How to soundproof a skylight? All the info you need to make it right
Skylights, or roof windows, are pretty awesome. They illuminate your room (or attic), and when night falls, it provides a wonderful opportunity to admire the stars.
Velux windows were a common thing in many houses. They were great, but they are not that great when it comes to their soundproofing qualities, especially when it starts raining heavily.
Granted, some people enjoy the sound of rain splattering across the glass windows, but to some, it disturbs their sleep, and thus it is great to know how to soundproof a skylight.
But is there? In this article, I shall share some methods that I have tried before that works pretty well, and also answer some common questions that people are curious about.
If you have a roof window in your home, or considering installing one, here’s what you should know.
Don’t miss out the last section where I’ll show you a bunch of tools you can use that are inexpensive and effective.
Let’s jump in and find out more.
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Contents: Skip to section
- How to soundproof a skylight? All the info you need to make it right
- Pros and cons of a skylight
- Why does my skylight make noise?
- How can I make my glass more soundproof?
- How soundproof is glass?
- Does glass absorb sound?
- How do I stop the rain noise in my Velux window?
- Noise blocking window film for your skylight
- Soundproof window treatment kit for skylight
- How to install a soundproof window treatment kit for skylight?
- Recommended tools to soundproof your skylight or roof window
- How to soundproof a roof window: Your turn now
Pros and cons of a skylight
Generally, we have the picture of skylights painted in our minds as an airy, bright room in which you enjoy watching the sky. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
But no, everything’s not so rosy.
On the other hand, there are also some people who think of it as something that makes your room excessively hot and too bright that it gives you a headache.
Well, that’s not the complete truth either.
Let us look into the scenario a little deeper. Here are all the pros and cons of having skylights that you should know.
- Natural light offered by the skylights will save you some money on your electricity bills and give your eyes rest from artificial lights
- If you live in a cold region, you can opt for a skylight with higher SHGC (Solar Heat Gain Coefficient) and get a warmer environment
- They will let in fresh air and give you a better ventilated room
- You can go for professional help to get a skylight specifically designed for your surroundings and needs
- It lets you get lost in the clouds during the day and stare at the moon and stars at night. This aesthetic pleasure alone is a reason big enough for some people to buy it!
- If not set up at a certain angle range, skylights can make a room too bright
- If chosen without considering SHGC, it can also make your room too hot
- If your skylight doesn’t have good specs, you can face the problem of heat loss in winters
- Incorrect installation of skylights can lead you to deal with leakages and moisture problems
- You may be used to opening and closing your windows whenever you wish to but it’s not that simple in case of skylights
- Sound can get into the room easily, causing disturbances for some
- Cleaning a skylight can be a hectic task for some people
Why does my skylight make noise?
As you may well know, skylights are made up of glass and acrylic mostly.
So, as the temperature changes outside throughout the day, the material of acrylic will slightly and continuously expand and contract.
This expansion and contraction makes a crackling sound.
Sometimes, the skylight well in the ceiling can even amplify this slight noise.
How can I make my glass more soundproof?
Glass is another material used in the making of skylights.
So, knowing how to soundproof it can help you significantly in living a quieter life.
Here are some tips to make your glass a bit more sound absorbing/reducing :
- First of all, make sure that your windows have no cracks at all. They can become a source of sound leakage
- Use foam, acoustic seals or weather stripping tape to seal the air gaps around the window. You can also add some thick insulation tape
- A window plug is another option you can consider. They can be easily removed when not in need. Plus, they can also block out light for you during very bright sunny days.
- You can install storm windows. They will cover your existing windows from outside. The gap thus created between both will trap sound and give you peace.
- Additionally, you can use a heavy duty Mass Loaded Vinyl sound barrier. The trick here is to make a contraption (using a cardboard or something similar) and sticking MLV over it. You can fix in on when the room gets too noisy and remove it when you don’t need it.
These methods work very well, but if you have a problem that persists even after trying them out, I would recommend hiring a soundproofing expert to fix it.
How soundproof is glass?
The Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating of a standard single paned glass is 27.
However, you can increase it by using multiple panes.
Also, the type of glass is a noise determining factor as well. Acoustic and laminated glass are the best options for sound reduction.
Glass works by creating a kind of barrier between you and the sound.
With a few frequencies as an exception, it can block about 90-95% sound.
Hence, you can consider it a good soundproofing option.
Does glass absorb sound?
It really depends more on the type of sound rather than the glass.
If the sound occurs near the resonant frequency (the natural vibration frequency of a material) of glass, then surely the sound will be absorbed. But it cannot be true for all sounds.
For other sounds, glass will convert the sound energy into vibration.
That means that you won’t face the issue of echo but your window will vibrate for sure, not necessarily observable vibration.
Glass is both dense and non-porous.
These properties make it a good soundproofing material.
How do I stop the rain noise in my Velux window?
Sound of rain dripping on your roof for hours can surely be a headache.
Since I understand your misery, here are some tips from me to get you some relief :
- Use rubber or rockwool to cover the air gaps around the window
- Using a layer of plasterboard will significantly reduce the sound
- Go for an external awning blind and not only sound reduction, but it will also provide you a heat shield
- On the internal side, you can fix a blackout blind
- You can use a roller shutter as well. It won’t block the sound completely, but will reduce it for sure
- Install noise blocking window film. They can work miracles
- Lastly, the most common advice – make your single paned window double or triple glazed
Noise blocking window film for your skylight
Noise blocking window film consists of a core layer sandwiched between two other layers.
This core layer reduces the sound transmission and acts as a sound insulator.
It is proven to be able to reduce the noise up to 5 decibels.
Some of them are also thermally efficient.
You can keep the windows open and it won’t hinder your peace.
And, since it is thin and transparent, your room won’t lose its charm as well.
Soundproof window treatment kit for skylight
Soundproof window treatment kit is something you fix on the internal side of your window to get rid of annoying noises.
It can be installed very easily within minutes.
You can also remove it whenever you wish to for cleaning.
How to install a soundproof window treatment kit for skylight?
- Take measurements of the interior of your skylight and buy a soundproof window treatment kit that can fit these dimensions.
- Make sure the kit’s transparent pane is free of dust.
- Take two adjacent frame pieces and press them against the pane to make a L shape.
- Do the same with the other two pieces. You won’t need to blot them with screws as they will click together automatically through internal tabs.
- Now you should’ve got something looking like a usual window pane. Fit this pane just inside the curb area of the skylight using screws.
Recommended tools to soundproof your skylight or roof window
How to soundproof a roof window: Your turn now
Now that you know the various ways to enhance your roof window’s soundproof capabilities, what will you do?
Are these steps practical and suitable for you?
Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what works for you or if you need more information!
By the way, you can help support this blog by getting yourself an Original Soundproofing Hacker tee. Pick the color for you now!
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