You might be wondering why you cannot focus on anything you do nowadays even though your house is absolutely quiet. Well, it could be because of the noise coming from outside of your home that can be very distracting for you.
If outside noise is a problem of yours, you can take up this DIY project to soundproof your windows.
There are many ways to easily do These are some of the cheapest ways that you can do yourself without asking for any professional help or emptying your wallet.
Why Do Windows Let In So Much Noise?
Many factors allow the windows to let noises in. There could be gaps in the window frame resulting from the poor installation that let unwanted noises in along with air. This could also be a big problem in certain seasons to maintain the room temperature.
Windows are usually thinner than the surrounding parts of the wall. Single-pane glass can be a problem for windows that face the street or are in a noisy neighborhood. Thick windows block out a lot of the outside unwanted noises like traffic noises, people screaming or dogs barking.
Apart from changing your windows, there are various methods that you can use to soundproof your windows. It ranges from quick temporary fixes to more complete and long-lasting solutions.
How To Soundproof A Window Cheap?
- Acoustic Caulk: We almost never notice the small cracks and holes in the frames and borders of the windows. These can be one of the most important culprit in allowing the noise that enter the houses.
We need to block these small pathways and prevent the sounds that can push through.
Acoustic caulk helps in sealing these cracks and holes. It will give you great results and will last for up to three to four years. It’s also easy to apply and hence easily preferable.
- It helps seal the gaps very easily
- It is flexible and hence won’t crack easily
- It is more durable than regular caulk
Conventional caulk will harden and eventually crack but acoustic caulk will remain flexible and last for a longer time.
- Window foam: Window foam also known as a window plug can be attached to the window to help with noise control. The foam dampens the sound waves but they also block out the light and that can be a problem. It can be easily removed and replaced again.
This might not be the best way to soundproof a house. Along with the minimum sound dampening, the mat also covers the whole window. You will have to repeatedly keep applying and removing them to maintain a balance between your light and noise level.
In case you want to use it in a studio to reduce the sound a little along with other methods of soundproofing, the temporary loss of light will be worth it.
- Interior Acrylic or Glass Sheet: This method requires a little bit of DIY skill. You can attach the acrylic or glass piece to the inside of your existing window.
First, you will need to install a metal frame on your existing window, and then magnets are used to attach the sheet.
This is one of the most effective and easy options for DIY soundproofing windows.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind before embarking on this project.
Without laminated glass or an acoustic grade class, there won’t be a huge acoustic difference. For minor noise problems attaching an acrylic or glass sheet is absolutely fine but it will not be just as effective for very loud deep sounds.
Attaching these glass sheets are also not that pretty. It can diminish the charm of your house as your windows won’t look the same.
- Noise-reducing curtains: Out of many soundproofing fixes, this is one of the easiest ways to soundproof any window.
The noise-reducing curtains are also known as thermal curtains as the acoustics also help in insulation.
This, however, can cause a bit of a problem of mold growth as the curtains will block the cold air between the window and the back of the curtain. Other than that, the heavy curtains can block a lot of the outside sound.
- Noise-reducing blinds or shutters: Sound waves can be blocked by putting as much material as we can between the source of the noise pollution and the indoors. Installing any type of blind will help reduce the noise.
There are some with special honeycomb cells that are best for soundproofing.
The whole construction allows more air to be trapped inside of it and hence preventing it from coming inside the house. For even more acoustic benefits you can choose the ones that have double cells.
Timber window shutters and insulating blinds can also help in noise reduction. This is because wood is porous and it is a good material for dampening the sound. The insulating blinds are made from a thicker fabric that will help them do a better job of blocking out all the unwanted noise.
- Soundproofing with furniture: We all know that sound travels around and usually moves through the air until it reaches a surface.
It either passes through the surface or bounces off the surface and every time it does one of those things, it loses some energy of itself and hence dies out more quickly.
Rearranging existing furniture or adding some new pieces can act as one way to obstruct the sounds pathway.
Uneven surfaces will absorb more sound waves and stop them from bouncing around the room. Adding these surfaces will reduce the echo and reverberation in your room.
A flat surface on the other hand blocks the sound from leaving or entering the room and reflects it back to where it came from.
This method can however lead to complete blockage of the outside light and hence decide according to your lighting preferences.
You can deal with it in two ways, one is my placing heavy types of furniture like closets or bookshelves or couches in front of the window completely blocking it or you can place other similar stuff just to cover up the window enough and not block it totally.
- This method is absolutely free
- It dampens noise to some extent
- This may lead to complete blockage of the light in the room.
This method is absolutely free of cost. You can try it out to see if it works for you.
- Mass-loaded vinyl sound barrier: For windows that usually do not allow a lot of light or air inside or once they’re out of sight or are usually kept close you can opt for a heavy-duty soundproofing solution like a mass loaded vinyl sound barrier.
Mass-loaded vinyl is a soundproofing material with various ranges of applications from soundproofing engine compartments to protecting vehicles and homes. Its main components are PVC and vinyl which results in the characteristic ‘flow effect’ of the material.
Some of its other components are heavy materials like barium sulfate or calcium carbonate.
These mass-loaded vinyl barriers are designed to dampen the impact sounds like that of thumping footsteps, engines drums, or anything that produces a vibrational effect from the noise.
The MLV can be just hung over the windows just like a set of heavy curtains.
Mass-loaded vinyl can also be painted and hence it does have some flexibility over how you want it to look.
- Carbon absorption panel: This is also another high-tech DIY sound barrier that can be used with your windows.
Carbon panels are perfect for absorbing low-frequency sounds like thunder or machinery on a nearby industrial site.
This is very similar to a foam panel and this can also be placed over the windows to dampen the unwanted noises but this also means that it will block out the light.
Carbon panels are of higher quality material and hence, give better results than foam panels. These are even more effective to maintain indoor quiet.
Although compared to foam panels, carbon panels are a little more expensive. If your main priority is to block out the low-frequency sounds, in particular, carbon panels are an easy option.
- Exterior barriers: Soundproofing can also be done from the outside instead of always doing it from the inside of the house.
Most indoor DIY soundproofing methods don’t have a beautiful look to them but the outdoor methods can actually enhance the aesthetic of your house.
For example, panting thick shrubs or installing hardscaping features like a rock wall or a stone waterfall can absorb some of the sound waves that you want to stop from entering your house and simultaneously also enhance the beauty and sophistication of your outdoors.
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You can opt for either indoor soundproofing methods or outdoor soundproofing methods but always keep in mind what type of soundproofing you are looking for.
For example, if for soundproofing low-frequency sounds or vibrational sounds installing a stone wall outside of a window will not give you the desired results. It will only lead you to spend a lot of money on something that will be of no use. Instead, make a plan of what type of sounds you are trying to cover and decide accordingly.
There may be a lot of different ways to soundproof the windows within an affordable budget but the most common ones are the specialized curtains or blinds, the foam panels, or just rearranging the furniture already present in your room.
You can also mix and match two or more different types of soundproofing methods mentioned above to get the best results that apply to you.
Many factors go into successful window soundproofing. From choosing the right materials to ensuring you don’t create more problems while trying to solve them, there can be a variety of possibilities.