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Soundproofing a Warehouse

How to Soundproof a Warehouse

How to Soundproof a Warehouse

If you’re looking for a soundproofing solution for a warehouse, you may feel like it’s an impossible task. Warehouses are massive enclosed spaces made of brick, concrete, and steel – add loud, heavy machinery and you have a recipe for noise problems. We’re going to help you break down the sound issues your warehouse may be facing, from echo and reverb to loud machinery to keeping things quiet for your office workers and neighbors.

 

With some careful analysis and installation of the right materials, not only can we get your space up to code, but make it a more safe and comfortable environment for your employees.

 

If you’re looking for a soundproofing solution for a warehouse, you may feel like it’s an impossible task. Warehouses are massive enclosed spaces made of brick, concrete, and steel – add loud, heavy machinery and you have a recipe for noise problems. We’re going to help you break down the sound issues your warehouse may be facing, from echo and reverb to loud machinery to keeping things quiet for your office workers and neighbors.

With some careful analysis and installation of the right materials, not only can we get your space up to code, but make it a more safe and comfortable environment for your employees.

Free USA shipping
Free USA shipping

Popular Products for Reducing Warehouse Sounds


EcoVerb™ Roll - Natural Fiber Liner
Quiet Quilt™ Soundproof Blanket
Sound Lock™ Door Seal Kits

Why is Soundproofing a Warehouse Important

If you have a smaller space with few workers and machinery, you may think that sound is not as much of a problem. Although individually each of those things may not be very loud, when everything is running at once the noise quickly accumulates.

Workplace safety and osha guidelines

The OSHA limit for noise in the workplace is a time weighted average of 85 decibels over an 8-hour shift. If you have to raise your voice to speak to someone less than 3 feet away, you likely are over 85 dB. Even if you find your warehouse is not consistently this loud, shorter bursts from loud machinery can still hit well over 100 decibels. A quick way to gauge your noise levels is to use a Sound Level Meter app. There are plenty of options out there, but a good free one from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

You’re likely already taking precautions like personal hearing protection, but it may not be enough to protect you and your employees from sustained exposure to loud noise. If preventative action is not taken, not only could you be subject to code violations, workers may suffer from negative health effects such as tinnitus or hearing loss. These issues can snowball into other side effects like anxiety or high blood pressure and even longer term lead to increased risk of dementia. Not to mention the potential for injury due to the difficulty in workers being able to communicate with each other when operating or moving machinery.

Productivity

Your warehouse may have attached office spaces for administrative tasks such as vendor relations or sales. Although employees in these spaces are less likely to suffer from health issues due to noise, it can make it very difficult to focus on tasks, take calls, or have meetings. If you’ve got noise from the warehouse bleeding into other spaces, you know that the sounds of activity piercing a quiet office space hurts productivity and can frustrate some staff.

In addition, if you’re interested in soundproofing the space your article is in, check out our article on office soundproofing.

Being a good neighbor

Although they may not be a part of your business or workforce, your neighboring businesses also may be impacted by your high noise levels. Being kind and courteous to those around you tends to make everyone’s life easier. Most businesses also value having a positive impact in their community, and if everyone is complaining about the noise coming from your space, it’s impossible to do that. Good relationships with the businesses and residents nearby tends to pay off many fold, so take some time to see how the noise may be affecting those outside your building.

soundproof warehouse

How to Soundproof a Warehouse

You should think about soundproofing as two parts. The first is reducing noise and echo, and the second is blocking sound from escaping a space. Although solving one of these issues can help with the other, you should think of them as distinct problems because they often require different materials and strategies. Let’s start with identifying the different sources of noise.

Identify the source of the noise

In a warehouse the source of noise is often machinery, especially when it comes to anything that cuts, crushes, or bends materials. It can get especially loud when you’re shearing or manipulating hard, heavy materials like metal. Metal on metal is always very loud. Conversely you may not have overly loud machinery, but the amount of activity within your warehouse adds up to a very noisy space.

