Street noise can be really extremely annoying. The constant rush past of cars, trucks or even police sirens makes it difficult to relax and disturbs sleep.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to some effective ways to make your home much more protected from street noise.
To better protect yourself from street noise at home, it is especially useful to improve the insulation of the windows. Suitable for this purpose u.a. improved rubber seals but also soundproof curtains. To be less exposed to street noise on the balcony, you can put up as heavy a partition as possible or reinforce the balcony railing with heavy vinyl mats.
Insulate the windows against street noise
The windows are often a crucial weak point through which the street noise can penetrate into the apartment. Here are five valuable tips you can use to make your windows significantly more soundproof.
1. seal gaps between the wall and the window
In many older buildings, air holes may appear between the wall and the window as time goes by. Through these holes the street noise can easily come from the outside to the inside.
With a acoustic sealants However, these holes can be filled quite easily.
This has a positive effect not only on sound insulation, but also on thermal insulation! Because in winter, cold air also comes in through such holes from the outside and drives up heating costs.
2. Improve the seals of the French windows
Over time, rubber seals on French doors can also become flat and stiff. This then ensures that the windows no longer closes properly.
This also allows street noise and air to enter more easily.
With a sheet of paper you can easily check if this could possibly be the case with your window. To do this, clamp the sheet between the frame and the French window and then try to pull it out with the window closed.
If it can be pulled out easily, the seals are usually not in good shape and should be repaired.
To do this, you can completely replace the rubber seals with new ones.
Alternatively, you can also apply additional sealing tapes like in this video. This is especially useful in rented apartments, as it is easy to undo when moving out.
3. Install soundproof curtains
Soundproofing curtains can be a very helpful additional option. These curtains are thicker and heavier than ordinary curtains, which makes them particularly good at absorbing sound waves.
They also reduce the reverberation in the room. This improves room acoustics and makes noise (whether from inside or outside) less noticeable.
Soundproof curtains are especially useful if you with open window you want to sleep and still do not want to get the full noise drone from the street.
4. Additional insulation of roller shutter boxes
The shutter box is often neglected when it comes to sound insulation and can therefore also be a weak point against street noise.
To improve the insulation of the roller shutter box, however, there are special insulation mats with which you can line the box from the inside and thus make it more soundproof. How this is done, you can see in this video.
5. Installing a new, better window
The most effective and in some cases best option is to replace the current window with a new window with better sound insulation.
Especially in the case of extremely strong street noise or if the current window is not particularly high quality, this consideration is worthwhile.
So-called soundproof windows are classified into different soundproofing classes (SSK). The choice of sound insulation class depends on the intensity of noise. While a window with SSK 2 insulates about 32 dB, a window with SSK 5 provides sound insulation of 45 dB. The latter, unfortunately, is also accompanied by a significantly higher price.
In hotels, which are often located on very busy streets, windows with a high sound insulation class are usually installed.
Better protect the balcony from street noise
If the balcony is attached to the street side, the street noise can be particularly annoying and greatly reduce the real benefit of the balcony.
Usually the street noise reaches us through the balcony railing or even through through the railing. Most balcony railings consist only of individual metal bars and thus allow noise to pass through unhindered.
Unfortunately, the options are rather limited when it comes to improving the noise protection on the balcony. However, one method that can provide some relief from the street noise is to install a Partition wall along the entire railing put up.
You may now be thinking of the typical reed mats that many people attach to the balcony railing.
Unfortunately, however, reed mats are hardly suitable for noise protection. They are simply far too thin and light. Thus, they neither stop sound waves nor absorb them. Their main function is to provide privacy!
Instead, you should consider replacing the railing with Mats of mass-loaded vinyl to cover. These can be easily attached to the railing from the inside. Due to their high density, they can bounce off the street noise, making it much more comfortable on the balcony.
A partition wall that can be erected can also be useful on the balcony. Especially if it extends upward beyond the railing, it can significantly improve noise control.
However, most erectable partition walls are also intended only as privacy screens. Here, too, the use of vinyl mats could be worthwhile. You can put them as an additional layer on the partition wall. This way the mass of the partition can be significantly increased and it becomes more soundproof.
Better protect the garden from street noise
A garden can be protected against noise much better than a balcony. In particular, there are three different options.
1. Build a wall facing the street
A wall directly facing the street prevents the noise from reaching the garden by a direct route.
The sound waves then simply bounce off the wall. Of course, this does not completely block out street noise, because some of the noise still makes it over the wall into the garden, for example through reflection from other buildings. Overall, a wall can still usually significantly reduce the volume of street noise.
The higher the wall is, the better the noise protection is. Also, when building, use materials that are as solid and heavy as possible, as these prevent sound from penetrating through the wall.
2. Build a soundproof fence
A fence facing the street is usually less effective than a solid wall, but can also significantly improve noise protection.
Even with fencing, make sure to use the most solid and heavy material possible.
The already addressed for the balcony Vinyl mats Can also be used very effectively here and incorporated into the fence.
3. Plant a hedge
A hedge is usually even less effective than a fence, but can still be useful.
Especially in combination with a fence, the hedge provides good additional protection from road noise. It also looks good and reduces the echo in the garden. This can also cause road noise to be perceived as less intense.
Road noise is often persistent and not very easy to keep out. Sometimes, however, simple means are enough to reduce the noise level in the garden or on the balcony enough so that you can enjoy your time there again extensively. If the windows are the main weak points against the street noise, we have also shown some options for this, which can significantly improve noise protection.