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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Lightbulb Exterior sound proofing?

    What is the best material to use for sound proofing outside? I am going to be buying a generator and want to build something to muffle as much noise as possible. Please don't worry about venting/exhaust/ect. I'm just looking to use the best materials possible right now. I was thinking of brick with a one inch gap and then another wall of brick. In the one inch gap I would use sand. I was thinking of using traditional interior sound proofing drywall but the moisture would probably ruin it over time. I understand that nothing will be 100%. I'm just looking for the most bang for the buck. Any ideas would be appreciated

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: Exterior sound proofing?

    I wouldn't worry so much about the noise, especially if you place the generator in a small double brick building.

    What I would worry about is theft. In Sandy, thieves noticed which house had lights and stole generators from unsuspecting homeowners.

    Secure your generators in such a way, as it was an ATM machine...

  3. #3
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    Apr 2012
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    Post Re: Exterior sound proofing?

    Yes that is already being taken care of. What I'm concerned about now is the noise level

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
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    Default Re: Exterior sound proofing?

    Put a good muffler on the generator. The ones that come on the generator aren't very good and degrade quickly with time and use. You could go to a muffler shop and have the exhaust pipe on the generator modified to accept a muffler from a car. Then the generator won't be a louder than your car idling in the driveway.

    To completely control the noise, you will need about 8' or more of exhaust pipe attached to the muffler. It is easier to control the noise at its source then further away.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    203

    Smile Re: Exterior sound proofing?

    Yes I'm looking into using a car muffler. Was thinking about trying the Smart car muffler because they are so small. I am also going to have the exhaust go straight up in the air (like a semi-tractor trailer exhaust).

    The problem is that most of the noise comes from the engine block, so I still need to build something...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Tennessee
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    Default Re: Exterior sound proofing?

    Your brick wall has some merit. But brick is a little pricy. I think you could save some money by using concrete or cinder block for the interior wall. I have seen a 4x8x16 block with the holes in the middle, looks like a regular block only compressed for thickness. These have a slightly less "live" surface than brick so would absorb more sound. Then brick on the outside for appearance, but if appearance is not an issue, another layer of block.

    If it is all capped off, then you might consider vermiculite or those little balls of cinder that gardeners use in potting soil instead of sand, but sand would work too. Also if appearance is an issue, you still could use block on the outside but cover it with a siding screwed directly to the block.

    But all of this could limit your access to the generator for maintenance so consider this. 4x8x16 solid block to form a foundation. Then pressure treated 3/4" plywood to make a box around the generator. Make a top from PT plywood with PT 1x4 to form a lip around the edge that overhangs the sides of the box, but the top just sits on the box, it does not need to be attached with fasteners.

    Put a hole in the top and attach a section of insulated chimney pipe, 4" dia by 2' high should be enough. Again, attach a car muffler to the exhaust of the motor and have the exhaust pipe extend up into the chimney pipe just a little. Put a cap on the chimney pipe to keep rain water out and a small vent hole in the bottom for fumes and any water that does get in.



    This is my well cover, but you get the idea. You might even want to vent through the side instead of the top. It take two people to access but it is full access when I need to. In fact I just had to replace the tank and it was 2" taller than the old one, that is the reason for the new 4x4 around the base between the blocks and the box.

    For maintenance, you lift the top off the box, then you can lift the rest of the box off the foundation and you have full access to the generator. The plywood will absorb a lot of sound. You could even line the inside of the box with acoustic ceiling panels if you need more sound insulation. It would be protected by the box.
    Last edited by keith3267; 12-13-2012 at 01:39 PM. Reason: add the picture

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    203

    Post Re: Exterior sound proofing?

    Quote Originally Posted by keith3267 View Post
    Your brick wall has some merit. But brick is a little pricy. I think you could save some money by using concrete or cinder block for the interior wall.
    THANK YOU so much Keith for your excellent suggestions. I went to Loews to see how much cinder block costs, and to my surprise they even list sound proofing as a feature.

    Loews Cinder Block

    I won't have room for two walls of it, but one wall of cinder block filled with a mixture of vermiculite and sand should work pretty good. Then I'll cover it with PT plywood. I'll also be filling the house walls with insulation. Of course the best way to sound proof is to use a generator that doesn't produce much noise to being with, so I am looking into getting a Honda generator as they are fairly quiet to begin with. I just don't know at this time if I can afford one, but they last longer and work better than standard generators so it's well worth it to save up for one. I have around 3 months to research the sound proofing but I think your suggestions would solve a lot of problems. I won't need an enclosure, I just need to prepare one wall. I'll try and post a diagram of where I'm going to be installing the generator. It's in this one corner of the house, but because of its shape I really just need to put a floor, roof and door in to enclose the generator. This way even when the weather is bad it will still be easy to access the generator.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    254

    Default Re: Exterior sound proofing?

    You may want to check out Auto claved Aerated Concrete block.
    ( AAC BLOCK )THese come in many sizes also panels with a stone texture finish and are light weight & fireproof

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    203

    Post Re: Exterior sound proofing?

    Thanks Clarence. Looks really hard to install but I'll research it more.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    NYC
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    2

    Post Re: Exterior sound proofing?

    [QUOTE=MyMilan;271832][FONT="Verdana"][SIZE="3"]What is the best material to use for sound proofing outside? I am going to be buying a generator and want to build something to muffle as much noise as possible. Please don't worry about venting/exhaust/ect. I'm just looking to use the best materials possible right now. I was thinking of brick with a one inch gap and then another wall of brick. In the one inch gap I would use sand. I was thinking of using traditional interior sound proofing drywall but the moisture would probably ruin it over time. I understand that nothing will be 100%. I'm just looking for the most bang for the buck. Any ideas would be appreciated are you using it for temporary electric? you have close living neighbor's is rain a factor

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