How to reduce traffic noise in my backyard is a common question among homeowners I encounter over the internet.
However beautiful your backyard is, you will not enjoy it much if the traffic noise is too much.
Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to bring the much-needed quiet in your home.
You do not have to give up on your comfort or compromise the quality of your life.
To ensure that you incorporate the right measures for your backyard, you need first to understand how sound works.
Also Read: How to Annoy Upstairs Neighbors
It is also important to know the main noise cause so you can be specific with your solution.
Understanding Highway/Road Noise
Highway noise in your backyard can be challenging to deal with.
The sound of horns, sirens, and whizzing as cars drive by can get over the barriers you have erected between the road and backyard.
This doesn’t mean that you have no choice but to endure the loud noise.
There are a few tricks you can use to minimize the noise reaching your backyard.
However, you must first identify the most prominent noise.
For example, a low fence may be all you need for tire noise, but you will need a different solution if horns and sirens are your biggest headache.
Can You Soundproof a Backyard?
Yes, it’s possible to soundproof a backyard.
This can be done by installing sound absorbing barriers such as fences, shrubs, and even water features to mask up the unwanted outside noise.
Plants are great sound absorbers and not only will they absorb traffic noise but also offer you a great deal of privacy.
Ways on How to Reduce Traffic Noise in Your Backyard
Below are some of the best solutions you can use if the traffic noise in your backyard is becoming a nuisance.
1. Put Up A Fence
Traffic noise is simply a wave that travels through the air.
Your goal should be to find a way to interrupt this wave, not to enter your backyard.
If there is no fence between your house and the road, it is essential to put one up.
However, you must remember not just any fence will be effective in blocking traffic noise.
A noise-reducing fence should be thick and solid enough to absorb a good amount of traffic noise.
Also Read: How to Make Your Car Quieter Inside
It should also be relatively tall as a short fence will allow a good portion of the soundwaves to pass uninterrupted.
Three things to remember before putting up a fence include:
Stone, brick, and concrete fences offer the best sound-blocking abilities.
If these are above your budget, the next practical alternative is a board or stockade fence.
Aside from the material used to construct the fence, you also have to consider the general construction.
A concrete wall built too thin will disappoint you and perform dismally compared to a well-built stockade fence.
The fence should be built as solid as possible with no gaps left where traffic noise can easily pass through.
In an ideal world, a noise-reducing fence should be between 8 and 10 feet in height.
However, due to municipal regulations, such high walls are not always possible.
A high wall can be obstructive, especially in an intersection.
Building a high wall can also be costly, not to mention that it can cause conflicts with the neighbors.
Check the fencing regulations in your municipality before deciding on the height of the fence to install.
You should also work out the costs with your contractor to agree on the height that will work for you.
Even if you only get a medium-height fence, it will effectively block tire noises and screeches.
Just ensure that it is built thick and any gaps left are sealed using soundproof materials.
You can add as much character as you want to your fence so that it blends well with the rest of your backyard.
2. Build A Shed
A shed strategically built close to the road can absorb a good amount of traffic noise.
You can use the shed for storage or any other purpose you deem suitable.
Just like with the fence, the shed should be solid enough to block the noise adequately.
Try to make the shed long enough to cover the length of the area next to the road, or at least most of it.
A shed works excellent when combined with a solid fence.
With these two, traffic noise will be significantly reduced even if your backyard is right next to a busy road.
When building your shed, don’t forget to consider the aesthetic appeal.
You can also build a basic shed and use hanging plants to give it color and blend it with the rest of your backyard.
Also Read: How To Seal A Garage Door From The Inside
3. Get A Fountain For Your Backyard
A fountain will add a lot of character to your backyard, not to mention that it does an excellent job of drowning traffic noise.
The sound of water running can also be calming, making this a great idea if you spend a lot of time in your yard.
To make the fountain more effective, build it as close to your house as possible.
This way, you also get to prevent too much traffic noise from getting into your living space.
Fountains do not have to be elaborate and expensive, so you have nothing to worry about if you don’t have much to spend on your backyard.
You can even DIY one using recycled materials and only buy the recirculation pump.
On the downside, fountains cannot run all year long, so installing one may not make much sense if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions.
If you have the money, you can also create a running stream or pond in your yard.
It is up to you to decide how many details will go into these water features.
4. Plant A Hedge
A thick hedge will muffle most of the traffic noise, even if yours is a busy street.
Hedges are also a good idea since they add to the backyard’s ambiance.
It may take years for the hedge to grow to the desired height, but the wait will be well worth it. Just pair it with a soundproof fence until the hedge grows to a decent height.
You have to be careful when selecting hedge plants and be sure that you have an idea of how your hedge will turn out once it matures.
Also Read: Xbox One Making High Pitch Noise
Hedge plants came in all kinds of colors, and you are free to choose the ones that will bring out the best in your backyard.
5. Plant Trees Along the Road
If your space allows, plant trees along the stretch touching the road. Just ensure that you stay within the law.
Go for tree species like pine needles or oaks that rustle or whoosh when the wind goes through them.
Just think of the trees you plant as a long-term solution since trees take longer than hedges to grow.
Aside from blocking traffic noise, trees also attract birds and other types of wildlife.
The sound of birds singing in the morning will be a more refreshing noise to wake up to compared to traffic noise.
Can You Soundproof a Fence?
Yes you can soundproof a fence.
One of the most effective ways to improve the efficiency of wooden noise-barrier fence would be to install a sound deadening material commonly known as mass loaded vinyl sound blocker.
The product is sold in rolls- just make sure you get one listed for outdoor use.
It’s easier to install mass loaded vinyl sound barrier when the fence is being built rather than when it’s already erected.
The later is still possible but you will need to remove the fence panels and then reattach them later.
Installing MLV is simple once you get a better understanding of the basic components of a wooden fence.
You need to staple MLV on to the frame and make sure that the sheets overlap to create a solid barrier.
Use an acoustic sealant such as green glue to caulk all seams.
Lastly, reattach the wooden panels to ensure that MLV is sandwiched between the wooden panels.
On How to Reduce Traffic Noise in My Backyard
If how to reduce traffic noise in my backyard is a question that frequently crosses your mind, this article offers some tips you will find helpful.
Whether you choose to go with the natural options that will add aesthetic appeal to your backyard or you go for the more practical brick fence, you can be sure that there will be a significant drop in the traffic getting into your backyard.
Just go through the above option and choose the one that meets your needs and is within your budget.
It doesn’t hurt to use two or more solutions, especially if traffic noise is preventing you from enjoying your backyard.
Also Read: Ps4 Still Loud After Cleaning