Tips to Reduce Street Noise Through Your Window

Reduce street noise through your window

Street noise is an issue for almost everyone at one point or another. Whether you hear sirens and street life in a high-traffic environment like New York or loud construction noise interrupts your relaxation in the suburbs – street noise can and will penetrate your home. Here are some of the most effective tips to reduce street noise through your window.

Soundproof Your Windows to Reduce Street Noise

  • Examine your windows. Windows are typically the largest transmission path through your home facade. Windows break up the regular wall enclosure, and provide a lot of “room for error” where the acoustics of your home to be compromised.  Take a close look to see what’s going on with your windows. Is the caulk sealed properly around my window? Is the glass rattling, causing vibrational noise? This will tell you a lot about which of the following steps to follow.
  • Inspect your walls. If you have only a 2×4 or 2×6 stud exterior wall with a thin stucco, then chances are traffic noise can penetrate this partition, and your issue is bigger than just windows.  sound can flank through a number of pathways, like a paper-thin crack in your baseboards, or through wall cut-outs such as an electrical outlet on an exterior facing wall, or an output for your clothes dryer.

Reducing Traffic Noise through Windows

Don’t jump into purchasing double-paned windows without doing some research and measuring the amount of sound your current window treatment block. The STC (Sound Transmission Class) rating of a product determines how much sound is actually blocked by it. The average window in your home will have an STC of about 21 – 24. Double-pane windows have an STC  between 26 – 32, with the average being 29. For double-pane windows, it’s not the two pieces of thin glass that stop noise, for the most part it’s the airtight sealant and caulking used which prevents airflow into the home, along with the vacuum gap in the center that prevents noise from transferring through the window panes themselves.

Check out our blog on Soundproof Windows to learn more about the Pro’s and Con’s.

Reduce Traffic Noise Through Bedroom Windows

Reducing road noise in your home can turn into a big soundproofing project depending on how severe the noise is. Traffic noise can come in through the bedroom and living windows and keep you form sleeping soundly or even being able to just relax.

Exterior Barriers Blocking Direct Line of Sight

If possible, create a natural barrier outside to fragment the sound waves. This can be done by planting tall shrubs between the road and your home, the more leafy and full textured the better. Try to steer clear from needled or thin shrubs. This method won’t work to block the sound, since there will still be gaps for sound to travel through, but it may help to muffle the traffic noise.

Another way of blocking direct sound travel is by erecting a fence lined with Outdoor Sound Barrier in your front or back yard. Noise will still travel over or around the barrier, but will have less strength due to diffraction, which takes place before the sound waves can bend back down to the earth. The amount of sound energy lost over a barrier can be calculated with the Fresnel calculation, which largely depends on the height of the barrier.

Combine this blocking with some outdoor sound masking by adding a fountain or decorative waterfall. You can create your own outdoor white noise source, this solution tends to be more pleasant to the ear and more likely to drown out all of the disruptive street commotion.

Seal Gaps to Reduce Road Noise in Your House

Comb through your home to find any air openings or unsealed gaps. As I mentioned before, this is crucial. Especially around windows and doors where sound will take the path of least resistance and travel directly into your home. No matter how small the cavity is, eliminating the space altogether is key. Caulking and sealant is sold specifically for sound blocking and will also do a fair job of adding insulation to your home as well.

Our line of Residential Acoustics, sound blocking window and door treatments are a great way of adding STC sound blocking while effortlessly creating an acoustic seal. They can be installed decoratively over an existing window, saving the cost and hassle of replacing windows. See our Soundproofing Products .

In today’s world, keeping your home a peaceful sanctuary isn’t always easy. We are constantly surrounded by commotion, so understanding the nature of sound and what products are on the market to help you is the first step to a more restful and peaceful existence.

How to Block Out Traffic Noise in Your Bedroom

Similarly to the above solutions, you can block out traffic noise in your bedroom by soundproofing the windows. Whether you choose to use acoustic sealant, windows inserts, window coverings or even brand new soundproof windows, be sure the product you’re using is going to increase the STC of the existing windows.

If none of the above work, or if they aren’t suitable for your soundproofing budget (new windows can cost thousands), the consider sound blocking window treatments mentioned above. Soundproof curtains are made using Mass Loaded Vinyl at the core, which is a common commercial soundproofing product used to increase the STC rating of walls.

Another solution that requires absolutely no construction or modifications to the windows in your bedroom is a tabletop White Noise Machine. Place one of these on a bedside table, plug it in and turn it on to raise the ambient background noise level in the room. This higher background noise level, which will just sound like the AC, will help to mask any background noises ,such as passing cars, and make them seem less loud.

Summary: Reduce Street Noise Through Your Window

In Short, you can reduce street noise coming through your window by doing the following:

  • Know the STC blocking ability of your current windows. And make sure that they are sealed.
  • Create an outdoor sound diffraction barrier by putting up a tall fence or shrubs. Fountains and waterfalls can also be used to create natural white noise.
  • Eliminate any gaps in your exterior wall.
  • Use a Sound Blocking Curtain over the existing windows to eliminate 60%-90% of the sound coming through.

Reduce street noise through your window - Infographic chart

For more infographics on ways to reduce noise in your home or office, visit our Pinterest page! You can also follow our blog board where you’ll find more expert advice on soundproofing and acoustics!

If you are a commercial customer, we have worked with a variety of industries. Contact us here for more info!

Tips to Reduce Street Noise Through Your Window
Article Name
Tips to Reduce Street Noise Through Your Window
Discover ways to reduce street noise through your window, including adding soundproofing curtains over the opening, and sealing sound leaks along the wall
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Residential Acoustics
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