• Melanie Evans

How to Reduce Unwanted Noise in Your Backyard


Excessive noise levels, especially in your backyard, are annoying to say the least. Your outside space should be a serene retreat where you and your family can relax and enjoy the fresh air. However, annoying sounds might find their way into your outdoor space, whether it's from traffic, construction, lawn mowers, or neighbourhood kids playing in the street.


Excessive noise pollution, in addition to being annoying, has been shown to have a negative impact on a person's health. Noise pollution has been related to a variety of health problems, such as stress, poor focus, hearing loss, and irregular sleeping habits. Thankfully, there are things you can take to lessen outside noise and reclaim your garden area as the peaceful retreat you imagined when you purchased your Waterloo Region home.


Minimize Noise with Walls and Fencing


Building a wall or a tall fence is one of the most effective ways to stop sound from making its way into your backyard. If you live in a particularly loud area, near a highway for example, you may consider a masonry wall, modular wall, or an acoustic fence. However, if the sound levels in your neighbourhood are minimal, you can instead opt for a sturdy wooden fence.


When determining what type of obstruction is best for your outdoor space, be sure to consider the following characteristics that shape the sound-blocking quality of these noise barriers:


Density: The denser the barrier, the more sound will be deflected and the quieter it will be. Additionally, if your wall or fence is too flexible, it may also cause vibrations, creating another bothersome sound.


Height: It’s essential for the overall height of the wall or fence to be taller than the noise source. To block traffic noise, the barrier should be at least two meters high.


Adequate Coverage: Ensuring that your sound barrier doesn’t have any gaps is crucial, as even the smallest space will allow sound waves to sneak through.


Placement: For maximum impact, the sound barrier should be built as close to the source of the noise as possible.


Add Vegetation to Absorb Sound


Hedges, shrubs, trees, and plants can help to absorb and deflect sound. They're also the more attractive and cost-effective solution. Of course, the most effective way for optimum noise reduction is to combine plants with a tall fence or wall.


If you merely want vegetation, tightly planted evergreen hedges are a fantastic choice. Sound waves are blocked more effectively by broad-leaf evergreens than by narrower-leaved plants. They will also be green throughout the year. Plants with thick branches all the way to the ground level, such as junipers, are good since they have excellent noise-reducing capabilities. Plants that are set in motion by the wind can also produce their own pleasant sounds, which can help to conceal undesired outside noise.


In addition to adding a great atmosphere to your yard, vegetation can also provide a habitat for a variety of wildlife. The only major disadvantage is the time it takes for them to reach a size where their impact can be felt.


Add Pleasant Sounds


It's important to remember that not all noise is bad. Consider adding pleasant sounds to your sound barrier if it isn't doing enough. While this may not lessen the amount of noise in your yard, it will help to drown out the less pleasant ones.


Water elements strategically placed around your property might help you create your own personal oasis. Water produces a pleasant white noise that is both soothing and relaxing. To be effective, the water feature does not have to be enormous. Consider placing a fountain in an outdoor seating area, as it must be close to the listener to be effective.


You can also utilize music to take your mind off the traffic noise. Outdoor rock speakers are a fantastic choice. They blend very well with your garden and are also great for entertaining. There are a range of alternative backyard speaker options on the market if blending the speakers into your space isn't a concern. Most of them make use of a bluetooth connection, so you may not even need to add complex wiring to make use of them. And as many can be controlled by an AI assistant like Alexa or Siri you won't even have to get up from your sun lounger to listen to something different!


Out of Sight, Out of Mind


A sound barrier doesn’t just physically reduce traffic noise, it also tricks the mind into thinking your backyard is quieter. Blocking the road from your line of sight helps to reduce perceived noise levels and make for a more inviting backyard refuge.


Getting ready to buy a Waterloo Region home, or sell the one you own? Let Team Pinto use our huge experience and expertise to help you. Contact the award-winning Team Pinto here, or book a free Zoom consultation to discuss your unique Waterloo Region real estate needs here


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