Recently, a customer came to us with a question: “My neighbor mows the lawn early on Sunday mornings – what can I do to reduce the noise?” Not surprisingly, noise reduction can be one of the primary benefits to replacing your windows, upgrading siding or enhancing insulation, but it needs to make sense for your home.
Replacement Windows: If your home is old enough, or you need to upgrade your windows for other reasons as well, window replacement is a viable option. The most important consideration for noise reduction in windows is the thickness of the glass. You could have double- or triple-pane windows, but if the glass is thin, you won’t get the noise reduction benefits. Another factor is how the windows are sealed when they are installed – air gaps also let in noise, so quality installation makes a difference.
Replacement Siding: Simply replacing your siding probably isn’t going to do the trick. Vinyl siding doesn’t add any practical insulation, so for noise reduction, you will want to look to a fiber cement siding, along with additional exterior insulation. This approach is similar to constructing a sound-proof room, but along all the exterior.
If you replace siding, it’s important to also address penetrations in the wall where sounds can enter, and be amplified. If you’ve ever heard outside noises through a bathroom fan vent, that’s what happens at light switches, power outlets and similar structural features. An experienced installation team will properly address any wall voids and penetrations, to ensure you receive the full benefits of your new siding.
The Details Matter
Depending on your home, one or both of these solutions may make sense to reduce outside noise. Like many aspects of home improvement projects, the details matter, and it’s what you can’t see that makes the most difference. The best siding and insulation, paired with thick window glass, will still let noise into your home if they aren’t installed with noise reduction in mind.
One added benefit of noise reduction strategies is a home that is better sealed, and more energy-efficient, too. If you have questions about your windows, siding and insulation, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (703) 828-1620!
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