For individuals living in busy communities, noise in the home can be a tremendous challenge. This is especially true if there are businesses, bars or other locations near to the home that create undesirable noise. Nearby construction works also contribute to these kinds of issues and in many cases, can persuade families into thinking they need to move out from homes they love, just to escape the noise pollution.
However, there are numerous solutions out there to assist in reducing noise in the home. Secondary glazing is one solution to consider, if you’re looking to protect your premises from unwanted noise.
Tackling unwanted noise in the home
Because sound travels as a vibration, it can be very difficult to escape. Solid surfaces themselves don’t always entirely muffle or obscure sound, which is why classic tales of noisy neighbours continue to be told, even today.
However, certain solutions, such as draft exclusions, seals and other ways of entirely blocking openings in your property, help to contain sound. For properties that have them, another way to reduce unwanted noise is sealing an unused a chimney, because unwanted sounds cannot sneak through what would otherwise be an opening.
However, even when closed and locked, single pane windows can let in more sound and noise into the home than is often first realised. Here, solutions such as double glazing and secondary glazing, where space is created between multiple window panes, are popular ways of combating unwanted noise in the home.
What is secondary glazing?
Secondary glazing is the addition of a second pane of glass in a home’s window frame. Adding that second pane creates a gap that traps air to both insulate the home and reduce noise.
While it can often be seen as similar, it is not the same as double glazing. With double glazing, windows are spaced close together within the same window frame and the window itself is treated as one object. Secondary glazing noise reduction works because the panes are that much further apart and it differs from double glazing because no vacuum or insertion of Argon gas is necessary in that space. The glass itself is often treated for thermal resistance and noise reduction too.
Secondary glazing can be tailor made to work with a home’s existing windows and their structure. It is permitted in listed buildings and offers a gap of around 100 mm between the panes, versus the usual 20mm found in double glazing. In fact, secondary glazing can even be used alongside existing double glazing.
Secondary glazing for noise reduction
Secondary glazed windows are designed to create a pocket of air that absorbs much of the noise from the outside world. In that respect, they work along similar principles to double glazing, although secondary glazing uses a larger gap between the panes, which in turn absorbs more of the sound. Secondary glazing offers a noise reduction of 12 decibels or more, which makes a significant difference in noisier or busier communities.
Secondary glazing kits can be fitted to work alongside double glazing and triple glazing, so having one type of windows doesn’t exclude the other.
By the same principles and design factors that make secondary glazing so good at noise reduction, windows of this nature also offer benefits such as increased heat retention. Again, this is in a similar manner to how double glazing works, by creating another layer of glass and a space between the panes to trap air and help keep warmth within the home.
For homeowners who live in a listed building, where older windows have become draughty and rattly but cannot be upgraded, this can save a great deal in energy costs. Secondary glazing is permitted in listed buildings because it doesn’t alter or tamper with the protected structure of the house. This makes it a viable option in listed buildings where the likes of double glazing hasn’t been permitted.
Secondary glazed windows also have their own latches and means of being opened and closed, which means that they offer an extra layer of security for the home. Aesthetically, they can be ordered and designed to be tailor made to match the style of the room itself.
Naturally, these benefits also have the broader effect of adding value to the home.
How much does secondary glazing cost?
While secondary glazing tends to be cheaper than double glazing, it is still a home investment and should be approached as such. Furthermore, the costs will depend on the windows in your home, their size, and how many of them you wish to service with secondary glazing.
The type of home being upgraded can also affect costs. For example, on average, a flat with four windows being fitted with secondary glazing would cost around £250, whereas a semi-detached house having 10 windows treated would be closer to £670. Most reputable companies will help with finance plans to spread those costs and the final prices themselves will vary depending on your home and how many windows you’re ordering.
Naturally, some may opt to take on a project such as this as a secondary glazing DIY endeavour. While this is feasible, keep in mind that this would be an extremely precise project with no margins for error. In almost every case, the peace of mind that comes from entrusting this process to the professionals is well worth splashing out a little extra for.
While they may appear similar at first glance, double glazing and secondary glazing each have their own roles in a modern home, but can also be used side by side in the same window fitting, in many cases.
Secondary glazing is a solution whereby a gap of around 100 mm is created between the outer window pane of your property and its interior.
That same space between the glass panes captures and absorbs much of the traffic, shouting, construction and planes that make up unwanted noise in many modern neighbourhoods. Secondary glazing also uses thermally treated glass that helps to insulate the home, while also adding an extra layer of protection to your home security and peace of mind.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.