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Reduce Traffic Noise: Tips & Solutions for Backyards (2023)

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how to reduce traffic noiseDo you want to reduce the noise caused by traffic in your backyard? It can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right tips and solutions, you can do something about that loud traffic outside your home.

In this article, we’ll look at ways of reducing road noise with fences, fountains, and acoustic principles. We’ll also explore alternative ideas like water features or wind chimes for added peace and quiet.

We will explore how to create an effective barrier fence against sound waves from street commotion. Additionally, we’ll discuss installing a fountain or decorative waterfall for masking sounds.

Furthermore, we’ll examine acoustic deflection, absorption, and energy conversion methods. We’ll also explore perimeter barrier options such as brick walls, timber fencing, and metal fencing. We’ll discuss the use of shrubs and hedges, as well as specialized acoustic fences designed specifically for blocking out noises from roads.

Using these strategies should help offer some relief when it comes to dealing with traffic noise in your backyard, so read on!

Key Takeaways

  • Solid structures like masonry walls and stockade fences are best for blocking noise.
  • Avoid gaps in the fence to prevent sound leakage.
  • Running water fountains can mask outside disturbances.
  • Acoustic principles (deflection, absorption, energy conversion) help reduce noise.

Reduce Backyard Traffic Noise

how to reduce traffic noise 1
You can create a tranquil backyard retreat from the hustle and bustle of traffic by strategically placing solid barriers, such as masonry walls or stockade fences, and adding sound-blocking plants or acoustic membranes.

Solid structures like masonry walls made of stone, brick, or stucco-covered concrete are best for blocking out noise because they provide an effective barrier between you and road noise. Stockade or board fences also reduce unwanted sounds but should be high enough to prevent sound waves from passing over them easily.

Low fencing might not provide much protection against loud noises coming from elevated decks/balconies, while a higher wall will significantly reduce traffic noise by 6 – 10 decibels depending on local regulations and practicality considerations.

For extra serenity, consider installing a dry-laid 2 1/2-foot-tall stone wall near your house – this will help deaden some incoming noises too! Running water fountains close to where you relax can mask outside disturbances as well; pick up one with recirculation pumps easy enough if needed!

Trees have little effect on reducing road sounds, unfortunately, so try other more psychoacoustically pleasing options like evergreen shrubs, which bring both comfort and aesthetic appeal around your garden space, now quieter than before!

Acoustic principles like deflection (bouncing away), absorption (absorbing wave energy), and conversion into heat energy all play their part in making sure no unwanted sounds enter our peaceful haven here at home: thick hedges deflecting off objects without a line of sight, while mature shrubs absorb most incoming waves completely, plus special acoustic fabrics converting all types of energies into something harmless, finally providing us with true restfulness we deserve after long days away from home!

Create a Noise Reduction Fence

Create a Noise Reduction Fence
Creating a noise reduction fence to reduce traffic noise is an important step in creating a tranquil backyard retreat. The height and length of the barrier, as well as its density and coverage, all play significant roles in soundproofing your space.

Barrier Height & Length

When it comes to creating a noise-reducing barrier, the height and length of your fence or wall are key factors in its effectiveness. ToH landscape contractor Roger Cook suggests using solid structures like masonry walls made from stone, brick, or stucco-covered concrete for maximum deflection of sound waves.

Stockade or board fences can also absorb noise if tall enough – gaps should be avoided so that traffic sounds don’t slip through! Low fencing may not provide much protection against elevated decks/balconies, but higher walls will reduce outside noises better.

Brick walls and timber fencing can both deflect sound, while metal fences are less effective at reducing noise levels.

Barrier Density

In addition to fence height and length, the density of your barrier also plays an important role in keeping out traffic noise. A sheer mass of masonry walls or a winding two-lane road can make all the difference when soundproofing against ambient noise.

Plantings like shrubs and hedges need to be thick enough for acoustic comfort as well as aesthetic appeal.

Dry-laid stone walls will help deaden sounds from passing cars while psychoacoustics can trick our brains into perceiving fewer exterior noises – creating a tranquil refuge within your backyard space!

