Traffic noise is a nuisance from most people in Europe. It is a problem that is next to the impact that air pollution has on people. Cases of high blood pressures, strokes and heart problems are attributed to noise pollution, and the matter is so critical that there have been over 60,000 cases of premature deaths reported, annually, that are linked to traffic noise.
Your home should be a place where you can escape from the bustle of the working world and enjoy some tranquil time. You should not have to endure the same noise that you encounter when you are out there in the busy towns. To remedy the situation, you should consider insulating your house. But will you soundproof your home?
With sound insulation, getting the best is a matter of identifying all possible weak points. In most cases, your efforts should see you leverage two technologies that focus on the same goal. You need to invest in sound insulating windows, but they are only as good as the surrounding structure. As such, you also need to invest in thick walls or consider adding insulation to your walls to ensure that they block out the outside noise. This can be especially important for conservatories – consider getting hardwood conservatories to make them just as soundproof as the rest of your home.
How Does Sound Insulation Work?
Insulating your home against outside sounds will see you focus on three things:
1. The first is to dampen the walls which will see you create an “acoustically dead” surface that has very little to no vibrations. For this, you will have to add mass to the structure so that it can block and reflect noises.
2. The second is to have a surface that will absorb sounds so that it prevents it from peering through; this is where wall insulation will be vital.
3. The third thing is to decouple the structures by creating a barrier that inhibits the flow of vibrations between one structure and the next. In essence, what you will create is a gap that the noise or its vibrations cannot jump.
How Do Soundproof Windows and Acoustic Glass Work?
The secret behind the effectiveness of acoustic glass as a soundproofing material is that it is designed to deflect and dissipate sound waves. In most case, what you have is a layer glass pane that has several acoustic glass layers of different thickness interlayers with variable spaces between them. The layering can result in acoustic glass panes of different breadths, and the thicker the glass, the better it’s function.
Adding an extra pane to a double glazed window will only yield less than desirable results if you are trying to reduce outside noise. While some salespeople in some stores may be quick to point out that such an idea works, they are less informed. Understanding how sound moves is key to knowing how to prevent it from piercing into your house.
Since sound moves through objects in a linear direction, a layered piece of glass that has interlayers of varied thickness is an adequate answer to disrupting and dissipating noise. The technology behind acoustic glazing is it employs this and combines it with specially made PVB interlayers that are placed in-between the layers of glass during manufacture. That means that the PVBs are a different material that brings in different density to the layered pane; it has different sound dampening and absorbing qualities from the glass. It keeps the noise from passing from one layer of glass to the next.
Since the principle behind soundproofing is to have more layers that result in a thick glass that disrupts sound waves, there is a limit to what can be considered when thinking of soundproofing using glass.
Secondary Glazing For Your Windows
If doing replacing the windows is out of the question because you are on the owner of the property, then you can upgrade the existing ones to make them soundproof while also increasing their energy efficiency. For this, you need to install secondary glazing.
However, be aware of the fact that the secondary glazing is not a foolproof solution to improving the sound insulation in your home. The soundproofing principles apply. In as much as the glazed panes are relative a better choice compared to the ordinary glass, the triple glazed windows are a better choice than the double glazed windows. They have more sealing that will cut the noise better. If you add secondary glazing to the triple glazed window, then you enhance its effectiveness by 70%.
With the double and triple glazed windows, you have surfaces that absorb and dampen noise, but if you add the secondary glazing, you bring in a decoupling effect. How this happens is attributed to the fact that the secondary glazing is a separate layer added to the external facing window. However, there has to be the right amount of space between the primary and secondary glazing for it to be effective.