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Booked two window units as a trial run for retro (acrylic) glazing. Anyone try this?

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  • Booked two window units as a trial run for retro (acrylic) glazing. Anyone try this?

    I am more interested in soundproofing than anything (noisy street). My research indicates that the acrylic pane with a decent air gap can eliminate quite a lot of noise from the window. I went ahead and took the plunge. The windows are fairly big, one 4 panes one 6. All up around 2k installed. This is in contrast to nearly 6k for "proper" retroglazing of pains and leadlight panes. I figure it's worth a shot. If we're happy with the result we'll proceed with other windows. I'll report back after install (within 4 weeks). Hopefully I will not be horribly disappointed. I don't expect total silence but do expect some reduction in decibels.

  • #2
    I await the results with interest. Am suffering from the same issue at a property, but will be trying new rubbers and window seals/handle/hinges with Stadip glass.


    • #3
      Is stadip a replacement glass or is it a security film that is supplied? I was thinking about some security film being applied on our lower floors.


      • #4
        Article in this month's Consumer Magazine(No 523)
        on window glazing and insulation.
        "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx


        • #5
          I'm probably only going to be able to manage a 65-70mm air gap so I hope that is enough for some difference. It is said ideally 100mm and thickest acrylic you can get.


          • #6
            Ive got it.

            It does reduce road noise but not all road noise frequencies are the same for example you will reduce car tire noise (swish sound) – high noise frequency, but not car engine low noise frequency (vroom, vroom sound).

            Another issue that will come into play is reverberation. When sound hits front window plane it causes window pane to vibrate which then pushes the air behind it – as noise is just air vibration. So you could completely seal a window and frame and still have noise as the window is vibrating and as such pushing on the air inside the room.

            Problem with blocking is everything has a natural resonance and this will flow through a surface to another. – so you may notice a far away airplane sound – which is sound resonating inside the cavity.

            Russians throw a cuddly toy in the space to help adsorb this sound - maybe the green pink bats ie strip of it could be good for this - i dont know.

            When I got the road facing window done – I went the whole window frame ie about 5 cmm to window glass from panel with an eye to blocking road noise.

            The only thing that stops noise is mass/weight – think lead versus paper. So thinker glass is an option. The use of 3mm perspecs is because its lite and movable but lite is not mass and hence sound - but it maybe good enough for you - but its no magic bullet.

            I live on the shore, and maybe home later today, pm me. The biggest benefit of this acrylic tech is reduction of condensation - i would buy it just for that alone as the kids rooms are small - and easy for condensation to form on inside window - with this - it forms on outside of window ie outside house and thats pretty good.


            • #7
              Ok, two rooms are being fitted as I type. Our guest room and little girl's room which both face the road. I'll report back in a day or two with my results.


              • #8
                So dude, we are are in suspense, how did it go for you?


                • #9
                  I'll try to post pics soon. As for the system it looks as expected. Our darker stained wooden joinery makes it hard to notice. The plastic borders of the acrylic come in a variety of colors and we chose a dark wood stained simulation. It looks fine. Sure if money were no object I would have done proper retrofitting but at 1/3 the cost I can live with the slight alteration of the window appearance. The rooms do feel substantially warmer. Previously walking into the room the heat from our hall heat pump would be more pronounced at the entrance to the rooms and quickly fall off as you approach the window. Now, the room temp is more even and warmer as you approach the window side of the room. The noise reduction is very good. It definitely has reduced almost all higher pitched road noise. For example our street is currently being paved and at a gravel stage. Both rooms we retrofitted face the street. Before the retrofit you could clearly hear the rumble of tyres on gravel, now that is gone. All sound from the road has been muffled substantially. You still hear cars and such but it's more of a background noise now where before it was more in your face. I will say that the retroglaze has no noise reduction UNTIL you properly seal your window frames. I spent about 3hrs and a big roll of foam tape, re-sealing the window framing. Once the seals were tight the noise completely dropped off.. but if you have ANY airgap in your framing you will not get much noise reduction. So, the sealing of the windows + the glazing = total sound reduction. I tested sealing without the glazing and my reduction in sound was no where near as good with the panels on. Pics to follow...
                  Last edited by beakernz; 21-05-2012, 10:49 AM.


                  • #10
                    I let you into a little secret on how i learned to deal with road noise.

                    Use a fan. The fan generates a "white noise" which masks out other noises (and its cheap).

                    Its the same principle with heavy rain - the mixture of frequencies overwhelms your brain and stops it processing any one sound.

                    Road noise is a bastard to get rid off.

                    Over in California, you will find a lot of running water fountains - same idea.

                    A lot of people use ear plugs, but that actually make's you more sensitive to the noise over time - sometimes its better to open the window and let your brain get used to it.

                    Something also to note with perspecs - is that it expands something like 5-10mm over room temperatures of 5 degrees or more, so if your taping on to the perspex instead of the frame - it will wiggle out. You will find the frames allow this wiggle somewhat.

                    Just food for thought, sounds like we both got the same devil.

                    this site has a good reference section on noise


                    Good for a read.



                    • #11
                      beakernz any pics? Which product did you use?


                      • #12
                        I went through smart energy solutions. Here's the upstairs:

                        I'm still very happy with the product. I would do the entire house if I had the spare money. I plan to do several more rooms but will probably only be able to afford 2 window units a year for now.
                        Last edited by beakernz; 13-06-2012, 06:09 PM.


                        • #13
                          cheers. looks good.


                          • #14
                            Psp plastics on the shore used to be able to do acrylic panels. and you can get the magnetic tap from hardware store. Would not look as good but can be used for short term projects. You can also get shower track holders for the outside edge for a more pro look. Still wouldn’t be as good as what you got though – yours looks good.


                            • #15
                              It took 2 guys all day to do 2 window units, it turned out as good as I hoped it would. Nothing beats proper retro glazing but at nearly 1/3 the price I am happy with the acrylic overlay results. The frames also allow the acrylic to expand and contract. The noise reduction has been extremely good, too bad I did not have a decibel meter to do a proper test..