Historic neighborhoods and their homes aren’t typically built for today’s levels of noise pollution. So when a new highway or bridge comes along, a once peaceful area is suddenly invaded by traffic and construction noises. Homeowners are left trying to figure out how to reduce traffic noise coming through windows.

how to reduce traffic noise coming through window - Indow window inserts

This is exactly what happened to residents of Montlake when the SR-520 project began. This Seattle neighborhood will be experiencing construction noises over the next 5-7 years as a bridge is built to connect I5 to Lake Washington. Montlake homeowner Gayle was in a community meeting held monthly with WSDOT to address construction concerns when another resident brought up Indow window inserts.

Many years ago, they thought they were going to build a highway through this neighborhood, but stopped the project just after building the ramps. Locally, they call these the “ramps to nowhere”. The first step in this multi-year construction project is demolishing these ramps, one of which stands a block and a half away from Gayle’s house.

living room using Indow window inserts to stop construction noises

“They were literally jack-hammering all night long,” says Gayle. These window-rattling construction noises weren’t just disturbing her sleep. Gayle has a home office where she tries to work through the noise. She owns a 1927 Tudor that has a few newer windows. “Even with newer windows upstairs the noise was still pretty bad” Though the construction noises had been disturbing her sleep and work, she’d been wondering how to reduce traffic noise coming through her windows since she moved into the house in 1995.

“I bought this house in 1995, and 520 was always there. I always heard this kind of murmur and I was just used to it. Every once in a while they would close 520 and I would go I could see how quiet this neighborhood this used to be,” said Gayle.

living room with Indow inserts used to reduce traffic noise

Based on her neighbor’s recommendation, Gayle decided to contact Carlisle Classic Homes and install Indow inserts in her home. She knows that the construction noises are going to get much worse and now she feels prepared.

With the Indow inserts installed, it’s like the days before the highway. Gayle brought a neighbor in to see the inserts in action and he couldn’t believe how quiet it was. He decided to get Indow inserts for his own home.

closeup of Indow window insert used to reduce traffic noise coming through window

But will she pass on her knowledge of how to reduce traffic noise coming through windows? She says, “Absolutely recommend them!” She can’t wait to tell people “how surprised I was at how they sort of disappear. You have to really look twice to see that they’re even there.” Plus, she says the insulation is an added bonus and is interested to see how they’ll work with her central air this summer.

Read more about how to reduce traffic noise in your historic home: Storm Window Alternative for Historic Homes.