Do you live in a noisy area? Is it driving you crazy?
Do your windows have thin walls and are letting all the noise in?
Do you love the idea of a soundproofed bedroom for peaceful nights?
What makes us so crazy about soundproofing windows is that we can do it ourselves, from scratch! Are you interested in soundproofing your window? Let’s get started! We’re here to help!
Down below, we have compiled a list of 11 ways to soundproof your windows by yourself. Of course, there are many other solutions, but these are the most convenient options for people who don’t want to spend a lot of cash or take up much time.
Caulk or acoustic sealants
Windows let sound in and out. This is because there are spaces between the window frame and the wall. You can use caulk or acoustic sealants to stop the noise from coming in or going out.
They will help you reduce the noise that comes in from outside so that you can have a peaceful place inside of your house at all times.
Caulk is a sealant that can be used to soundproof your windows. It is a flexible and rubbery substance that can be used to fill holes, cracks, and gaps in your windows. It will also help you in achieving the noise reduction goal for your room or apartment.
Yet, time will prove conventional caulk ineffective. It will harden and eventually crack.
This is why acoustic sealants are better to use. It is a more consistent material that will not crack or chip off.
Acoustic sealants are compatible with most interior and exterior paints unlike caulks that may require special paint matching. They can also be used to fill gaps, cracks, and seams on your window frame.
Window foam is also called a window plug. It can be used for soundproofing, but it will block the light. So we need to use it when there is no light.
If we don’t need light, using window foam for soundproofing a window is good because it doesn’t cost much money and doesn’t take time to install.
The window plug will reduce noise and it’s very easy to install, so we can use this as a temporary solution.
Since it is very easy to take on and off, you can remove the windows plug during the day while leaving it on at night.
Acrylic or glass sheet
If you are experienced enough in DIY, you can try to install the acoustic glass sheet.
The most effective DIY method to install this sheet is to build a frame on your existing windows. You can attach or detach the acoustic glass sheet via magnets.
Yet, you will need laminated glass or acoustic glass to have a noticeable difference in sound levels.
If the windows are larger than the sheets, you can cut and attach multiple acoustic glass sheets over your existing windows.
Acrylic is not good to use because it can make the inside of your house look bad. The installation of an acrylic sheet will also reduce the resale value of your home.
It is easier to cover a window with curtains or other elements.
From my personal experience, I find that it is not the cheapest and efficient way to reduce the sound levels.
If you have a lot of noise outside or live near a busy road, storm windows are great to keep out that noise.
Storm windows will help your house be quiet because they will cover the old window and block out the noise. It also keeps air between them and the actual windows, which makes good insulation.
The ticker the glass of the storm window is the better the soundproofing. Doing a professional installation of storm windows and sealing the frame will guarantee you get a good result.
Storm windows can be expensive but over time they will save money by being energy efficient and saving on cooling bills in the summer and lower heating bills in the winter.
When installing storm windows you should always use good quality materials to make sure they don’t rattle.
Noise-reducing curtains are used to reduce outside noise. This is good for people who want peace and quiet during their nights and mornings. If you want to keep your space soundproof, then all you have to do is get some noise-canceling curtains.
The best part of these curtains is that they are inexpensive, easy to install, and quick to take down if you need to use the window.
The one drawback that noise-reducing curtains have, is that they block cold air between them and the windows.
Depending on where you live, this can be a big problem. The cold air creates condensation on the windows. This condensation causes frame rotting and leads to a lot of problems and is expensive to fix.
Even the noise-reducing curtains do block the cold air, they also have other qualities that offset this problem.
Blinds or shutters
Blinds or shutters are a good way to soundproof your window because they can help keep the noise from outside.
This is because they create a solid surface between your window and the noise that’s happening outside. You can also add energy-efficient insulation which will not only keep the heat or cold in but will also help reduce any sounds coming from outside your home or apartment.
Installing special honeycomb cell shades can also help reduce any outside noises that make it into your home or apartment. This is because these honeycomb cells tap mutch air in them and this air works as a sound insulator.
The thicker the cell is, the more effective it will be at absorbing noise. You can opt for shades that have double honeycomb cells for even better insulation.
You should note that these only work well if you can ensure they are fitted correctly to your window as this will help you get the maximum benefit out of these types of blinds or shutters.
Thick or heavy furniture can help reduce the noise coming through your window. This is something you may not have thought of before but can be a great way to soundproof your window without paying for anything.
A thick rug is also a great way to reduce the sound from your window. This is enough to slightly reduce the sound waves coming from your windows.
You can also place a thick couch underneath the window to help with the sound. The couch or chair will slightly absorb the noise coming through the window.
You can also use plants to help reduce any outside noises. Gardening has always been a great way to relax but may not have occurred to you that it would also reduce the noise from your window.
These options are not reliable soundproofing tricks. Yet they can increase the benefits of the other soundproof treatments on your windows.
Self-adhesive foam tape
This tape will make a window soundproof and could even help you with the thermal insulation.
While the caulk and acoustic sealants are used to insulate the cracks between the window and the wall, this sticky tape seals both sides of the window frame.
The foam tape is usually used to soundproof and insulate the roof, but it can be used also to seal the window frames.
This is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to soundproof your windows.
You can roll out the tape into a flat sheet and then stick it over the window frame. Start from one side and continue to another until the whole frame is covered with an evenly distributed layer of foam tape.
