as Handi-Foam Sound Barrier, areas that require quiet or are known to produce high noise levels are great places to start. Those applications could include:

  • Interior walls
  • Home office walls
  • Media rooms
  • Play rooms

When working with the homeowner on areas for sound proofing, consider walls that are part of high-traffic areas, such as living rooms and play rooms. Additionally, rooms where noise control is vital, such as sleeping areas and office space, are key areas to apply a sound barrier to help achieve that overall comfort the homeowner is looking for.

What Do The Ratings Mean?

When choosing a product for sound barrier applications, there are two ratings you should consider.

  • Sound Transmission Class: The STC rating indicates how well a wall assembly blocks airborne sound.
  • Noise Reduction Coefficient: The NRC is a single number index for rating how absorptive a material is.

Many homeowners with walls without an applied sound barrier complain of noise and describe their walls as "paper thin." Using a spray foam insulation product, like the Handi-Foam sound barrier product, can help achieve an STC rating of 35 and a NRC of .70 at 3-inch thickness, greatly deadening noise transmissions and increasing homeowner overall comfort.

Choosing The Right Product

When choosing a spray foam insulation product, look for low-density, open cell foam that allows enough absorption to provide sound deadening. Because spray foam insulation is a sealant, it is an excellent material for sound deadening, as it literally seals out sounds and blocks their path to the ear.

Open cell spray foam has an open cell structure with cells filled with air and is a soft and flexible foam. The chemical composition of open cell spray foam dramatically reduces air leakage, lowering heating and cooling cost, in addition to the noise control benefit.

Another key area to look for in product choice is to choose sound barrier products that are environmentally friendly in your projects. Because contractors are spraying in residences, choose a product that emits low volatile organic compounds. There are several certifications for environmentally friendly products, but one of the most commonly known is GreenGuard Certification. Products that are certified meet some of the world's most comprehensive standards for low emissions of VOCs, helping to identify products that contribute to the creation of healthier indoor environments.

What Are My Next Steps

With energy efficiency on the mind of every homeowner, now is the perfect time to add spray foam insulation to your contracting business if you haven't already. Homeowners are looking for ways to efficiently achieve comfort, while minimizing utility costs. Sound control is an added benefit that is an easy sell to any homeowner already looking to increase efficiency in their home, or renovate to new standards.

Choosing a reliable manufacturer can help get your employees properly trained on safety precautions and product knowledge quickly and thoroughly, while providing you a high quality product on time.

If you've already added spray foam to your business offering, great. Check out products that help you deliver results to your clients.

As always, proper personal protective equipment should be used when handling any spray polyurethane products, and they should be used by professionals only.