Insulating Walls?

I would like to further insulate my walls from noise and cold. I live in my own condo so I can't really put anything into the walls. I keep thinking (for the last 4 years) I could cover the walls with fabric or carpet or something. but then i heard something on t.v. and thought those might get mildew or something.


I live about 300 feet from a busy highway so the noise is loud at times. I know new windows would help but that is not feasible right now. Any ideas would be appreciated. There is one wall with mostly window that faces west and then the other wall has 1 window but mostly wall and it faces south..

Sandy from Baltimore

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October 31, 20070 found this helpful

I am a senior citizen and although I don't have to pay for heat in my apartment I have found that when I put up garbage bags (black) on my south facing windows I don't have to use the furnace during the day. My little 400 Sq ft.apartment is toasty warm when the sun shines. I put the black bags on tension rods and there is an opening at the bottom and the top. The tension rods are placed about one half way up the window so you can get light into the apartment. This works better when I put more bags over the tension rod to make them thicker. I have used this trick even when it was 15 degrees below zero.

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October 31, 20070 found this helpful

I have never tried this myself - but there are always decorating hints about "wallpapering" your walls with fabric. They staple the fabric to the walls. Perhaps this would help you. After all, they put tapestries on the cold stone walls of castles, didn't they?

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By Rae (Guest Post)
October 31, 20071 found this helpful

I was reading that during the depression, people would line their drafty old walls with quilts.


You can get film at Home Depot for your windows and can apply it yourself ,that would help keep heat in during the winter and heat out in the summer.

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October 31, 20070 found this helpful

Saw this in a decorating book: they used thumbtacks to put quilt batting on the walls(easy to remove to check for mold). Then they gathered sheets on tension rods and hung them over the batting. It looked really beautiful.

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November 2, 20070 found this helpful

We are in the same boat, about the same distance from TWO major highways, semis and cars all day and all night long, considered one of the busiest trucking areas in the US. I bought an industrial grade floor fan by aloha breezes at walmart. spent about 35 bucks and boy does it help to mask out a bunch of the noise. It made a huge difference for us. I really don't see how hanging up a quilt or two would make that big of an impact. The new windows are very costly, but from watching the decorating shows are a good investment if you have the money.


Since we don't have the money we will stick with our "747" fans. That's what I call them because they are noisy! Have one in the master and one in the living room. I love mine!

As a footnote the boy accidentally broke one of the 747's one day and it was like immediately we were listening to those dumb old semis. You bet your boots we couldn't stand it and hurried to walmart. Sad thing is might be sold out for the year and might be hard to track down.

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By Paula Jo Carr Mebane, NC (Guest Post)
November 3, 20070 found this helpful

To mask outside noises we have used just simple fans (on low) in the master and in the living room - try this if possible to be surprised at how just that simple fan noise can block out all the outside noises!


Our doctor calls it "white noise" - we have a small fan sitting on the night stand/dresser and running and then a "tower fan" we got at The Good Will in the living room.

We run vaporizers (the ones that create warm steam ) to help heat our mobile home in the winter - they are much more cost efficent then running our oven to heat water to create steam in a tea kettle. Or running our furnace,

Also IF your water and electric is furnished in your apartent unit I have known persons that run their shower to create warm steam in their homes to help heat thier apartments and they live in Chicago, a much colder climate then what we live in.

Our Aunt Sherry who is on a limited income also lives in a small apartment and she heats it running her top heating elements on high and her oven and opening the oven door. (her electric is furnished in her rent).


Good Luck to you!

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November 4, 20070 found this helpful

A suggestion. How about running curtain rods from the ceiling across the wall. Then you could do one of the other suggestions-- OR use insulated draperies all across the wall. Will both insulate and depress noise-- or any combination-- for instance-- use the black plastic next to the wall and draperies over that..... or use sheets as drapes with the plastic... lots of ideas from these folks.
good luck

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November 4, 20070 found this helpful

what about those 3 section things like they used in western days that they got dressed behind (not sure what they are called) (maybe room dividers)they are made out of wood and fabric having three sections that connect by hindges.they could placed up against windows or walls to add beauty as well as block noise.


and if your apt is ground level maybe your landlord would let you place a large lattice against your outside wall and let vines grow up it like trumpit vine or other fast growing hardy plants, they will help block the noise a bit.

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June 1, 20091 found this helpful

I know this was posted last year, but I'd thought I'd respond anyway... I live in an older (1981) single wide mobile home & I have 3 (count 'em, three) train tracks in my back yard (yes really, in my back yard - no kidding!) & the trains have to blow their horns in my back yard because they have to blow before they go over the train tresstle 2 blocks away. There's also a military base with a heavy artillery range that sits right behind the train tracks, so I'm overwhelmed with massive amounts of noise, day & night! And, yes, running a fan in my bedroom makes all the difference & has really helped!

But I wanted to add something else that has greatly helped me: rigid foam insulation. I went to Home Depot & bought rigid foam insulation. It's about $4 - $6 a sheet, but they have many different sizes & thickness'. You can cut this rigid foam with either a jigsaw, an electric carving knife or just about any knife that will cut bread.

Here's how I installed it:
First I lined my window (from inside) with a plastic shower curtain (from the dollar store) so you wouldn't see the white foam from the outside. I choose a shower curtain that most closely matched the color of my home (outside). I then left a piece of the shower curtain's plastic sticking out the bottom (about 7 inches) to use as a "quick release grab" in case I needed to get out of the window fast in case of fire, I then cut the rigid foam to fit inside my window. Lastly, I cut another piece that's about 2 inches wider than my window ( for double thickness insulation), & this I attached with white duct tape & stick on Velcro all around the sides of my window (I like the Velcro because I could just pull on the bottom flap & remove the foam easily in an emergency. This foam has now been in my bedroom window for over 3 years & so far no mold has grown (surprise!). The only downside is I have is no natural light can get into my bedroom. (some people like this!) On the plus side, I can sleep again! & the noise is greatly reduced. (I also run a fan on low) You could also attach rigid foam insulation to a wall & cover the foam with fabric. It's very lightweight & costs from $10 - $18 for a 4' x 8' large sheet. (depending on thickness). It also comes in a smaller size & it's not itchy like fiberglass, it's the same stuff foam-core board is made from (for crafting). You can attach it with stick-on Velco or even use push-pins & string (it's THAT light weight!)

Another thing that helps is to hang a rug on your wall. You can attach it to a curtain rod if you're in a rental & just use 2 large hooks to hang the rod from. (an easy repair when you move). You don't have to worry about mold if you hang a rug in misty, rainy Seattle (where I live) but I don't know about humid Texas or Florida, etc.

About mold, If I were you, I wouldn't run a steamer or a humidifier because of the possibility of mold & mildew. But, then every place is different, when my son lived in Colorado he HAD to run a humidifier or he got nose bleeds. Just think twice about putting excess moisture in the air.

Another fix for your windows is to stick bubble wrap to them. Just spray the windows with water (unless they're already wet) & the bubble wrap will stick right to the window. The light can still get through. Use the bubble wrap made with tiny bubbles. Over this you can hang curtains or even a quilt. It's best to make your own "block-out" curtains with a plastic shower curtain on the back, & fabric on the front with an old wool blanket sandwiched between the layers & it helps greatly if you can also sandwich a layer of mylar between the layers too. The mylar keeps the noise out & the heat in! They sell an insulating curtain liner at fabric stores that's made like this but it's fairly costly.

Hope I've helped!

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