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Can You Soundproof Windows?

5 Ways to Soundproof Windows

5 ways to soundproof your windowsNeighbours too loud? Worried you’re the loud neighbour? It might be time to consider soundproofing your windows.

If you’ve just moved into a new house only to realize that you can hear every passing vehicle and every conversation your neighbours have on their back patio, you might be asking yourself, “Is there any way I can soundproof my house?”

A good place to begin your quest for a quieter home is with your windows. After all, sound travels through glass easier than is flows through walls. Whether it’s traffic, a barking dog, a regularly timed school bell, or just noise from the neighbours that you’d like to block, there are many things you can do to soundproof your home – starting with your windows.

To get started, first you need to:

  1. Decide if you want to retain the view outside your window; and
  2. Decide if you want a removable solution or something more permanent.

Read on for 5 ways you can soundproof your windows.

Weather Stripping

Inspect the weather stripping around your windows. Sometimes new weather stripping or filling in cracked caulking can go a long way towards sealing out unwanted noise. When you replace aging weather stripping around your windows, you’ll also be preventing air leaks and lowering your energy bills.

If you’re lucky, you may be able to get away with applying caulking cord, which you just unroll and press into place for a tight seal. If the weather stripping is too far gone, it might be time to upgrade to new windows. Fortunately, new windows with new weather stripping often come with plenty of additional benefits beyond increased soundproofing for your home. For example, Triple Fin weather stripping adds extra insulation and air tightness to all Modern’s windows.

Storm Windows

Your home might have storm windows lying around somewhere in your crawlspace without you even realizing it. Storm windows are made of thick glass and should have at least 2 inches of air space between both panes. They are extra windows that are temporarily added to the outside of your home in the fall and then removed in the spring. They help protect your home during stormy weather and help insulate the windows. Storm windows provide an added layer against the elements, and in doing so,  blocks out unwanted noise.

If your house doesn’t have storm windows and you would like to add some, a windows expert can tell you if your existing windows are compatible with adding storm windows. If they are, installing storm windows should be a breeze. However, replacing single-pane windows with double-pane windows might be all the soundproofing you require.

Soundproof Barriers

If you’re looking for the cheapest and quickest window soundproofing option, consider a DIY soundproof barrier propped up on the windowsill or friction fitted into the space. The easiest material to work with would be Styrofoam insulation, either blue or pink boards. Just measure out the size of your window and get cutting. Add cut-outs for handles to make installation and removal extra easy. This method blocks your view outside but it can be added and removed as needed.

To save a trip to the store, you can make a soundproof barrier with materials you might already have around the house, such as extra carpet underlay, old memory foam or cardboard. Try layering all three materials for even more soundproofing. It won’t be pretty, but it will dampen some noise.

For an even more effective soundproof barrier, there is actual soundproofing foam or mass-loaded vinyl that can be used across windows. These are the materials likely to be used by local music shops or recording studios.

Heavy Curtains

A homemade soundproof barrier, while affordable, isn’t always practical or beautiful. If this is a concern, go for soundproofing curtains, which are a better-looking, more permanent, and more convenient soundproofing option. Simply buying thicker regular curtains may do the trick, or there are specific soundproofing curtains on the market as well.

You can get the same effect by using thick blankets if you have some handy. Either way, when using curtains as a soundproofing technique, oversized is always best. The air in the folds of the curtain actually help to reduce sound.

New Windows

If you’d still like to maintain your views and allow daylight to flood your home, consider upgrading your single-pane windows to double-pane or triple-pane vinyl or aluminum windows.

New windows that are professionally installed will not only be more soundproof than what you had before – they will also be airtight and more energy efficient. For example, the glass specialists here at Modern manufacture sealed units featuring double panes of glass with foam spacer that is inserted into the frame and use a desiccant filled foam spacer that reduces condensation and insulates.

If you’re really serious about soundproofing, kick up your replacement windows a notch with specialized acoustical glass windows.

Additional Soundproofing Solutions

If you’ve done all you can do within your budget to soundproof your windows, but find things are still a little loud for your liking, try:

  • Masking outside noise by turning on white noise inside the home using things like air conditioners, ceiling fans, and dehumidifiers.
  • Adding items to your rooms to absorb the noise, such as houseplants and various fabrics in the form of area rugs and upholstered furniture.

Finally, after carefully considering your windows, make sure you examine other areas where sound might be entering your home, such as:

  • Cracks around light fixtures, receptacle boxes, and door frames.
  • Gaps in door frames.
  • Not enough insulation in the walls.
  • Poorly installed vinyl or wood siding.
  • Dryer and hood vents
  • Chimneys, soffits, and fresh air intakes

While there isn’t much your can do to prevent some of these items from allowing sound into your home, there IS something you can do about your windows!

The window experts at Modern provide window renovation and window installation services all over Vancouver Island, including Port Hardy, Campbell River, Courtenay / Comox, Parksville, Port Alberni, Tofino, Nanaimo, Duncan and Victoria. We also service Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast and Powell River, BC. Contact us today to learn more, or request a free quote for window soundproofing solutions. 

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