Oh, if I only had a dollar for every time I heard this question, how do I soundproof my windows, from neighbors, traffic, and airplane noise? This is a question that will continue to be asked until engineers, Architects and contractors finally realize that this issue is not going to go away by itself. Lawsuits have been filed due the lack of soundproofing in many newly constructed housing tracts, office buildings, and high-rise apartments.
The best way to deal with an already existing window for soundproofing is the Climate Seal Acoustic Window Insert The Acoustic Window Insert is made of a high grade acrylic material and is made as an all-in-one unit that includes a frame, gasketing material, and a bellows type of backing that includes a magnetic strip. You then screw or nail a metal L-bracket around the inside jamb of the window or attach a metal tape to the wall around the window. The Climate Seal Acoustic product provides a relatively low cost solution to a major problem.
Now the last option is one that will block out the light, but is still very effective as a sound blocker and absorber. It is what is referred to as a window plug. This is a plug made with 2″ closed cell foam mat, America Mat (2″ America Mat is the perfect choice for window plugs) that is cut to fit completely within the window frame itself. It is necessary that the closed cell foam plug be cut 1″ larger than to actually linear measurement of the window frame itself. For example, if the window is 3′ X 3′, you would cut the window plug 3′ 1″ X 3′ 1″ so as to have ½” of extra foam around the perimeter of the plug, making the foam plug fit tightly into the window frame, much the same as a cork fits into a bottle. Remember, that the window plug, though quite effective at sound reduction, is still a black vinyl material that will not pass light. The window plug can easily be removed however to allow the light in during the daytime when sound control issues are not so critical. Most of the time window plugs are used at night in bedrooms to allow folks to sleep despite the noise outdoors. At night when you are asleep, light coming in the window is not an issue.
The best way to cut this foam window plug to the proper dimensions is to use an ordinary kitchen type electric meat knife, you know, the kind you got for Christmas back in 1982 and have never used since. Well break it out now, it will pay for itself in only one use, believe me. It cuts the foam mat like butter, does not harm the knife and gives you a nice smooth cut even at corners. No frays or ragged edges! How cool is that? Many professional foam installers actually carry an electric meat knife in a holster on their belts. The pros know.
Thanks for reading about soundproofing windows, and remember knowledge is power. The more you know about soundproofing, the more you need Soundproofing America, Inc.
As always, Dr. Bob.
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