How To Reduce Traffic Noise In The Backyard
Having a home with a backyard is a blessing. It allows you the opportunity to enjoy nature, peace, and tranquility, especially in the summer months. There are all sorts of leisure activities perfect for the backyard, including grilling, sunbathing, and reading. But if your backyard is near a busy street, your backyard tranquility might be stifled by irritating noises. While it is easy to block the sight of traffic, is it possible to reduce the traffic noise in your backyard?
If you have traffic noise in your backyard, consider building a sound-reduction fence that is at least 7 feet tall. Brick, concrete, and stone walls work best, but acoustic fences and hardwood fences are also effective. Planting large vegetation like hedges, installing a water feature and even an outdoor sound system are all great ways to minimize the sounds of traffic in the backyard.
Loud noises coming from nearby streets can mess with your backyard zen. This is particularly true if you have a pool, patio, or other outdoor areas that you frequently use for relaxation. If you are struggling with traffic noises in your backyard, continue reading to find the most effective ways to help mitigate and eliminate these unwanted noises.
Construct A Fence Or Wall To Reduce The Noise
Arguably the best way to reduce traffic noise in your backyard is to build a fence. While almost all fences are effective at blocking the sight of traffic, it takes a lot more strength and material to block sound.
Sound must be deflected or absorbed. To deflect sound, you must ensure you have a dance fence that has no gaps and is rather tall. Short fences, fences with gaps between slats or on the bottom, or even fences with thin materials are all ineffective at reducing sound. But several types of fences and walls are great at reducing traffic sounds.
Best Materials For Blocking Sound
Stone walls are great at blocking sound. They are dense, and also great at absorbing and deflecting noises. Stone walls are also natural looking and visually appealing. They can even add to your backyard’s ambience. The only con is they are costly; building a stone wall tall enough to block sound can be challenging and pricey.
Brick and mortar walls are very strong, long-lasting structures. Like stone walls, they are also attractive to look at. You can even plant ivy along a brick wall and allow it to creep up, adding some natural elements to the brick. They are also dense and thick and block a great deal of sound.
As long as you build the brick wall tall enough, traffic sounds in your backyard will be greatly reduced. Like stone walls, they can be costly. But if you try to find cheap or free building materials, you might be able to lower the cost significantly.
Wood fences are one of the most popular types of fences for a backyard. They can also effectively reduce traffic noise, but you need to ensure certain measures are taken. For one, you must eliminate all gaps in the wood fence.
If there are small gaps, close them with putty. Make sure the fence goes all the way to the ground — and even into the ground. This will help deflect sound. Consider building the fence two layers thick, with additional insulation in the middle.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that with modern innovation, there are fences specifically designed to absorb and reduce noise pollution. Acoustic fences are now quite affordable, and much cheaper than brick and stone walls. They also come in a variety of designs to suit many backyard aesthetics. Best of all, they are relatively easy to install.
Plant Hedges Or Large Vegetation Along The Property Line
If you don’t want to go through the labor-intensive and expensive process of building a tall wall or fence, you might want to consider a more natural approach. Planting thick, lush, and tall vegetation is a cheap and natural way to block out some traffic sounds.
If you plant hedges or vegetation, opt for very dense plants, as the more dense the vegetation, the better it will block out traffic sounds. Keep in mind that this might reduce sounds a bit, but it is not nearly as effective as walls and other methods. But if combined with other methods, it can be an effective solution.
Install A Fountain Or Other Water Feature
Deflecting sound helps reduce traffic sounds, but sometimes masking the annoying sounds of cars with a more soothing sound works better. Consider installing a nice water feature in your backyard.
Small babbling brooks, artificial waterfalls, and exotic fountains are all great additions to any backyard. They are great to look at and help add a bit of aquatic ambience. Additionally, they are great at creating a naturalistic white noise, which can cover the sounds of nearby cars and highways.
Build A Berm
If you have a lot of land but are situated near a loud road, then you might want to consider building a berm to reduce the sound of traffic in your backyard. Berms are essentially man-made hills. These hills are long slopes that often provide property borders. They are also effective at redirecting rainwater.
If you have a lot of property, a berm can even reduce sound pollution. The key is to build the berm high enough that the sound is deflected away from your home. This can take a lot of work, and professional machines. But if you are looking for a solution for water drainage issues, or have access to this equipment, it is a nice natural-looking solution
Install An Outdoor Sound System
If you are a high-tech type of homeowner, then you might want to try a tech-savvy approach to fixing the traffic noise problem in your backyard. Outdoor speakers have come a long way in recent years. You can have a state-of-the-art sound system that permanently lives outdoors.
These sound systems vary in price, but there are several affordable options. Sound systems are great for those who have outdoor patios and love to entertain. You can even connect wireless speakers to your smart devices and your Alexa, helping to turn your property into a smart home.
While this does not eliminate sound, it does a great job hiding it whenever it becomes bothersome.
Consider Wind Chimes On The Patio
If speakers sound like too much technology, then you can also go the other direction and go old school with some wind chimes. Wind chimes are certainly the cheapest and easiest solution to hide some of the loud traffic sounds in your backyard. Another great thing about wind chimes is that they are great at scaring off birds that might otherwise poop on your patio.
Final Thoughts On How To Reduce Traffic Noise In Backyard
Creating an outdoor sanctuary in your backyard can take some hard work, but it is a worthwhile endeavor. If you live somewhere with loud traffic noises, this can put a damper on your attempts at backyard tranquility.
You can reduce traffic noise in your backyard with a thick, tall fence or wall. Thick wood, brick, and stone all work great for fences and walls. You can also consider a water feature or even installing an outdoor sound system.
Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.
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