Noise pollution is one of the main problems city dwellers experience every day.
With the various noises coming from the outdoors, you have no control over them not reaching your ears. And windows are one of the avenues of airborne noise.
Even if you thought you already placed soundproofing materials on your doors and a fully closed window is enough to get rid of the external noise, you’re mistaken.
Window glasses are made of particles vulnerable to shatter when they absorb vibration. And that will only add to your troubles when the glass breaks.
With that being said, window soundproofing is an effective solution against noise reduction: people shouting, full blast neighbor’s stereo, car horns, sirens, and many more.
Yes, they work, but not in the way you expect them to.
Soundproof foams do not block sound. They absorb sound instead.
Why they are effective in soundproofing windows is because they absorb the impact of noise coming from the outside. Once the sound reaches your ears, it is not as annoying and loud.
Have you ever thought about why headphones have foams?
Aside from the comfortable soft cushion they provide, headphone foams filter the sound transfer to your ears.
PRO TIP: Sound travels through the soft and porous materials of foam, disrupting the sound path going directly to your ears and making the impact of sound less intense.
Can you Soundproof Existing Windows Without Replacing them?
Of course, you can! There is no need to replace those windows just because they are not soundproof.
Even doors, ceilings, and walls aren’t soundproof unless you reinforce them with soundproofing materials.
Besides, you do not block the sound coming into your home permanently. If you do that, you will also stop the light from letting in.
Here are some of the practical and economical ways to soundproof your windows:
1. Adding Acrylic Glass Sheet
This depends on your ability to DIY or willingness to customize your windows. Windows have different styles. Make sure to ask a professional installer before getting acrylic for your windows.
2. Placing heavy but soft furniture beside windows
These pieces of items could help dampen the sound as they are built with porous materials to trap sound waves.
3. Hanging Acoustic Curtains
If your goal is to reduce the sound, a sound-deadening curtain or soundproof blanket is a practical tool in soundproofing.
One downside of these fabrics is the moisture buildup against the window glass and the back of the soundproof curtain. Moisture is one significant factor in wooden window frames.
4. Installing Wooden Blinds
The good thing about wood is that it has a higher absorption rate since it is a porous material. Adding blinds to the windows helps reduce sound and unwanted light, especially when you sleep during the day.
5. Adding MLVs
MLVs or mass-loaded vinyl are soundproofing tools you can add to your windows if covering those with MLV will not affect your room’s aesthetics.
However, MLVs are more of a sound blocker than an absorber, so they can’t prevent airborne sound if you intend to get rid of road or traffic noise. They perform better on ceilings and walls.
6. Applying Acoustic Caulk
One of the most intuitive acoustic treatments is this. Acoustical caulk or sealant can be conveniently applied over the ridges and edges of a window frame, door, and wall cracks or along the joints to seal against sound.
7. Acoustic foam Tape or Strips
Similar to acoustical caulk, foam tapes are one of the DIY solutions for windows soundproofing. You have to get a high-density foam to be placed at the edges of your window to ease outdoor noise. An acoustic foam tape is self-adhesive and is an effective window insert.
8. Acoustic foam Panels or Mats
Foam is a high-porous material and is an effective noise-canceling tool. Though it helps in reducing noise, attaching an acoustic panel for windows could only be applicable if your room is purposely designed for acoustics like a studio.
Otherwise, these panels will create a windowless room. However, aside from controlling sound waves, acoustic panels can be replaced anytime.
Window plug: Making a soundproof window plug solves your temporary need for sealing the windows.
Soundproofing the windows using foams offers benefits in many ways.
PRO TIP: Honeycomb sound absorption blinds will help absorb some outside noise and soundproof your window.
Benefits of Soundproof Foam for Windows
One way or another, we have come to touch on the benefits of soundproof foams when used on windows. What are those specifically?
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- The improved sound quality in the room: Compared with the window without soundproofing foams, the sound from the outside will be muffled. The sound from the inside will be improved, removing the echo effect brought by solid objects.
- Peaceful surroundings: You can have time for relaxation and restful sleep. With soundproofing foams, you will get away with fears of thunder and heavy rain, too.
- Restored peace of mind: There is no more rewarding than having peace of mind when you know your place is calm and serene.
- Privacy: You can restore your privacy without the outdoor noise bugging you all day and night. You will have no worries that your indoor conversations might be heard. Your voice will hardly be heard from the outside, sending an impression that we have to respect each other’s privacy.
- Health and safety: Soundproof foams are lightweight, environment-friendly materials, offer adequate sound and heat insulation, and have fire safety properties.
How to Soundproof Windows With Foam
Just like the door, your windows are a passage for all kinds of noise, air, and light.
Most people use curtains or blinds to block the light. But when sound is an issue, soundproofing foam-like panels and strips will help in blocking unwanted noise.
Here are some tips to get by with noise using acoustic foams for windows:
1. Seal air gap
In windows, minor gaps and cracks will let the sound inside the room. Watch out for gaps around the edges due to poor window installation.
You may want to start sealing those parts first with soundproofing caulk. This type of caulking will not crack over time since it is pliable.
