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Sound Insulation Testing 101: What You Need to Know to Pass the Test


Sound Insulation Testing 101: What You Need to Know to Pass the Test

Sound insulation testing is known by other names such as acoustic testing, pre-completion testing, soundproof testing, and so on, but regardless of the term used, what is important is that it is a requirement for new buildings and dwellings as per Document E or Part E of the Building Regulations for England and Wales. Whatever property you may have under construction, if sound testing is required for it, you should know how to properly prepare for the test so that the results will be in your favour. But what should you know about sound testing, and, more importantly, what do you need to know so your dwelling or building can pass the test? Let’s find out.

The two kinds of sound insulation tests

There are two kinds of sound insulation tests, one being the airborne test and the other being the impact test. Depending on your property, either of the tests can be performed, but typical dwelling places will usually have both tests done depending on their size and floor area as well. 

The airborne test is performed on floors and ceilings and walls between different dwellings. The test will measure the level of sound that can be transmitted in the air, and most sound testing companies will do the test with a loudspeaker that can generate white noise on one partition, and the noise level will be measured with the use of a decibel meter placed on the other side to show how much sound has been lost travelling through both partitions. Some examples of noise transmitted via the air include television noise, noise from conversations, and so on. 

The impact test, on the other hand, is performed on separate ceilings or floors that divide dwelling spaces. Impact tests can measure the noise levels transmitted via a separate construction through impact. With the use of a tapping machine (the machine drops hammers made of metal on the floor in order to generate noise), specialists in sound insulation testing can measure the sound that passes through each partition, with the additional use of a decibel meter placed on the other side of the division. 

All the tests can only be completed on rooms or areas which are considered habitable. These include bedrooms, living rooms, open-plan living spaces and kitchens, and lounges. The findings of each test will be included in a report, and the report you receive should follow Building Control to help sign off on your development or dwelling.

What you can do to pass the test

Of course, it is in your best interest to pass the test, but it is also recommended that the test be performed as early as possible so you can more easily fix whatever needs to be fixed before further construction takes place. For you to have a higher chance of passing the test, you should make sure that all your windows, doors, and their respective seals are already fitted, and you are able to close them, and your electrical fixtures and fittings are already working.

You should also make sure you have 240V power in the rooms, and if there are any gaps in the floors and walls, you should properly seal them as well. Your ceilings and walls should also be appropriately plastered, and you should ensure that the testers have access to all the rooms on all the levels of the structure.

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