Ordinary windows do not block out a lot of noise so treating serious problems can he expensive and troublesome. However. Much can be done on a simple basis to cut down noise.
If the noise is only a problem at night, replace curtains with heavier and denser materials such as lined damask, chenille, and so on.
Insulate all window frames and sashes or casements. Anything which keeps heat in will help keep airborne noise out. Apply mastic to gaps between the window frame and the wall.
Fit proprietary sealing strips around window jambs and between upper and lower sashes in a sash window and check the seating of the glass in the frame. If necessary renew the putty and beading holding it in place.
A more permanent (and expensive) cure is double glazing which you can have installed professionally or which you can fit yourself using a DIY kit. Some kits contain sheets of clear plastic:, such as acetate. Polythene or perspex. But all include a frame that must be assembled to suit the existing window.
In this case you must buy your own glass or plastic, taking into account the size at the slot in the kit’s frame units.
The frame is fitted once the glass or plastic has been cut to the correct shape, and screwed. Nailed or clipped to the existing window frame.
When fitting double glazing kits to tackle a noise problem make the air space as wide as you can — up to 200mm if possible. If the double glazing kit is supplied with glass rather than plastic ensure that the two layers of glass have a different thickness.
Two panes of glass of the same thickness can allow certain types of noise to intrude in the form of an irritating ‘hiss’.
When measuring up the existing window, make sure all the corners are square. If they are not, assemble the kit ‘dry’ using a hardboard or plywood panel in place of the glass.
Cut the panel to the exact shape required. Then ask your glass or plastics supplier to cut the pane you need to the same shape. This ensures that you get a perfect fit.
Custombuilt double glazing units are very expensive and require expert advice. Between these two extremes are many other kits, their price reflecting their performance.
Like windows, doors are another weak link in the soundproofing chain — but once again, ensuring that they are properly sealed can do a lot to alleviate the problem.
Fitting seals around a door can double its sound insulating qualities. You get what you pay for — but any seal will return an improvement. The sprung metal strip is very simple but very effective, as is foam rubber.
The threshold is the most difficult area to seal. Use a twopiece combination excluder or a
facesealing excluder instead.
Airborne noise can come through panelled and flush doors alike.
Increasing the weight of the door pays dividends: a decorative panel on a flush door makes a great deal of difference, but you may need to hang a curtain on the back of the panelled door.
Double glazing a glazed door sounds silly, but if the double glazing is robust enough (and you must make sure it is) this also helps a great deal, though not as much as in a window.