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Understanding Why Metal Roofs are Loud, and how to stop the noise.

January 31, 2017

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Understanding Why Metal Roofs are Loud, and how to stop the noise.

January 31, 2017

In general people believe that metal roofs are louder than a traditional shingle roof. A common question customers have when they are thinking about installing a metal roof is ‘Will it be noisy?’ While it is true that modern metal roofs have improved by using far heavier gauge materials and engineered profiles, the fact that metal is a harder surface than asphalt means it will still transmit sound and is inherently ‘noisy’. But it doesn’t have to be!

 

 

'When it comes to eliminating the sound from a metal roof there are 2 key principles. The first is insulating and the second is decoupling.'

 

  • Insulating

Insulation spontaneously converts part of the sound energy to a very small amount of heat in the intervening object (the absorbing material), rather than sound being transmitted or reflected. There are several ways in which a material can absorb sound. The choice of sound absorbing material will be determined by the frequency distribution of noise to be absorbed and the acoustic absorption profile required. Porous absorbers, typically open cell rubber foams or melamine sponges, absorb noise by friction within the cell structure.

 

MuteX is a fantastic insulator and uses interlocking carbonweave, which is essentially tightly packed polymer strands which are designed to block and insulate sound energy. It achieves a class winning sound insulation rating (STC) of 32.

  • Decoupling / Transference

Sound is a form of energy. When trying to understand how sound travels or transfers it can be helpful to compare it to other forms of energy. Electricity is a good example. Electricity typically has a wavelength of 50-60hz and travels easily through dense or conductive materials like metals. In a typical home light switches are used to stop or decouple the flow of electricity in the corresponding circuit which turns on and off the lights. As the distance between the receiver and the source increases (the switch being turned off) the energy flow or transference decreases and resistance increases. This process is called detaching or decoupling.

 

Humans typically hear sounds between 20 Hz -20,000 Hz . This frequency range transmits extremely well through rigid surfaces. If you have ever pressed your ear to a railroad track you can hear the train coming far sooner than you can through the air. In a typical home the metal roofing materials and the plywood they are sitting on are both relatively ridge, decoupling them stops resonating frequencies from passing from one surface to the other. The carbon weave used in MuteX is relatively soft and works as a cushion that effectively decouples the surfaces essentially turning off noise. Sound being energy travels in waves; lower frequency sounds have longer wavelengths and therefore require further distances to decouple. The volume or energy amount in combination with the frequency is directly correlated to the distance and resistance needed to disperse or eliminate sound.

 

MuteX is a class C building material and meets flammability Code FMVSS302. Building codes vary by region, so we recommend check with your local building authorities before installing. MuteX is easy to install and should be part of your next roof. If you have any questions please contact us and we would be glad to answer any questions you have.


 

 

 

 

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