Everything You Need to Know about Installing Soundproof Windows
Most people associate soundproofing with home studios, but more and more people are opting to soundproof different parts of their homes for various reasons. Whether you live in the city or elsewhere, you may have problems with sounds created by people, traffic, neighbors, dogs, and various other noise makers. Blocking out the sound of your neighbor's teen son's garage rock band may suddenly become very important. Ensuring you don't bother others with your home theater is also a must.
Understanding Soundproof Window Options
Today's standard single pane window does not do a good job of blocking sounds from the outside world. Those with single pane windows often find that upgrading to windows with double panes is optimal. While you can certainly have your current windows adapted, you may find it more convenient to purchase new windows with double panes. Each of the panes should be set at least one inch apart in order to effectively block sound, and the glass in each pane needs to be at least 1/8 of an inch thick.
Some soundproof windows don't replace the existing, but are installed behind the ones you already have. It's like having an extra storm window between you and the outside world. Not only will you benefit from reduced sound, but you'll also have better protection against the elements due to increased insulation. You can use them as easily as any other window and enjoy the cost-saving benefits during the hot summer and cool winter months.
Professional installation is often best, ensuring your windows are fitted properly. A professional can install a single window in a couple of hours - sometimes less time. Many soundproof windows are installed with vinyl frames instead of wood, to reduce sound transmission. During the process, your installer can check your existing frames for rotted wood, replacing or making repairs as necessary.
If you aren't able to budget for new windows, you can purchase transparent plastic to laminate your existing windows. This is a budget-friendly method that can help to reduce the number of sound waves that are able to penetrate your glass. The lamination will also protect your home from harmful ultraviolet rays. This method can decrease the sound coming through your windows by approximately 85%, but is definitely not as effective as an actual window.
Learn More about Soundproofing
DIY Window Soundproofing Projects
Don't want to do any of the above? You don't have many options when it comes to soundproofing windows. An extremist might remove his window, fill the wall with acoustical foam, and board the space up, but this drastic measure would definitely cut down on the amount of sunlight and fresh air you're able to get in your home.
Another option is to create a removable wall plug. The plug would cover the window when you want it to, blocking out light and sound. You can remove it when you want to allow for sunlight or open the window for air. This is beneficial to those who sleep during the day. You can create your own plugs and window coverings using standard soundproofing materials, like mass loaded vinyl and drywall, cut to size.
Find Soundproof Window Materials
Soundproofing your windows is a big task and isn't one that should be considered lightly. Talk to a pro if you aren't sure what really needs to be done.
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