Home Improvement

How to Reduce Traffic Noise in Your Backyard

Story Highlights
  • 1 - Walls and fencing
  • 2 - Add vegetation to absorb sound
  • 3 - Design your landscape for noise abatement
  • 4 - Create desirable sounds

You just sat down and opened a cold one. You started the braai and the summer sun is beating down at a steady pace. Your garden looks immaculate and the birds are singing the sweetest songs in the trees.

You lean back, close your eyes, and think: life could not be better than this.

Then you hear the worst noise you possibly can; birds practically fall out of the trees and you choke on your beer. Traffic. Awful traffic. Cars hooting, trucks rumbling past, and construction workers shouting at the top of their lungs in the shopping mall across the road. 

What happened to your perfect day at home?!

Noise is the worst thing in the world when you are trying to relax and cancel out everything else.

Research shows that noise pollution can seriously affect a person’s well-being. It has been linked to a number of health issues like poor concentration, hearing loss, and irregular sleeping patterns. Apart from that, you don’t get to enjoy the tranquil space you created in your own home when noise threatens the environment.

Luckily, there are a few ways in which you can get reduce traffic noise in your backyard:

1 – Walls and fencing

If you haven’t done it yet, consider upgrading the walls and fencing around your yard. It is one of the best ways to keep the noise out of your yard.

If you live in a particularly loud area, you might consider a masonry wall but if the sound levels aren’t that loud you can opt for a wooden fence. When picking the materials for your fence, consider their unique qualities. The denser the material, the more sound will be deflected. The fence should be taller than the noise source and it shouldn’t have any gaps in between the sections. 

2 – Add vegetation to absorb sound

Hedges, trees, plants, and flowers help in absorbing and deflecting incoming sound. They are also a more affordable and aesthetically pleasing option.

If you want to add only vegetation to your house, consider planting a variety of evergreen shrubs. Broad-leaf shrubs will block more sound than narrower leaves. Plants that react to the wind also set in motion a wide range of calming sounds and this can cancel unwanted noise out.

Hedges and shrubs also attract a wide range of wildlife to your yard and this can create a lovely ambiance. 

3 – Design your landscape for noise abatement

Sometimes it simply isn’t possible for homeowners to build a wall or a fence around their property but this does not mean that they have to suffer in non-silence.

If this is the problem, you can consider digging downwards. Hire a landscaper to create an outdoor area that is lower than the rest of your property. Not only will it cancel out noise but you will have a unique area that you can design the way you want.

And if a sunken garden isn’t an option, consider creating a raised hill that you can adorn with beautiful plants. 

4 – Create desirable sounds

Bear in mind that not all sounds are noise and you can create your own sounds to cancel out the noise pollution coming from outside your yard.

Consider adding water features that create serene and relaxing sounds of water flowing and bubbling.

If you are placing it outside, place it close to where people will be sitting or standing. You can also use music to divert the attention away from the noise. Outdoor speakers are great for when you are entertaining. Just turn the volume up and get the party started!

Even though it is annoying, noise doesn’t have to ruin your life. There are many things that you can do to reduce traffic noise to background sounds when you are at home.  

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