It’s also important to consider how much you want to reasonably reduce the noise. Maybe your only goal is to satisfy OSHA requirements. That’s not a problem, and we can help you get back into compliance quickly. Or maybe you have specific goals based on the working environment you want to create for your employees – we can help there too.

Once you’ve identified the type of noise issues you’re dealing with, and the level of sound reduction you’d like to achieve, you can move on to solutions. We’ve included several examples below to give you an idea for the types of problems we’ve helped solve. Every warehouse is unique though, so you may have other needs. Reach out to us and we’d be happy to discuss your specific situation.

warehouse sounds

examples of ways to solve warehouse noise issues

General Noise Issues

Sometimes there aren't distinct sources of noise, but rather the collective work and people moving around creates a noisy environment. This is because the hard surfaces throughout the warehouse reflect sound waves, allowing them to continue bouncing sound throughout the space. The simplest solution is adding sound absorption materials covering as much of the hard surfaces as you can to stop sound from reverberating.

We recommend using our EcoVerb Roll and adhering it directly to the ceiling of your entire space. With 100% coverage can reduce the overall noise in your space by 8-10 decibels! One of the things we like about EcoVerb is that it has a black lining that faces down which blacks out the ceiling and easily blends in with the ceiling.

Another option is to hang baffles from your ceiling. Sound baffles are effective for absorbing sound but are a bit more complicated than EcoVerb to install. We recommend contacting us for a consultation to see if baffles will work well in your space.

This increased sound absorption will reduce echo and decrease the overall noise in the space, making it much easier to communicate with each other while working.

Loud Machinery

One of the most common issues we hear from our customers is how to deal with equipment or machinery that produces a lot of noise. If you’re in the planning phases of your warehouse, there’s often strategies around where you place the equipment or how to install it that can reduce the noise generated.

However, often the people we talk to are trying to soundproof an already established warehouse, and some of these solutions are no longer viable. One of the simplest things you can do is build an enclosure with soundproof curtains or soundproof room divider around the machinery with our soundproof blankets to help stop the sound at its source from traveling further throughout the warehouse.

While there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for soundproofing heavy machinery, we can work with you to determine the right solution for you. Unlike soundproofing something like an HVAC system, the equipment you have is likely not standard, and it’s important to consider things like access, size, placement, heat, and more before jumping into a soundproofing solution. You’ll need to reach out to us for a consultation.

Blocking sound from others

If you’re worried about the sound of your warehouse disrupting your office workers or neighbors, you’ll need to start with attacking the “weak” points of your space – these are the spaces where sound can most easily slip through like doors and windows. Because of how much noise a warehouse can produce, you may need to go above and beyond to add soundproofing to the walls as well. Luckily these strategies are not unique to a warehouse, check out our complete guide to soundproofing for a general overview.

Start by identifying problem areas walls where sound travels through easily. The most common ones in a warehouse office are a dropped ceiling, doors, and windows. For doors and windows, the simplest solution is to add door seal kits or window inserts. If you need additional protection, you can replace them entirely with something more advanced like Tru Acoustics Windows or Sound Lock Soundproof Doors. The cost of soundproofing a window or door can vary depending on how much performance and noise reduction you need.

To help soundproof walls and ceilings, the best way to stop noise is to completely seal them add mass and extra material so it’s more difficult for noise to travel through. For soundproofing existing walls we recommend an extra layer of 5/8” drywall adhered with Green Glue. If you are trying to protect an office with a dropped ceiling, soundproof ceiling backers are crucial.

Get a Custom Solution for your Warehouse

We’ve seen warehouses of all sizes full of everything from people to robots. Each of these spaces benefit from unique solutions and strategies to soundproofing. Give us a call and we’ll discuss your space and needs and come up with a custom soundproofing solution and plan unique to your needs.

Have questions about your project?

Call us at 1.800.679.8511