Acoustical Sealant: Your Soundproofing Caulk Guide
If you are reading this, you must have found yourself in a situation where you are exposed to a huge noise that has been affecting your sleep, work and most importantly – your inner peace. That’s why you’ve decided to dare yourself on a quest and find the best possible solution to soundproof your home or office.
By now, you should have already located the source of the noise pollution and designed the whole soundproofing project (from the problem to the solution) and probably you have an idea where to find all the materials you need.
There’s just one question that's been bothering you – what's the best sealant you can find on the market? You want something that will be firm enough and that will ensure that all of your soundproofing materials stay in place and do their job flawlessly.
That’s why we will get familiar with the Acoustical Sealant and its characteristics that qualify it as the best.
What is Acoustical Sealant?
Acoustical Sealant or - how many call it – acoustical caulk is a unique soundproofing product that is necessary when it comes to completely soundproofing a room, house or office. The main advantage when using an acoustical sealant is its flexibility that remains the same throughout the time.
It’s not easy to visualize what ‘flexible’ actually looks like, so try imagining a sealant or a caulk that doesn’t harden, but stays fit between two or more soundproofing objects. The fact that it stays flexible guarantees keeping noise out of the room even after a long period.
Where can you use Acoustical Sealant?
This one is quite simple – you can apply it anywhere where you have two or more soundproofing objects. Whether it’s the joint between two drywall panels, or maybe between wall and floor. You can also use it around recessed lighting, electrical boxes and in soundproofing your doors and windows.
Bear in mind that the acoustical sealant can be used for sealing any crack that there exists and that after you apply it, you can use tape or spackle and apply it over the sealant.
How to use Acoustical Sealant?
By now, you already have a pretty much clear picture of the product and why it could be useful to you, but before saying yes and getting the acoustical caulk, you have to check whether you can apply it on your own. This step-by-step guide should help you gain confidence when it comes to using it.
1. Clean surfaces that should be sealed
Make sure that all surfaces that will be sealed are cleaned. Use basic cleaning equipment to wipe all the dust and dirt from surfaces in order to complete the first step.
2. Create an appropriately sized hole
In order to start using the acoustical sealant, first, you have to cut it open. This can be done by using any pair of scissors or a utility knife. Depending on the size of the surface you want to seal, cut bigger holes for higher surfaces or smaller for more narrow ones.
3. Apply Acoustical Caulk
Apply a small amount (usually about a quarter or half an inch drop) and smear it on the crack to seal it. The application can be done in various ways:
- One layer on both sides
- One layer on both sides with an addition of a bead under the sealant with an aim of a better seal
- Multiple layers of sealant with beads under each layer and a heavy bead under the plate – this method is used if you want to ensure a really excellent seal
Bear in mind that you can use acoustical sealant on both sides of the walls, windows, doors etc. If you wish to use it for electrical boxes or similar surfaces, just apply the sealant freely until you seal the crack.
4. Let it dry
It usually takes up to 48 hr for the acoustical sealant to dry so make sure you leave it for that long. This means not interfering with it during this period, and also not applying any covering material until it’s completely dry.
Be aware of the fact that for example “fixing up the door lock” might not be the soundproofing activity, but can still damage the acoustical sealant you applied on your door if you are not careful while it’s still wet.
5. Apply finishing products
After the acoustical caulk is dry, you can apply any finishing products you have in mind. They can be directly applied to the acoustical sealant - you don’t need to do any mid layer if not emphasized on some specific product you want to use. Clean up everything while it’s still wet and you are ready to go.
Before Buying Acoustical Caulk
There are many factors you should take into consideration before ordering. Let’s cover the basics.
1. The aim
You should be aware of what will your sealant be used for. It’s okay if you have many soundproofing projects planned, just base your shopping on the one you will be using the caulk the most.
Check all the specifics that are stated on the product. Some of them might not be good for all type of the furniture or materials, so make sure you choose the one that won’t do any damage to you.
2. The environment
If you are tending to use acoustical sealant for your home, where you have your little children playing around, consider buying the water-based sealant. The odor is significantly reduced and they are much easier to clean, leaving you less worried whether your children will be exposed to it.
3. The equipment
Possibly the only downside of the flexibility of this product is the fact that it can’t be easily squeezed out from the tube. Therefore, if you don’t already have an application you used for another type of sealants, you need to look for the sealant that has the applicant in the set.
4. Cover up materials
Acoustical caulk can be covered up with almost any material, but it wouldn’t hurt to double check before ordering, especially if you have some specific material in your mind. Pay attention to how easily it can be painted over and whether the sealant marks can be seen or not.
Where to buy Acoustical Sealant?
Thankfully, the acoustical sealant can be found in many stores both – online and offline. There are specialized stores with soundproofing equipment where sealants can be found, too. In case there is no such store in your neighborhood, it might be easier for you to order it online.
There is a wide selection when it comes to shopping online, and before ordering, you need to be aware of all the options. Since you are not personally in the store where you can ask an expert for a piece of advice, we’ve covered the basic things you need to explore in the section above, before deciding on the product.
Final Word: On Acoustical Sealant
Whether you are already far away from the beginning of your soundproofing project and you are looking for a finishing details, or you are just at the start making sure you have all the information before jumping into it, one thing is sure – you will need acoustical sealant if you want to completely soundproof your home or office.
The good thing is that it is completely easy to use (double read the guide above and you will have enough information) and that there is a wide choice when it comes to acoustical caulks on the market, due to its ever-growing usage.
Make sure you start from what you want to achieve and what you need for that – then choose the acoustical sealant that fits you and watch how any surface you have becomes soundproof.