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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

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:

  • Sound deflection

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.

  • Sound attenuation

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.

do soundproof fences work

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:

  • Height – It is important for the barrier to be higher than the source of the noise to block it effectively. It would be the best if you could make the fence about 2 meters high so that the noise cannot easily roll over.
  • Density or rigidity of the fence – As I already mentioned, the rigidity of the fence is very important, since those flexible ones may cause vibrations. Of course, if you live somewhere where the noise is not that loud, you wouldn’t need a huge stone wall; but if you are somewhere near a highway, you just might think of it.
  • Coverage – Similar to the first one where I mentioned that it is important to have a high fence so that the sound cannot get in, it is also important that it doesn’t have any gaps and cracks in it, and that it goes all the way from the bottom, so that the sound cannot crow underneath the fence.
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    Proximity of the sound – The barrier should be as close to the source of the noise as possible.

Fences

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

  • It can reduce the noise to up to 50 percent
  • It can reduce the noise by up to 50 percent
  • It is very expensive to make a brick wall
  • It takes a lot of time and effort to install it
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    Aesthetics

2. Acoustic Fences

  • It can reduce the noise by up to 50 percent
  • It is almost half the price of a brick wall
  • It is easy and fast to install
  • check
    Aesthetics
  • More expensive than metal and timber fences
acoustic fence

3. Shrubbery Fences

  • It can last for long if taken good care of
  • It can reduce the noise if it is thick enough
  • It is much more affordable than building a solid wall
  • It is dangerous to fire-prone areas
  • If you have a modern house, it might not go well with the design

4. Hedge Fences

  • Aesthetics
  • Plants are beneficial for health and can reduce stress level and anxiety
  • It takes a lot of time to take good care of it
  • It can reduce the noise by up to 25 percent
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    Plants need to be mature to be able to reduce the noise

5. Metal Fences

  • It is easy to install
  • It is cost effective
  • It is more solid than the wooden fences
  • It is not good for areas with strong wind
  • It can easily get damaged
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    It is the least effective
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    Aesthetics

6. Wooden Fences

  • It is easy to install
  • The materials are easily accessible
  • Not so effective as a noise barrier
  • Prone to rotting
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    It is dangerous to fire-prone areas

Water Features

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.

Vegetation

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.

Reduce-Traffic-Noise-in-My-Backyard

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!

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