Barrier Coverage

Maximize soundproofing efforts by ensuring your chosen barrier is adequately covered. Acoustic comfort and energy conversion are key for effective decibel reduction in your garden. Mask noise with better access to stone structures or high perimeter walls. Open-cell materials like large trees can also help create a tranquil environment free of external sounds.

Barrier Placement

Positioning your noise reduction fence correctly is essential for blocking out road noise. Ensure that the barrier strength and type are appropriate, such as a solid stockade or masonry wall. Consider acoustic treatments like trees and shrubs to mask sound. Utilize soundproofing options like energy conversion to reduce the frequency range of traffic sounds.

Install a Fountain for Noise Masking

Install a Fountain for Noise Masking
Installing a fountain near your outdoor space can create an oasis of tranquility, masking the outside noise and providing a peaceful atmosphere. To maximize its effect on traffic noise reduction, it is important to consider placement carefully.

Ideally, place the fountain close to where you plan on spending most of your time so that sound waves from passing cars are more likely to be absorbed by the water feature.

Additionally, make sure that any masonry walls or other barriers do not block off access for sound waves. Rather than reflecting them back toward their source as they would if blocked off entirely.

Using acoustic principles such as deflection and absorption can also help reduce external sounds from entering your garden area. This involves setting up obstacles like thick shrubs or an acoustiblok isolation membrane, which deflects incoming noises away while absorbing some energy in order to avoid reverberation effects inside our backyard retreats.

These techniques should be set up closer towards the point of the original source ignition of the noise but still far enough away so that psychological effects don’t arise.

Lastly, trees have little effect directly reducing road noise. However, creating serenity with wind chimes and running water is known to effectively cover up unwanted noises, allowing us greater peace and quiet within our spaces!

Alter Sound Perception in Our Brains

Alter Sound Perception in Our Brains
By using psychological principles such as psychoacoustics, we can trick our brains into perceiving less noise from traffic. This technique is called psychic masking, and it relies on the idea that sound waves are directional and can be blocked or redirected to reduce their impact.

Sound insulation materials, like acoustic foam, noise barriers, large trees, and thick shrubs, help achieve this goal by blocking out frequencies of certain decibel levels while allowing others through.

Additionally, brick walls or evergreen trees around the perimeter of a property provide an effective visual barrier against external noises without hindering airflow within the space itself.

The most important thing when trying to reduce road noise is placement: where should these elements go? Eric Wood, an acoustical engineer with years of experience helping people dampen unwanted sounds, recommends placing fences close to the source but not too close, as this could cause some psychological effects for those living nearby.

Instead, he suggests having something between 5-10 feet away from your home, depending on what type you choose (wooden boards/stockade fence vs masonry walls).

In addition to strategically placing fences, there are other options available, such as plantings, which create both aesthetic appeal along with acoustic comfort! Finally, water features, such as fountains, have been known for centuries in providing serenity, thus making them great additions towards reducing road noises if placed correctly near listeners’ ear level.

Explore Acoustic Principles and Treatment Methods

Explore Acoustic Principles and Treatment Methods
Understanding how to reduce traffic noise can be achieved through the use of acoustic principles and treatments. Acoustic deflection involves bouncing sound waves in the opposite direction, acoustic absorption entails planting thick shrubs to absorb sound waves, while acoustic energy conversion is a process by which sound energy is converted into heat energy.

All three methods are important considerations when attempting to reduce highway or street noise levels for improved quality of life.

Acoustic Deflection

Acoustically deflecting sound waves with barriers, such as masonry walls or stockade fences, can help create a peaceful oasis away from the blaring traffic. These barriers provide acoustic comfort and aesthetic appeal to the garden while also helping convert noise energy into heat energy for effective soundproofing.

Eric Wood advises placing these structures 5-10 feet away from your home and having them reach all the way down to block any passing car tires on main roads. Plantings like tall trees along a tree line also offer some protection when large enough, but timber fences are better suited for blocking out higher decibel levels of noise due to their solid structure compared to metal fencing, which is less effective in this regard.

