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Now that you’ve heard people recommend Green Glue, you’re probably wondering- does it work? Are there alternatives to green glue? I want to reassure you that you’ve come to the right place and today I’m going to tell you whether this acoustic dampening material does work. But before I tell you whether this product works or not, let me elaborate what green glue is for those who probably don’t know it.
What is green glue?
Green Glue is a noise damping compound ideal for renovation or new construction projects. It is one of the common and cheap soundproofing material available on the market today. It’s cheap, simple and effective.
But it’s important to note that green glue isn’t a sound diffuser or a sound absorber. It’s a product that designed to stop vibration and sound from traveling between rooms by converting sound energy to heat energy. This shouldn’t scare you because the amount of heat produced is minimal and won’t melt your house down.
Green Glue sealant does actually work in sound dampening specifically for low-frequency sounds. It is cheap and one of the many inexpensive noise reducing materials you can find on the market today. It’s also important to note that its effectiveness is influenced by many other factors that one should always put into consideration when sound insulation.
In this article, I’m going to show you how this acoustic sealant works among other useful information.
How Does Green Glue Work?
Using this damping compound is very simple. I’m guessing you know how sound travels– right? If you find the info on that link overwhelming- let me simplify it for you. Sound travels in any medium through vibrations.
In a layman’s language
Green Glue does convert sound waves into heat energy. So instead of sound leaking across your rooms through vibrations- it’s converted to heat before it reaches the other end of the wall/ceiling.
In Scientific language
When sound reaches a wall, it causes the wall molecules to vibrate 90 degrees to its former position. A good example is the upward and downward motion of a slick spring when pressed.
So this up-down motion aka shear force causes molecules to vibrate similarly as the spring creating a ripple effect responsible for transmission of sound through vibrations.
So what glue sealant does is that it prevents the upward and downward motion – or the vibrations as many of you refer from happening.
So this resistance creates heat which gets easily dispersed inside the wall/ceiling.
How long does green glue noise-proofing compound take to work?
Ideally, I have found that it takes approximately 30 days for it to dry and give the maximum benefits. While it doesn’t dry 100% (remains somehow fluid) a factor that contributes to its effectiveness.
But depending on the climate- if you come from cold and damp parts of our beautiful planet, you might notice that it might take up to 90 days for it to “dry up” and give optimal benefits.
How to apply this noise dampening sealant
Before I tell you how you should apply, I think it’s important I clarify one BIG misconception.
I’ve done a couple of DIY soundproofing projects for my friends and clients and most cases they would ask me- Why do I need to buy screws when we have a glue?
Green Glue is not glue- it’s a noise damping compound.
So don’t expect it to hold two layers of drywall or use it for “gluing” purposes. In fact, you’ve got only 15 minutes to screw fix the drywalls together after applying the compound.
There’s no recommended pattern when it comes to applying the glue. So you can apply it however you like, but remember that you should use two tubes of this product per 4’x8’ sheets of drywall or whatever material you’re using.
So if you’ll be soundproofing a 192×16 square feet, you will need like a dozen Green Glue tubes. But if you’re walls are big or smaller, you can use the figures above to estimate the amount you will need.
Additionally, you should caulk the seams on each panel of the material or drywall that you apply. This is just a check to ensure that there aren’t air gaps which could be culprits for sound to travel.
You can use Sashsco (See its price and availability on Amazon). It’s one of my recommended caulking products you can get online.
Additionally, you should install this acoustic putty on all electrical outlets to ensure that there aren’t any gaps in the walls.
How to clean up after use
I would recommend you to clean the glue from all unwanted surfaces before it dries up. Some of the products that I’ve discovered do well in cleaning include Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil and any citrus based solvents/cleaners such as Goof Off.
There’s nothing harmful about this sealant compound, so don’t be alarmed if it sticks on your skin, though it can be tough to clean.
How long can you store without using it?
The official manufacturer claims that the product expires one year after its manufacture date. But from what I found out from forums and my friends and next door neighbor who’s a professional, the product can actually last up to 5-6 years provided you store it in a cool, dry place away from heat or sunlight.
So how do you know whether it’s expired?
Check the consistency and if it’s clumpy- it means that you can’t use it anymore but if the clear and free-flowing- you can use it.
Tubes or buckets which are better?
Green Glue is sold in tubes or a five-gallon bucket. A five-gallon bucket holds same amounts as 24 tubes (two cases) but it much cheaper than the tubes- preferably you’ll be saving $30.
However, if you’ll be applying a 600 square ft or less- I would recommend you to stick with the tubes instead. They’ll be cheaper in this case.
Additionally on larger projects, though you would be saving if you go the bucket way, I would recommend tubes. My experience and the feedback from site managers I’ve met have taught me that saving a couple of bucks isn’t the best route.
This is because filling bucket applicator gun get tiring and every time the applicator needs end wipe to avoid dripping. On the other hand, tubes are neat and simple to use; you will only need to cut the nozzles of the cases before you begin your work.
Does Green Glue Reduce Both Impact and Airborne Noise?
Yes. It does reduce impact noise- (learn more about airborne and impact sounds here). Some examples of impact noise include moving furniture, footsteps, an object falling on the floor, etc. But it’s just a variable and depends on many other factors.
A layer of drywall to the ceiling with green glue in between will significantly reduce airborne sounds from the room above.
However for this acoustic sealant to reduce impact noises, you might require some structural changes to your home. If you live in a rental unit, be sure to check with the property manager or the landlord if structural changes are allowed.
There are two questions you should in this case:
- Is your house ceiling decoupled?
- Is there an air cavity inside the ceiling
To get the best results, I would advise you to decouple the ceiling- you can use staggered studs. You can also use Mass Loaded Vinyl and add mass to the ceiling.
You can use these Green Glue Noiseproofing Clips to decouple your ceiling.
Does green glue live to its expectation?
The results you will get largely depends on your current situation. Things that determine this are:
- Do you want to reduce both airborne and impact noise or only one?
- What part of the house do you want to soundproof?- walls, ceiling, floor, window or doors?
- Are you in a position to bring down the walls on both sides and reconstruct again or only one side?
There’s no specific amount of decibel reduction you will get from this sealant. But according to an article posted on the official Green Glue website, you will get approximately 12dB in noise reduction. So you will be getting like a 57% reduction.
Adding drywall on either side along with green glue gives about 15dB or 64% in noise reduction- which isn’t a big difference compared to a single layer of drywall and glue.
Where to Buy Green Glue?
It depends on your location. You can get it online and have it shipped to your doorstep. You can find some good deals here such as discounts, free shipping for certain amounts ordered online.
Additionally, you can buy it from certified distributors. You can find the nearest distributors through Green Glue official websites. What I love about green glue products is the fact that they’re available in different countries in the world such as Africa, China, Italy, Australia, Spain, and many others. It’s also important to note that different distributors offer different offers, so be sure to check the offer available before buying.
But I would recommend you to get it on Amazon. Check its availability here.
Green Glue Alternatives
If you live in areas where green glue isn’t available- for instance during my last visit to my Aunt in New Zealand, I discovered it’s almost impossible to get this product either online or through local hardware stores.
You can read my full article about five alternatives to green glue. These are products I had to use and found them working superbly. Try them out and thank me later.
I hope I’ve fully answered your question. If you’d like to read more of my articles here are some recommendations- how to block out noise from upstairs neighbors and noise insulating a room for drums.