Noisy Neighbors? Soundproof Windows Will Help You Keep the Peace
When you bought your home, you probably had a checklist of negatives to watch out for in the neighborhood—maybe low-performing schools, overgrown yards, and the presence or absence of community parks. You may have first toured your home on a hot, quiet afternoon when the streets and sidewalks were deserted. Everything looked great—until you signed the sales contract and moved in. Then you discovered that the neighborhood you thought was peaceful morphs into a raucous party spot at night—often lasting into the wee hours of the morning. So long, sleep! Or maybe you’ve lived in your home for a long time, but there have been some unwanted changes—like the local government built a highway overpass a stone’s throw from your home. Or, worse, an airport.
For whatever reason, a move isn’t in the cards. You can’t reduce the amount of noise that’s spoiling your residential sanctuary, so the solution is to keep it outside. Soundproofing your windows is a great place to start.
How Can You Make Your Windows Soundproof?
It’s not possible to totally soundproof your windows, but there are various ways to dampen the sound that penetrates your windows. Each method has its own set of pros and cons. Here’s a brief look at a few of your options:
1. Seal Your Windows with Acoustic Caulk
If air is infiltrating your home through cracks in the window seals or gaps between the window frames and the walls, then sound can get in as well. Acoustic caulk is a special type of sealant that’s designed for soundproofing ceilings, windows, and doors.
Pro: This is probably the least expensive option for reducing the amount of sound that enters your home through windows.
Cons: It’s time-consuming and messy to apply, takes about 48 hours to dry, and has to be reapplied periodically to remain effective.
2. Add Noise-Reducing Window Treatments
Cellular shades and thick-fabric draperies can absorb the amount of sound that penetrates your windows by as much as 70%.
Pro: This solution is likely to cost more than caulking your windows but less than the other options on this list.
Con: Your window treatments will have to cover your windows to be effective, and there may be times when you don’t want to sit in a darkened room just to enjoy a quiet space.
3. Install Window Inserts
Soundproofing window inserts are sheets of glass, often laminated, that are installed inside your home over your existing windows. They are designed to fit into a window frame a few inches in front of the glass.
Pros: Window inserts are relatively easy to install and typically block at least 50% of outside noise when applied to a single-pane window. They also reduce the amount of sound that leaves the home through windows, so they can prevent noisy indoor activities from bothering the neighbors.
Cons: Effective window inserts typically cost hundreds of dollars each, may not be available to fit some window styles, and they’re not convenient for homeowners who want to open and close their windows from time to time.
4. Invest in Impact-Resistant, Noise-Reducing Replacement Windows
If you’re like many homeowners, the most satisfying solution to minimizing outside noise intrusion is a window replacement project. While no windows are totally soundproof, replacing your ordinary windows with impact-resistant ones is a great solution to the problem of noise entering your home through your windows. Though built to protect homes from storm damage, impact windows can also block up to 65% of the outside noise that typically enters a home through window glass.
Pros: High-quality impact windows are built to resist breaking when struck by windblown debris during violent storms, so they also make excellent deterrents against break-ins. Additionally, once they’re installed, they look and operate like regular house windows, and they remain in place year-round, so they’re easily the most convenient option on our list.
Con: Because of their high-tech construction, impact windows are likely to cost more than other noise-reducing options. However, for many homeowners, the wealth of benefits is worth the expense.
How Do Noise-Reducing Windows Work?
Unlike light waves, which are reflected off solid surfaces, sound waves can travel through different materials almost as easily as they travel through the air. To create a sound-dampening window, you can use extra-thick glass, which will reduce the sound vibration (or resonance) and thus make it less audible to the human ear. Another way to minimize noise penetration is to craft windows with two panes of glass and a layer of insulating air between them. This configuration will slow down the sound waves and make them seem quieter. An even better way to build a nearly soundproof window is to include laminated glass, which consists of two panes of glass baked together with a tough vinyl interlayer. Laminated glass absorbs sound and reduces resonance far better than ordinary glass.
At NewSouth Window Solutions, we manufacture top-caliber impact-resistant windows with a wealth of science and research behind them. Our impact windows are crafted with reinforced uPVC vinyl frames and laminated glass, plus an additional sheet of low-emissivity (low-E) glass for energy efficiency. This adds up to extra-strong, triple-pane glass that not only provides outstanding storm protection but also serves as an excellent sound barrier. Moreover, thanks to our advanced frame construction techniques and top-notch window installation practices, you won’t have to worry about caulking your window seals to keep sound, air, or moisture out of your home.
If you’re interested in having nearly soundproof windows installed at your home, contact NewSouth Window Solutions today to learn more about our remarkable impact windows.