Can I Soundproof My Townhouse So I Can't Hear My Neighbors?

Submitted By
Tom Kraeutler
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1 expert, 1 community
Q:

I live in a townhouse.  There is a steel I-beam that run through the basements of all the houses in my row. This I-beam seems to carry a lot of noise.  When I'm down in the basement, I can hear the conversations that my neighbors two doors down are having, and my next door neighbor can hear every word of the books on tape I listen to down there.  How can I insulate the I-beam so that the sounds don't travel so much? By the way, property values have plummeted in our city lately, so the cheaper I can do this, the better!

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I live in an apartment and have the same issue with a double I-beam running along the top of a wall and into an adjacent apartment. The two I-beams next to each other creates a metal tunnel through which all sound travels. Probably both ways. I desperately want a fix too but I have a feeling it will be limited to attaching sound absorbing material to the beam to decrease resonance...I'm no expert though.

I hope someone else responds!

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