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Is secondary glazing better than double or triple glazinf for noise insulation?

(120 Posts)
MinimalistMommi Mon 04-Feb-13 10:41:36

Victorian period property cottage. Single glazed sash windows. The noise from busy-ish street is really upsetting/stressing me out. Didn't realise it would be this noisy until we moved in and then, of course, it's too late sad

DP's want me to rip out original windows and replace with UPVC style sash windows. I worry about ripping out original features and losing value on house.
I've read that secondary glazing, although a bit ugly, is better at noise reduction than double/triple glazed windows. Is this true?

Also has anyone here fitted secondary glazing and has it actually reduced noise? I would live to know! thanks

I really need mumsnetters help otherwise I'm gong to have to think about selling and buying again. sad

(More background information, front door opens directly into living room, I don't know if this 'lets in more noise' than a wall IYKWIM in comparison to separate hall and porch etc)

horsetowater Mon 27-Jan-14 21:52:03

Oh dear we are just about to sign up for secondary double glazing. How did you prove they didn't work and get them removed? And why didn't they work?

MinimalistMommi Wed 29-Jan-14 17:44:23

The fitter came around, stepped into our front room and said "This hasn't worked has it"

Also I rang head office immediately the fitters left. I was in shock, it had cost us the best part of £4,000 for four sash windows and it was like we had had nothing done. There was only a very very slight improvement. But not the four times reduced the website claimed though. In hindsight though I wonder if it was the conditions of our house though? Gappy victorian front door? New air bricks that had been added as a condition of the mortgage? Sash windows that were letting noise in, maybe they were too gappy? But that must be me being kind though as they didn't work in any of the rooms and we don't have front doors and air bricks in each room of our house grin we'e payed for too spec stadip silence glass too shock

MinimalistMommi Wed 29-Jan-14 17:44:43

*too = top

horsetowater Wed 29-Jan-14 21:25:45

I think we might try the DIY magnetic stuff. At least if it doesn't work we've only lost a few hundred pounds. We will refurbish the original windows as well. I don't trust the sales people.

PigletJohn Thu 30-Jan-14 11:03:51

Lightweight acrylic is not as effective for sound as heavy glass. Pay special attention to cracks and gaps that sound will get through.

horsetowater Thu 30-Jan-14 11:07:44

Cracks and gaps where - in the windows or around?

PigletJohn Thu 30-Jan-14 11:28:44

Very often there are gaps between the window frame and the wall, even if they have been hidden by trim. Replacement windows are often very bad for that. On the outside you need a weatherproof seal such as silicone or a hardwood fillet, and can then inject expanding foam into large gaps before using a trim or paintable seal on the inside.

If the casements are a poor fit in the frames there are various EDPM profiles (don't use foam strip) and for sliding sashes, a brush or furry pile. They all stick to clean fresh paint but not to dirt or eroded paint.

You will have to provide ventilation.

horsetowater Thu 30-Jan-14 12:23:47

It's a 1905 house, excellent solid building and windows are very solid but I can imagine that there may be existing gaps between the casement and bricks. They were not designed to cope with double decker diesel buses driving up the road.

I am going to contact a joiner who might be able to completely refurbish the windows. It would be mad to skip them but they will need removing, restoring and putting back in, probably more work than putting in UPVC.

PigletJohn Thu 30-Jan-14 13:03:38

Excellent news.

spotm82 Wed 21-May-14 23:46:04

We were in a similar predicament. We opted to have the wooden framed sash removed and had exact pvc replicas made with pvc and stadip silenced glass rather than restoration and secondary glaze. We are so happy with the finish we have little to no exterior noise and the neighbours have had to look closely to see they are new windows. We live in a conservation area. Everybody is so impressed with the look. If you find a good local company and do some research the results are fantastic. Hope this helps

whydontieverlisten Thu 26-Jun-14 15:50:43

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theweasels Thu 07-Aug-14 12:41:46

great article here about double glazing sound properties -

sophiebygaslight Sat 09-Aug-14 21:36:43

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MIDDEBIDU Fri 12-Sep-14 08:57:22

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21isanawkwardage Thu 18-Sep-14 11:01:03

My elderly gran couldn't have PVC windows in our cottage because it is listed so we looked at secondary glazing as an alternative. Her existing windows had big gaps around the sides and they were really draughty - 200 years old so I don't suppose I am surprised!

Wasn't sure if it would be up to the job so searched for "internal double glazing" and found plenty of information about do's and don'ts.

Went to a specialist company in the end to make sure it did the job and couldn't be happier. They were very knowledgable and never got annoyed at my endless questions!

tagragra Fri 19-Sep-14 15:58:31

How about £ 5.99 pair of ear plugs form ebay.
I am night shift worker,i sleep during the day,although I have a double glazing etc... dogs bark outside ,my family when indoors can also be loud
this ear plugs do the trick.
must be the right ones-swimmers one,shape of cork screw opener,they fit right inside the ear,they will not come off while asleep.

PatMcMahon Thu 14-Jan-16 11:17:54

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Joey8 Thu 14-Jan-16 12:26:09

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whatevva Thu 14-Jan-16 12:57:15

I live next to a dual carriageway A road. With a courtyard of 1bed flats nearby.

I had single glazed hardwood windows. These had to be replaced, because the upstairs ones suffered badly from condensation, the putty holding the glass in got badly cracked and moldy, and they were not deep enough to accept replacement double glazed units. One had been reused when we built an extension, and was warped and sounded as if it was open, and is closer to noise from the flats (motobikes). One was a cheap but double glazed frame and let in lots of noise.


Bedroom with warped window changed to triple glazed - all out winner! Hard to make it worse. The noise that does come through is due to the standard of the building work around it.

Bedrooms with ok windows changed to triple. Also good. There is a faint noise through the glass, like a sort of drum effect, if you are being picky, but if you open the window, you realise how little noise is coming through. I am not sure that triple glazing made as much difference as I would have hoped, and it also makes the window heavy (the whole window opens) so may reduce its lifetime.

Study - rubbish wood double glazed window replaced with upvc double glazed window. This is a winner too. The old one did not close tightly enough (or easily), despite it being new and having all the right bits - the quality of the frame was too low.

Sitting room - changed from single hardwood to upvc double glazed. We changed these to match the others. Not much difference. The original windows were good quality and fitted well when they were closed and the new ones are much the same. We have solved the problem of damp leaking in at the side of one. We never got to the bottom of that and were always trying to reseal it.

Arched window made out of square casement window with opening semi-circle above. This window was a catalogue of disasters (fittings broke and replaced, modifications made to fit building regs, joining the two windows together etc) and was replaced with a square window with a semi-circle above, as one unit. Huge improvement in sound, mainly because of the lack of holes (no leaks either grin.)

Most of the improvement is made by things fitting properly and being properly sealed. The double/triple glazing is a nice added extra. The lack of condensation is good.

Millionprammiles Thu 14-Jan-16 13:54:33

We have three different kinds of glazing - normal double, acoustic double and secondary glazing.

Without a doubt the best for noise insulation is sec glazing. The difference is very noticeable. It was also quite expensive though, otherwise we might have done the other bedrooms too.

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