Mobile homes are significantly impacted by noise. After you’ve upgraded everything else in your home, you may wish to address the issue of noise pollution. Even if you have the most excellent home entertainment system in place, it’ll be difficult to enjoy yourself if distracting noise is present.
We can’t hold mobile homes to the same standard as regular houses, as the two are constructed using different materials and processes. They’re also priced quite differently from one another, for the same reasons. Mobile homes don’t provide the same level of sound insulation as traditional houses, due to the materials utilized, which consist of mainly wood, drywall and vinyl siding.
One of the first things people are concerned about when purchasing a mobile home is privacy and noise. Thin walls are a particular source of worry if you plan to live in a mobile home park, as loud neighbors could disturb your serenity. Below, to help assuage your concerns, we’ll walk you through the process of coping with the problem of thin walls.
You might decide to use a couple of tried-and-true techniques of soundproofing a mobile home to keep the noise out. These include:
- Adding extra structure (walls, doors, windows and more) to make the mobile home denser.
- Ensuring that any holes or voids are filled up (these are usually found between the door and its frame and between each window and its frame).
There’s no significant difference between soundproofing a house or an apartment and soundproofing a mobile home, but some methods will be more convenient than others. For example, it’s more practical to soundproof mobile homes by using thinner materials such as fiberglass or mass-loaded vinyl (MLV), instead of using huge mineral wool boards.
Within the walls of mobile homes, there are typically no joists (studs) present, and if there are any, they aren’t as widely spaced as they would be in conventional walls. Therefore, if you’d like to install acoustic panels directly on a wall, it’s best to use thinner panels instead of thicker ones that’ll add too much bulk and minimize the room’s dimensions.
With that in mind, here are the basics steps to soundproofing your mobile home.
Soundproof the Door
Sealing any holes or fractures in the door and its frame is essential. Gaps are most often discovered in two places: between the door and the frame, and beneath the door. Although they might be pretty tiny openings, any open areas of this kind enable sound to travel through. It’s best to use inexpensive weatherstripping tape to seal them shut.
To do so, close the door and tape over the areas of the frame that have gaps when the door is closed, until there are no gaps left. Following that, use a low-cost silicone door sweep to fill in the space between the door and the floor. These are self-adhesive, so they’re quite easy to install, although you’ll need to screw yours into the bottom portion of the doorframe. The method is inexpensive and straightforward, but it’ll have a significant effect on the noise level.
You can also seal the spaces between each window and its frame by using the same weatherstripping tape, which you’ll be able to pick up at most home improvement stores.
We recommend that you add acoustic panels to the inside of the door to soundproof it from the outside. There are many types of panels available, designed to suit particular noise levels. Fiberglass panels are the most effective choice when you’re dealing with loud noise, particularly noise caused by vibrations caused by a washer, a dryer, an engine, road traffic and more.
Another alternative for soundproofing your door(s) is covering each one with a fiberglass blanket. Suspend it from the ceiling above each door with hooks and anchors, so that it fully covers the entrance. Fiberglass blankets are simple to remove, should you ever feel the need to.
Soundproof the Windows
When it comes to soundproofing windows, there are a few options to choose from. For instance, you can place thick, noise-blocking drapes in front of a window, or install a new window panel to double its density. If you go this route, acrylic windows are the best for noise reduction. Even better, you can build a window plug or install storm windows made of E-coating glass to reduce noise.
Soundproof the Walls
Walls cover a large surface area within a mobile home, so you must ensure that you use the appropriate material and install it correctly. There are a variety of soundproofing options available to you, including:
Soundproofing panels made of foam minimize echoes in a room and absorb airborne noise, such as the sounds of people talking or yelling and the sound of passing cars. They don’t affect the noise that originates from structures, which is also known as impact noise and is produced by vibrations. Nonetheless, if you’re solely concerned with airborne noise, using these is a reasonable solution.
Fiberglass panels are excellent for blocking out both forms of noise (airborne and impact). They’re also smaller than foam panels, which means they’ll take up less space in any room. They’re more costly, though, so be sure to measure the length and note the cost before purchasing them. It’s a good idea to use these to soundproof the door of your mobile home, along with a smaller room or wall, if possible.
MLV has been in use since the 1960s and is suitable for any significant soundproofing project, such as soundproofing your vehicles to keep road and engine noise from getting into the cabin. If your mobile home is a motorhome, it’ll likewise function flawlessly as a soundproofing tool.
Depending on your preferences, you may install MLV within a wall or on top of the wall. Aesthetically speaking, it’s preferable to embed it into a wall, rather than affixing it to the outside, due to its lower visual appeal than acoustic panels. If you have an older mobile home, the walls are likely composed of drywall, VOG (vinyl over gypsum) or wood panels, if the cabin is made of wood. To install mass-loaded vinyl within a wall, you’ll need to remove the first layer of the wall before doing so.
Since you can apply MLV to any surface, even a ceiling, it’s a fantastic choice for interior design. You can also install it within a hollow door to increase the soundproofing properties of the door.
Soundproof the Floor and Other Areas
It’s essential to apply material that blocks impact noise on your mobile home’s floor, in order to effectively soundproof it. Mass-loaded vinyl will serve this purpose, too.
Sound deadeners are another excellent alternative, since they absorb vibrations and sounds that pass through them. Sound deadeners are commonly used to minimize road noise, engine noise and exhaust noise. They’re also used to halt annoying rattles and remove or lessen vibrations. In regard to home entertainment systems, this product can improve the audio quality, increase the bass and reduce vibrational distortion. Using a sound deadener to calm vibrations within your mobile home may decrease the total sound level by up to three decibels.
This is the most effective soundproofing material you can use inside automobiles, including the engine compartment, the trunk and the cabin. It’ll help even if you use it on the floor and in the engine compartment only. Once you apply a sound deadener to the floor of a vehicle, you can cover it with a rug, interlocking floor tiles or other decorative items.
Insights and Conclusions
You’re under no obligation to soundproof your whole mobile home, but if you want to soundproof a single room, such as a bedroom or a toilet area, follow the procedures above within that particular room. Furthermore, you may want to start by soundproofing just the entrance, or only the window(s), and seeing how that goes before you proceed with any other areas. Even minor soundproofing improvements will make a difference in the long run.
Before ordering any soundproofing materials, be sure to take measurements of the space you wish to soundproof. You don’t have to be extremely specific, but you do need to estimate the number of acoustic panels (or the amount of mass-loaded vinyl, or any alternative material) you’ll need to cover the space. If your budget allows, consider purchasing a bit of extra material, just to be on the safe side if you make a mistake during installation. That way, you won’t have to worry about running out of material halfway through a job.
Impact noise, such as road and engine noise, necessitates the use of strong materials. As mentioned above, foam panels don’t muffle impact noise, only airborne noise. If you wish to suppress impact noise, opt for mass-loaded vinyl or fiberglass.
If you decide to use acoustic panels, instead of attaching them directly to a wall, you can also use hanging strips to attach them, which will save you time and money. You might use nails or screws to fasten mass-loaded vinyl to a wall, though you can also use a general-purpose spray adhesive or a soundproofing adhesive from a reputable manufacturer. According to some specialists, you may be able to affix soundproofing material to an entire wall by using adhesive only.
Whatever you do, don’t depend on low-cost, handmade solutions to solve your noise problems. Some people believe that using egg cartons to soundproof a room is possible, but scientific experiments have shown that they’ll only minimally diminish the presence of echoes, instead of actually absorbing noise. Plus, egg cartons and other paper-thin materials can contribute to the threat of fire, especially if they cover an entire room.