How to Reduce Traffic Noise in My Backyard?
It is known that a lot of noise can make our lives more stressed out, and that noise brings some other health problems, like a faster loss of hearing, anxiety or sleeplessness.
And who would want that for themselves?
Like everyone who has a nice and cozy backyard, I liked enjoying it ever since I moved into the suburbs.
It was so nice to have a morning coffee in my favorite chair next to the pool or to read a book in a hammock.
However, the suburb started developing very fast, and the traffic got crazy in no time.
I feel like I just woke up one morning, and that my cozy little backyard was just taken away from me in seconds.
I started hating spending any time there, and I thought that I had made a mistake when I persuaded my husband to move into the suburb from a big city. It seemed all the same to me.
However, there was no use in hiding in the house. I wanted to try and find a solution. I wanted my backyard back no matter what it takes.
I found some solutions. Most of them have a lot to do with choosing the right fence.
So if you have a similar problem to mine, maybe I can help you bring your little piece of heaven on Earth back to you.
How to Reduce Traffic Noise in My Backyard?
Having a nice backyard is sure something that we all wish for, but not under the circumstances when you have to carefully pick the time of the day when you can enjoy it and not have your eardrums ruptured from the unpleasant sounds of the street.
Of course, it is impossible to isolate yourself from the ruckus completely, but you can isolate yourself enough so that you can enjoy your backyard again.And here are a few solutions:
Choose Your Soundproofing Weapon
There are two main methods of fighting the traffic noise in your yard, and you should get familiar with both of them. They are:
This is the most effective way there is to “kill” the noise.
The heart of this approach is that it makes the sound bounce away from the one who should receive the noise (in this case that would be your backyard) and all the way back towards the source of that evil noise.
Now, I know how that sounds, but it is not like that.
You will not be able to place a barrier and make the sound wave hit it, not letting a single hum enter your yard, and make it fire back to the car that caused it and swipe it away instead.
However cool and convenient it may be, we don’t live in a cartoon (sadly).
The amount in which the sound will be sent back to the source depends on the materials the blockade is made of, and its density.
When a sound hits a huge brick wall, it does not vibrate and the sound is effectively sent back to the source.
However, if the source of the sound is higher than the fence, there will be nothing to stop it and the sound will go just above it.
But if you have a flexible barrier, it may vibrate, and vibrations can be a big cause of the noise. When the surface vibrates, it will deflect the noise in all directions, and you would be able to hear it.
This is a much easier and common solution to making your backyard a peaceful place.
In this method, the materials used as blockades will not deflect the sound and send it back to where it came from, but they will absorb it.
Attenuation is the loss of energy that sound waves produce, and that would seem to your ear as the damping of the sound.
But why are there both deflection and attenuation, you might wonder?
Well, different types of materials interact with the sound differently.
Naturally, the first one is far more effective but much harder and much more expensive.
The Qualities of Barriers
Now that you know what the barriers can do, let’s give a look at the qualities that can make a fight against the noise more effective:
The first thing that you would think of is, of course, a fence.
Now, that fence can be of different features, like materials, height, coverage, and others mentioned above.
Masonry walls that are made of stone, wood, brick, etc. are just perfect for blocking more serious sounds; but wooden fences might be just as effective if the noise from the traffic that you are experiencing is not that serious.
Another very important thing is that your fence should have no major gaps in it that would let the sound leak in.
According to some beliefs, if you can see the source, you will be able to hear what that source is producing all the same.
Don’t forget to check what the local regulations for the height of the fences are when you start building. Here are some types of fences with their pros and cons:
1. Brick Walls
2. Acoustic Fences
3. Shrubbery Fences
4. Hedge Fences
5. Metal Fences
6. Wooden Fences
As I already mentioned about the local regulations, it would be good to mention some possible solutions for when high fences are not allowed.
You might remember what I said when I was telling you about colored noises: sometimes the solution to noise is more noise.
You wouldn’t be needing huge speakers in your backyard to play the white noise buzz in order to fight the sound of traffic, but you can cover the traffic noise with some more pleasant noise.
The sound of water can be good in masking and covering moderately loud traffic noise; not only that but the sound of water can be so soothing and calming.
Making a stream or placing a fountain like this in your backyard can produce something similar to the white noise in similar frequencies to the ones the traffic is making.
Do you remember that I mentioned that the proximity of the sound is important?
Well, these “barriers” would be much closer to you than the traffic is, and so they would overtake the noise from the traffic you are hearing.
Of course, it would be the best if you could combine this method with another one, like a fence or some plants and bushed.
Here is another method that doesn’t serve only as a noise barrier, but that has calming psychological effects as well.
Being natural, they add more to the looks of your backyard, and if planted densely enough, they can reduce the noises coming from the streets.
As I mentioned, if you can see the source, you will be most certainly be able to hear it as well.
So if you decide for this method, keep in mind that you should plant it very densely all around the line of your yard.
If the noise from the traffic is too loud, one lane wouldn’t be enough.
It would be the best to plant a lane of evergreen trees on the outside, and add some evergreen bushes and shrubs on the inside side of the yard.
The fewer gaps you leave, the better the barrier it will make.
On Soundproofing Your Backyard from Traffic Noise
And these were some of the methods that can help you bring peace back to your backyard.
Not only that they can help you with the noise problem, but you can make a nice project and make your yard look even better than it did before.
Maybe you will even discover your hidden passion, who knows!
I hope that these methods will help you enjoy the Sunday morning coffees again!
Here are more resource you might like:
- Determine the Type of Fences
- Install Water Features to Drown Out Noise
- Use Vegetation to Absorb Sound