2. Line the window edges with adhesive foam tapes.
Self-adhesive foam strips are as effective as caulk, depending on how you installed them. These soundproofing strips can withstand all kinds of weather.
They come in rolls when you buy them. Check the width you need that is appropriate for your window.
3. Hang an acoustic foam panel
However, this may look like covering the entire window. But acoustic foam barriers are easy to install.
Most products like these are easy to install or have installation instructions included. Acoustic sound-deadening foam panels are a great way to insulate your room against unwanted noises if your windows’ aesthetic is not an issue.
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PRO TIP: Easy steps installing the weatherstrips:
- Clean the surface. Any dirt will hamper the tape’s effectiveness.
- Carefully peel off the backing.
- Apply to the window edge, making sure the curve is not overly padded.
- Close and open the window to check the sealing.
1. CIKKIIO 32.8 Ft Self Adhesive Seal Strip Weatherstrip for Windows
We need foam weatherstrips with a strong adhesive and high resistance to shock, dirt, heat, and sound. The CIKKIIO’s almost 33 feet self-adhesive strip will cover your soundproofing needs for your windows and could be the answer to your soundproofing foam that can be used in many applications.
More Features and Benefits:
- Excellent overall performance—Though it can be used not on windows alone, the thickness makes this product an ideal material for soundproofing. The soft brush feature keeps the surface from all kinds of damage, giving your home more protection in the long run.
- Wide application—If you have excess seal strips, you can add to the edges of cabinets, sliding glass doors, doors, and all kinds of wooden or glass gaps, making it highly economical to buy different weatherstrips for different applications.
- Versatile in size—The edge of CIKKIO over one-size-fits-all soundproof strips for windows is that they come in different sizes. So, you have to ensure that you get the right size to avoid waste.
- Energy-saving—With good sealant properties, the strips regulate the flow of hot and cold air, helping you save on energy bills. So if you have problems with your HVAC, these tiny soundproofing tools work mightier than you expect.
2. Window Insulation-2 Rolls Soundproofing Insulation
This adhesive soundproofing insulation and weatherstripping tape is 13 feet long but packed in two rolls of 6.5 feet each.
Almost as wide as CIKKIO, the material is entirely different as it is made of thick rubber-like foam, making it more resistant to all kinds of shock, including noise pollution.
More Features and Benefits:
- Closed-cell foam sweep—The foam’s inner material is tightly packed together, adding more solidity against shock and penetration of sound, light, and air. This means it insulates better than other foam types of sweeps.
- Peel off backing film—Makes installation easier and quicker. Just peel it off and save you more time for something else! And when removed, there’s no degumming on the surface it left.
- High-density foam strip—Protects doors and windows’ implements and the main structure, providing enhanced durability on these structures.
PRO TIP: Closed cell foams are more applicable to use in large areas like garages, basements, or attics because they can expand 3o% of their original size
3. D Shape Weather Stripping for Small Gaps
This could be the best sealant you are looking for in durability, size, and fashion. Made of polyurethane foam, this amazing weatherstrip effectively wards off noise coming from the outside and protects the structure it covers, giving you more savings with its incredibly reasonable price.
More Features and Benefits:
- D-shape with polyethylene cover—Innovative yet high-performing strips with remarkable resilience against all kinds of shock; saving you from all types of pollution and protecting doors and windows from premature wear, and has high resistance against tear that converts to long-term protection.
- High-viscosity mesh and grid backing with strong adhesive properties—Sticks well, almost permanently but doesn’t damage the surface and creates degumming.
- Wide application—Can be used on windows, cabinets, shower doors, sliding doors, and even on steel and aluminum doors and windows.
- More savings on energy—The tightness of these weatherstrips will control the temperature loss in your home, giving you more savings on energy bills.
- Fashionable—The strips come in black and white, giving you more freedom to match your current home implementation design.
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Soundproof Foam Related Questions
Will acoustic foam help outside sounds from coming through windows?
Absolutely yes. These strips work more effectively with other soundproofing tools like an acoustic blanket, soundproofing curtain, foam panel, and more. The foam material is essential for the window to seal correctly, leaving no space for sound or noise to travel.
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How much do soundproof windows cost?
It depends on whether you are replacing the existing window with a soundproof one or just looking for a soundproofing material. Soundproof windows can be bought, and they run around $500 to $1200, while weatherstrips range only $20 to $60 per square foot.
Does soundproof foam keep noise out?
No. Soundproof foam is a sound-absorbent material. A soundproof foam absorbs the sound waves and reduces the quality of sound by removing the reverberation and echo effect.
Keeping noise at bay has many solutions. And one practical solution is the addition of soundproof foam on windows.
If you are looking at a greater span to soundproof, remember that the windows are not the only passage of noise coming from the outside. You also need to soundproof your door, walls, ceiling, and floor if you live on the upper floor level of an apartment.
Nevertheless, this simple guide hopefully leads you to innovative, practical, and affordable solutions in soundproofing.
Robert is an electronic engineer with more than five years of experience with a solid affinity for helping people reduce noise. He writes about these silent home appliances and easy soundproofing measures to help everyone avoid the negative effect of extended exposure to high noise levels.