You go outside to your backyard for a little quiet and solitude and get ready to relax with a good book in your hand. Unfortunately, before you even make it to the chaise lounge; you’re inundated by the surrounding sounds of your neighbors barking dogs, screaming kids, lawnmowers and cars zipping by on the street. These are just a few of the external noises that can disrupt your precious time in your own backyard.
Regardless of how aesthetically picturesque and pleasing your backyard space is designed, road noise or overzealous neighbors can destroy any feelings of tranquility it might inspire. Traffic noise can really put a damper on an otherwise tranquil experience. Although it’s impossible to block out all outside sounds from your yard, the good news is that there are ways to minimize it.
You can reduce the noise significantly so it won’t drive you mad and prevent you from enjoying your backyard space. Natural choices such as fences, trees and shrubs are great noise barriers that can help homeowners reduce unwanted noise. And, when trees and shrubs are used in conjunction with solid barriers like fences, they achieve the best of both worlds. They don’t have to be a big, ugly wall of steel to effectively reduce traffic noise.
Many homeowners choose to add a fence to their backyard property to increase privacy or to block road noise. The two important elements to consider for an effective outdoor sound barrier are its height and mass. A solid wood fence will help block out the majority of noise as well as a masonry wall, such as brick, concrete or stone. The design and material that you use is not the most important thing to consider, but rather its construction.
The most effective fence for a good sound block is a fence that has no gaps. Since sound waves do not travel in straight lines, they will take the path of least resistance. Therefore, if the construction of the fence ends up having visible gaps, that sound will go through easily and be readily heard. According to “This Old House,” if the sound of the noise is visible to you then you will be able to hear it. If you plan on adding a fence as a sound barrier, construct it as high as your local municipality will allow and be certain that it extends all the way down to the ground.
Using Trees & Shrubs for Noise Blocking:
The most visually appealing way to block noise is by planting trees and shrubs. Using natural plants as noise blockers presents a great advantage because they absorb sounds in the high frequencies that people find most annoying. With natural barriers, sound is absorbed by all of their parts such as leaves, branches, twigs and wood. The rougher the bark of a species of tree that has many branches and thick, fleshy leaves with thin leaf stems, the better the sound is absorbed. Large shrubby trees are great sound absorbers and particularly effective when located closest to the source of the sound. Lucky for us that trees leaf out during the warm weather months when you can take advantage of their ability to reduce noise while spending time outdoors.
Hedges are an excellent way to reduce noise while providing your back yard and home with more privacy. Unlike fences, tall hedges do not have to comply to a municipality’s height regulation. When planned, planted and cultivated properly, particularly in combination with a high-quality sound barrier, like a fence or stone wall, they provide a beautiful and effective sound barrier for your property.
Hedges or shrubbery offer a natural and added visual interest that fences alone can’t provide. However, for the hedges or shrubs to be truly effective, they must be planted densely enough that you can’t see over or especially through them. The Leyland Cypress is a great example of an evergreen that is very popular because it thickens quickly to block noise and stays green year round. It grows 3 to 4 feet a year and matures at a height of about 30 feet.
Outside noise can affect our physical and psychological well-being, so create a sound barrier to reduce the noise and have a more peaceful place to relax in your backyard. If you want a fence, or hedges and shrubs for your home in areas like Aldershot, Ancaster, Dundas and Oakville, call Evergreen Landscapes today. We have been doing landscape construction services since 1984.