Can I Soundproof against Elevator Noise?

When you moved into your high-rise condo or apartment building you probably never imaged you’d have trouble with noise. Of course, the first night you spend listening to the sound of the elevator outside your unit going up and down has likely changed your mind. Elevators can, of course, be very noisy.

So what can you do if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of living right outside an elevator shaft? Before you can begin soundproofing you’ll need to determine exactly where what type of elevator noise you are listening to.

There are two types of elevator noise. The first type comes from the cable system and the motors attached to the elevator car itself – causing operating noise. The second type comes from the engine room itself, usually located on the top floor of the building in question – causing either engine noise or flanking noise as the elevator hits the top floor. Determining which type of noise you are soundproofing against will help you to determine what methods you are using.

It’s relatively easy to soundproof against operating noise. All you need to do is apply a layer of Green Glue to your existing surfaces, add a new layer of drywall, seal the seams with acoustical caulk, and repaint your walls. No one will even know you added the extra layer of material and it won’t affect the size of your room at all.

Noise caused by the engine room or the impact of the elevator on the top floor is a bit trickier. If this is your problem you might need to use more than one soundproofing material. You might use two layers of Green Glue instead of one (using 2 additional drywall layers) or you might want to float your walls with whisper clips to create an airtight pocket between two surfaces.

Either way, creating a sound barrier is essential to your ability to get a good night’s sleep in your new home. Finding yourself in the position of soundproofing your new home might seem inconvenient but in the end you’ll be glad you made the effort!

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