Is your home too noisy? We don’t mean from family activities that punctuate our daily lives – but a hustle and bustle going on outside.
Have you noticed this or are you like so many of us, immune to the extra sounds that crash into our daily routines?
We can become accustomed to the noise pollution around us – from transport or busy areas or even just people passing or loudly enjoying themselves. As life gets busier, it can be difficult to keep the outside out. Towns and villages continue to expand and commuter traffic increases, meaning period properties which might once have stood on a quiet country road, or distanced from a daily grind, now find themselves surrounded by activity.
Only when that noise pollution is removed do we realise how it has impacted our daily lives. But, did you know that even moderate levels of noise pollution can affect our health?
While modern houses are being built with more and more sound insulation, with high-performance double glazing and wall insulation, period properties with original features remain prone to disturbances through single-glazed windows.
Whilst this can be a welcome change in many ways, feeling less isolated and more in-tune with the world around you, noise levels can escalate and encroach on your peace and quiet at home.
Unwanted noise can have harmful physical effects, causing hypertension, high stress levels and hearing loss amongst others. Sound can interfere with normal activities such as sleep and conversation and can diminish one’s quality of life.
Noise pollution can have particularly negative effects on adults and children on the autistic spectrum. Those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can have hyperacusis, which is an abnormal sensitivity to sound. What some might see as every day background noise, such as traffic noise or a car alarm going off, in this case can trigger fear and anxiety responses.
Insulating against noise is often not the primary reason period home owners choose to fit secondary glazing to their properties. Reducing draughts is usually the major motivation, combined with improved thermal efficiency which can make a significant difference to heating bills in the winter. But an additional benefit of reduced noise proves very welcome.
Secondary glazing is an ideal solution, helping you block out up to 80% of outdoor noise. This means your home isn’t just warmer and cosier, it’s an all-round more pleasant place to be with peace and quiet restored.
It’s wise to keep the noise out. But this can prove easier said than done when your period home isn’t fitted with the glazing to cope.
Brook House Case study
Beautiful Brook House is an end of terrace home in Warwickshire. It was originally four separate cottages (one dating back to 1730, the other to around 1800.) Saved from demolition, it was made into a single residence in the 1960s.
Painstakingly renovated using reclaimed materials such as old beams (complete with so-called witches’ marks), gravestones (for the fireplace) and an impressive cast iron spiral staircase rescued from a Coventry bookshop during the Blitz, Brook House is an impressive sight and considered one of the most important buildings in the conservation area to which it belongs.
The only real problem with the house stemmed from its original windows. Nine of the original casement windows remain intact and together form an important part of the overall look and style of the house but unfortunately, they are single glazed and with very thin glass. This meant that the house could be very draughty and, where it faces out on the village green, occasionally very noisy. While the current owners were happy to replace unattractive, incongruous windows, they were not prepared to part with the attractive small-paned casements, so they decided that secondary glazing was the best solution for the problems they were facing.
Once the work was completed, the owner was very happy with the result. Each of the problems she had been facing was solved by secondary glazing being installed.
The week the work was completed was a particularly cold one, sinking to -3 degrees Celsius overnight. Whereas the house warms up nicely when the heating is on, it cools down significantly at night. On that first night, the house was so unusually warm the owner made her way downstairs assuming she must have inadvertently left the heating on.
So what about the noise? A problem had always been made worse by the house’s position right on the village green. Now, with the secondary glazing in place, traffic and passing people’s voices can no longer be heard. The house is noticeably quieter.
To find out more about the benefits of our secondary glazing units, please click here.
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