Are these windows fitted ok? Pics included.

5 Jun 2020
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United Kingdom
We live on a fairly busy road, technically 20mph but everyone does at least 30mph. There is a constant stream of traffic until fairly late in the evening and queues during morning and evening rush hours. Motorbikes go up and down late at night. No lorries or buses normally though due to narrow bridge further up.
The traffic noise is starting to make me miserable as bedrooms face onto the road.

To clarify we rent this house. New windows were fitted about 18 months ago, needed as old ones were double glazed but ancient, one was stuck shut the other stuck ajar. I was excited for a decrease in road noise but if anything I think it's worse.

The units are 28mm planitherm glass, I assume 4 - 20 - 4 which I think causes an issue with resonance as I'm pretty sure there's a build up/echo of certain frequencies. They also have trickle vents which obviously I keep shut when I'm home and want some semblance of peace but I understand this can still cause a problem.

There are gaps in the outside seal of the window and cracks inside, my husband thinks this won't make much difference to noise but I've read otherwise. My memory is lots of chiselling away of brickwork and stuff when the windows were fitted and I'm not convinced it's been sealed up properly. Could this cause more noise?

I'm considering putting in secondary glazing, we could easily have a 100mm+ gap then a different glass thickness and it may make a fair difference. But I don't want to spend the money if it won't obviously. I have no idea how windows should look from the outside once fitted so hoping someone here can tell me if this looks ok or not.

I've included 3 pictures of how the outside bottom corner is finished, it's the same on the other side and on the other front window. Then the inside of the same corner and finally underneath the outside sill. My understanding is immediately underneath the window shouldn't be sealed from drainage reasons but I'm wondering about the vertical side. The concrete there is loose and wobbles if pushed.
Thanks in advance for any wisdom!

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Hopeless....I’d be surprised if the inside wall wasn’t damp, looking at the missing silicone on the verticals.
The lump of cement bottom left needs to be removed and made good too.
John :)
Thanks for replying! Underneath the inside sill is also cracked and the sill moves up and down a little o_O see attached pic, couldn't attach video.... is this all linked?

How would I go about sorting out the lump of cement - it's exactly like that on the bottoms corners of both windows. Can you tell I have zero experience in this area?!
By far the worst issue there is in the first pic., the window isn't even sealed, what a **** poor job!

The internal window board being loose wont be an issue, other than looking poor.

The outside really needs that loose chunk of render replacing, and the window need a proper silicone seal... this will help with noise and more importantly damp. I'd suggest with such a quality install there is no foam around the frame to help suppress noise and damp.

Secondary glazing will always help in a noisy area - maybe consider cheaper perspex sheets, if ventilation isn't such a concern, or your tenancy isn't planned to be too long.
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At this stage I wouldn’t worry too much about the internal issues.......fix the outside first!
Fill the vertical gaps with a white glazing silicone - that will keep the rain out.
Gently remove the loose cement lump with a cold chisel, and point up with a new sand and cement mix. For small quantities like this, packs of quick set mix are available from Wickes, etc.....all you do is to tip the mixture into a bucket or whatever, add water and trowel it in.
I assume the window frame isn’t actually loose!
John :)
Thanks so much for the advice. It's so helpful I really appreciate it. This noise issue has been bothering me for ages!

The difficulty is that my landlord fitted the windows and I feel awkward to raise my thoughts. He charges us super fair rent and does always sort stuff straight away. We'd like to stay here for a few more years. So I'd like to improve it ourselves if it's not too difficult, my other half is pretty good at diy stuff and v practical but neither of really know what should be done, so the advice is so helpful.

How would I know if adequate foam had been used? Can I pull away the sealant and see how well filled it is behind? If there's gaps could we put in foam (expanding foam?) or is that not feasible now? Are we better just to stick more sealant over the top of what's there? Also finally am I right that the gap immediately under the window along the outer sill doesn't need sealant along it to allow drainage?

I'm aware these are probably obvious questions, thanks for the patience. Also good to know the internal sill isn't a big problem. I'm now about to go to bed, can still hear the traffic with earplugs in :( really need to sort this out. I'm thinking sort the outside and get secondary glazing...
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Window frames are fixed in place with mechanical fixings ( long screws and plugs) before the glass has been put in. Foam is sometimes used to fill gaps in the masonry, and also help the fixing if needs be.
So long as the frame doesn’t actually move, I’d start by removing those lumps of cement in the corners and seeing what’s behind......if there’s a void then by all means fill it with expanding foam and the same applies where there are gaps in the white silicone sealant - which ideally is best removed and reapplied, although its a bit of a chore.
Make sure the final silicone bead which you’ll apply covers any visible foam.
Dow Corning make a great quality glazing silicone.
Once the outside has no gaps at all you can then see what noise transmission is like and internal gaps around the cills or whatever can be filled with decorators caulk.
After all this then you can consider secondary glazing if you think it would help.
John :)
I'm now about to go to bed, can still hear the traffic with earplugs in
put your ear to the centre of the glass -you will find low frequencies get through quite easily.

also check the seals around the openers -it maybe that the window locks are not pulling the window in sufficiently and a small gap will allow noise through.

also put your ear close to a trickle vent -they are bad for letting in noise -you can unscrew the cover and stick a bit of foam in the slot to stop the noise.

be aware that sealing up holes will only really help with cutting higher frequencies -lower frequencies get through material by vibration and are much more difficult to stop.

you could consider have the glass changed in your bedroom to acoustic glass or even just 6.3mm laminated glass -which will be better than 4mm toughened, or fit secondary glazing or do both.

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