Keep in mind that if you leave the tape on the window frame for too long, it can become difficult to take off without getting off some of the paint or wood when removing it.
Mass loaded vinyl
Mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) is a type of vinyl that has great soundproofing properties.
MLV can be used as a primary soundproofing material and is often added on top of existing wall/floor/ceiling assemblies.
It is strong and heavy, which makes it good for car engine compartment soundproofing.
While it is great for acoustical ceilings and soundproofing under-floor, you can make use of it soundproofing a window.
We recommend using MLV on windows that are obscured by curtains or not visible because it is one of the least beautiful window treatments we have listed.
MLV is great for heavy-duty window soundproofing. You can hang MLV directly onto a window frame. It is also easy to cut into any shape.
One of MLV’s advantages is that it can be easier to install than acrylic or glass sheets. It also acts as an effective barrier against heat and cold drafts.
We should note that it can be painted, so it is possible to match the paint color of your room. This gives you a little flexibility when comes to interior design.
Related: Best alternatives of mass loaded vinyl for soundproofing
A carbon panel is made from carbon fiber and epoxy resin. It is a skin or sandwich material, usually prepared in the form of plywood or honeycomb sandwiches. The role of carbon fiber in this panel is to provide strength and rigidity, reduction of weight, plus heat and sound insulation.
Carbon panels for buildings and interiors have gained increasing popularity because of their superior properties. These include low thermal conductivity, resistance to fire and smoke, lightweight, and environmental friendliness (no CFCs or formaldehyde).
You can use a carbon panel the same way you use window foam, however, the price of a carbon panel is much higher than foam. This also means the carbon panel blocks sunlight just like window foam.
Yet the soundproofing compared to that from the memory foam is superior. It is especially good for blocking the low-frequency sound vibrations from inside and outside the building. So if you are living near a construction site, an airport, or a train station where you are disturbed by resonance and low-frequency noise, it is a good option to use the carbon panel as a soundproofing material.
The many advantages of carbon panels are: they are lightweight; have high strength; provide thermal insulation; have acoustic benefits such as reducing noise levels within an enclosed space or providing extra soundproofing between rooms.
The main disadvantage is they are expensive.
Exterior sound barriers include anything you can place over or in front of your windows. For example, plants such as shrubs or hardscaping features like a rock wall can help to absorb sound waves from entering your home. This is especially helpful if you want to block sound from a neighbor’s loud stereo or barking dog.
In the same way that exterior insulation can create a thermal break for your home, an exterior sound barrier can create a “sound break” that blocks out unwanted noise from the outdoors.
If you want to build a “green” or more environmentally-friendly sound barrier, you can try using plants. Plantings of hardy bushes on the sides of your house can be used to provide a sound barrier, especially when combined with a screen of branches. This is very helpful for reducing outside noise that you may find most disturbing. Planting a row of evergreen trees can create an effective sound barrier, especially if the trees are not spaced apart.
When planting trees, you should always understand that they won’t grow as quickly as you expect. So be prepared to wait for years before your trees will be tall enough to provide a significant noise block.
Tips on how to level up your windows soundproofing
If you’re going to be doing your own DIY window soundproofing, then consider the following questions first:
Is the sound constant or intermittent? Are there any breaks in the noise (day, night, etc.)?
If the sound is constant, then you need to address all surfaces that are reflecting the sound. If it’s intermittent, you may only need some additional soundproofing on some of the windows or doors in your house.
To determine the amount of soundproofing you need, take some measurements of your current levels:
Step 1 – Measure the surface noise using an app, or a decibel meter. Use your smartphone.
Step 2 – Make note of the frequency and level within each room that’s reflecting sound from the windows.
Step 3 – Decide how much soundproofing do you need?
What kind of windows do I have and what’s the construction material?
The construction material is usually a window’s final factor, but there are other factors that affect soundproofing such as the size of the openings in the walls around the window.
When sound travels through a small opening, it can cause loud disturbances and many different types of noise pollution. There are methods you can use to reduce the effects of noise pollution.
To prevent sound travel through small openings, use flexible sealing materials such as caulk or acoustic sealants.
What kind of insulation do I have (e.g. fiberglass, rock wool, etc.)?
I’m not sure what kind of insulation you have, but I would recommend that you don’t spend money on soundproofing your windows when you haven’t taken care of the problem at the doors and walls.
Actually, sound can travel through your walls or doors too. Before spending money on window soundproofing, make sure that you have soundproofing on your doors and walls. If you don’t, then you might be wasting your money on the windows.
Is DIY window soundproofing expensive?
The cost of soundproofing a window is largely dependent on the type of materials that you are going to use.
Yet, they are many other factors you need to consider, before starting such a project. In the end, you need to be sure you are solving problems, rather than creating more.
The price you will pay for self-adhesive tape is typically lower than the price of a carbon panel.
Even that the tape works well in specific situations, won’t last for a long time, and takes time and effort for installation.
The window is often the last thing we think about when it comes to soundproofing our homes.
In this article, you have learned some of the best DIY ways to make your windows quieter and more comfortable for living in.
Whether you’re looking to reduce outside noise or prevent sound from traveling through small openings in your walls, there are many different options that will work for any budget.
We hope these 11 tips were helpful!