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Rockland County Roofing: Article About Roofing Materials

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When a house is located next to a busy road, school, retail center or other sources of noise, the owners may wonder which construction materials can be used to reduce the noise levels. While sound waves can travel through a home's windows, exterior walls and doors, the roof is another way that unwanted noise can affect the structure's residents. With expert guidance delivered by local Rockland County roofing contractors, homeowners can enjoy a quieter indoor environment as well as many other benefits.

Airplanes, construction and traffic are all environmental noises that travel into a home. Neighborhood sirens, barking dogs and lawn mowers add to the interior noise level as well. The type of sound waves that get into a home from outside are called structure-borne sounds because they pass through another material before reaching a person's eardrums. These waves radiate from their sources and decrease in amplitude by 50 percent each time the distance from the source doubles. Roofers can affect the sound transmission by using absorbing materials in the home's attic and on the underside of the roof.

One of the most effective ways to reduce sound absorption is by adding insulation. Softer materials do a better job at decreasing sound transmission than hard materials. For a homeowner, this means that installing a material such as fiberglass insulation within the attic can help to reduce noise from planes flying overhead or thunderclaps from the clouds.

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For the best results, roofers can place the insulation on the attic's floor. Rolled insulation can also be wrapped around structural beams and joists within the attic to lessen the impact of sounds transmitted through the materials and into the living spaces of the house.

Mineral fiber insulation is another good choice for homeowners who need to dampen outdoor sounds. It is ideal for use in an attic that is rarely accessed and not used as a living space. This is because the mineral fibers can become airborne if disturbed and may cause breathing problems if inhaled. This material is installed in the same way as fiberglass insulation in an attic.

Baffles are another helpful device for sound reduction. The baffles can be placed along the eaves of the roof line. Baffles perform the function of directing air movement through a home's attic. They can be aimed to direct sound waves toward absorbing materials like insulation and wood to decrease the amount of noise transmission. The baffles also stop insulation from clogging the vent openings when outdoor winds increase in speed.

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