I’ve begun gathering materials in an effort to reduce lag time between steps in the conversion process. A van with a high top will most certainly not fit in my building’s garage, so I’ll have to park my future home on the street. Extra lag time means more days dealing with parking issues, so I have a pretty strong incentive to keep the ball rolling once the rolling begins. It has occurred to me that I will be doing all my work in full view of my neighbors and the constant flow of foot traffic on my street. Groan.
Applying a Constrained Layer Damping (CLD) material aka sound deadener will probably be the first big thing to do. As such, even though the van has not yet materialized, I’ve been heavily researching sound deadening materials. A mind-boggling number of brand-name CLDs are widely available, and it seems that budget-friendly roofing tape also works quite well (example). After hours and hours of reading the opinions of internet strangers, I finally settled on the butyl-based Fatmat Mega Mat.
My reasons are fivefold.
1. Roofing tape mostly comes in rolls that are only 6 inches wide, which means it will take a lot longer to install than Mega Mat, which is 18 inches wide. I really don’t want to be on display for all my neighbors any longer than necessary. Plus, I’m lazy.
2. Many CLD brands and most roofing tape brands use an asphalt base, as opposed to a butyl base. My research tells me that a butyl-based product will adhere better in the long run.
3. Butyl-based products offer viscoelastic damping, whereas asphalt-based products offer mass load damping. People who know what they’re talking about (not I) will tell you that viscoelastic damping is superior.
4. My smelling ability rivals that of a bloodhound’s. Apparently, sound deadeners with an asphalt base can have a lingering odor, whereas butyl-based ones do not. I’m not willing to take the chance on asphalt, because having a good sense of smell is actually a very cruel curse.
5. “Fatmat Mega Mat” is a pretty rad name for a product, don’t you think?
The van’s not even here yet, and I’ve already gone and purchased my second van-related item. (What was the first? The toilet.) Mega Mat runs about $2.39 per square foot, while other CLDs run $4-10 per square foot. Roofing tape is considerably cheaper at $1.33 per square foot, but I thought the trade-offs were worth the extra money.
It may be worth noting that this guy’s informal study shows that 100% coverage of roofing tape is about on par with only 25% coverage of CLD, meaning that one would not have to cover an entire panel with CLD to glean the sound deadening benefit. While this could bring costs way down, the skeptic in me is planning on covering much more than 25%.