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Q. Dot and Dab plasterboard for soundproofing- is it any good?

The quick and simple answer to this question is that adhesive fixing dot and dab plasterboard to block work and brickwork walls will do very little to improve the acoustic performance of your party wall and should be avoided as it can actually have a detrimental effect.

Over the past 30 years this fixing method has replaced most lining systems in domestic and commercial properties due to the speed and drying times of which it can be installed. It is a fantastic high-speed installation and can be ready to tape and joint or plaster skim within a couple of hours of being installed. The downside to this is that the light weight construction and resonating cavities that are created are causing huge issues across the housing sector.

We visit many homes that have recently had new kitchen extensions added with a builders attempt at soundproofing from the neighbours property.

Often the conversation will begin that the property had only had minimal issues with soundproofing before but upon completion of the extension works and the addition of dot and dab technique plasterboard fixing to the party wall that the noise has now dramatically changed inside the area and is causing problems.

There can be many reasons for this but in many cases we find that the builder who carried out the work used this method assuming that the sound block plasterboard on its own would be enough to block the neighbours noises. Unfortunately they technique used actually traps sound and channels the noise very effectively across the treated walls. This coupled with new untreated RSJ, soil pipe and ducting boxings in you have a recipe for a soundproofing failure.

The solution.

The stripping out of a recently completed extension, new build or remodelled wall is not exactly top of most homeowners lists but unfortunately in most cases this is essential to making sure that the soundproofing will be completed to the correct standard on the second visit. We also need to look at how me still work and flanking the walls may have been treated to ensure the best possible installation.

This can be done using a system that employs the key elements of absorption, separation and mass. These will typically be done with a combination of materials such as mineral wool, Tecsound membrane, 15mm SoundBloc plasterboard, Clip and furring channels either direct to the wall or on an isolated timber stud frame.

To summarise- if you are thinking of doing renovation works and are considering dot and dab to treat any of the block work/ brickwork surfaces in your home then please call us first for advice as removing and replacing theses works will prove far more costly and disruptive.

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