Psychoacoustics can be used too: trick our brains into perceiving less road ruckus by creating an environment of serenity!

Acoustic Absorption

You can create a tranquil atmosphere by strategically planting thick shrubs to absorb sound waves. Masking noise with fountains placed close to the listener is also effective, though they must recirculate water constantly.

Planting trees and dense materials such as evergreens in an expansive green plot offers acoustic comfort while providing aesthetic appeal too.

For better insulation of older homes against traffic noise, it’s best to build masonry walls or stockade fences that reach down all the way and have no gaps between them for maximum effect.

Acoustic deflection plays a part too. Make sure that any barriers are placed close enough so sound waves don’t find their way around them easily but far enough away from your home for safety purposes.

Make use of these ideas if you’re having problems with traffic noise. Soon you’ll be able to enjoy peaceful moments without disruption in your garden oasis!

Acoustic Energy Conversion

To effectively shield your home from road noise, consider converting sound energy into heat energy with barriers that block the line of sight and strategically placed shrubs. Acoustic principles such as deflection, absorption, and energy conversion can be used to reduce external noise transfer.

Wind chimes or water features near the listener are also effective ways to mask unwanted noise pollution without adverse effects on dB levels. Thick masonry walls or stockade fences should reach down all the way for maximum effect when blocking sound waves from passing car tires.

High metal fencing may not provide much sound reduction, but timber fencing is a more effective barrier against traffic noise.

Psycho-acoustics can even trick our brains into perceiving less environmental commotion, which is a great way of escaping reality without compromising safety measures!

Consider Perimeter Barrier Options

Consider Perimeter Barrier Options
When looking for ways to reduce traffic noise, there are several different perimeter barrier options that can be explored. Brick walls, timber fencing, and metal fencing all provide effective sound insulation.

Shrubs and hedging need to be thick and well-maintained in order for them to have an impact on noise levels; acoustic fences can also help bring down the din of passing cars. Careful consideration should be given when selecting a type of barrier as each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Brick Wall

Brick walls are a great way to deflect sound waves, helping to create a tranquil environment away from the hustle and bustle of street traffic. They also provide acoustic comfort and aesthetic appeal: dry-laid stone walls can reduce noise by up to 6-10 decibels.

Psychoacoustics allows us to trick our brains into perceiving less noise, while heat energy conversion helps prevent sound waves from passing through gaps in walls. Brick is usually more expensive than other options but provides the strongest barrier against line of sight, while increased height further reduces road noise.

Timber Fencing

Stockade or board fences, in addition to brick walls, can effectively block road noise and create a peaceful space. Standard timber fences are a natural choice for soundproofing heavily trafficked areas as they provide acoustic comfort and mask noise.

Psychoacoustics trick our brains into perceiving less sound while providing an aesthetically pleasing look that blends into the landscape.

Fences should be set up along the path of least resistance, avoiding gaps for the desired effect when blocking busy roads from outside noises.

Metal Fencing

Though metal fencing may be less effective than other materials for soundproofing, it still provides a quick and easy solution to block out road noise. Psychoacoustics can help create an oasis of tranquility in the backyard by tricking our brains into perceiving less sound.

Metal is one of the most common choices homeowners make when looking to build barrier fences or stockade fences against noise pollution due to its affordability and durability. To enhance its effectiveness, larger trees or mature shrubs could also be planted around it, as well as dry-laid stone walls near the base for added acoustic comfort.

Shrubs & Hedging

Shrubs and hedges can create an acoustic comfort zone in your backyard, absorbing sound waves to help you escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Solid barriers like Hetz Wintergreen Arborvitae are effective at blocking out noise pollution while providing a lush green backdrop for nearby gardens.

Psychoacoustics further reduce unwanted sounds by tricking the brain into perceiving less noise – a great option if dry-laid stone walls or fences aren’t feasible! Various types of thick shrubs are available to block out the modern world’s clamor, allowing you much-needed tranquility in your own home.

Acoustic Fences

Acoustic fences can provide a sound barrier to create an oasis of serenity where the noise of traffic is only a distant memory. These acoustic membranes are effective for blocking out even extremely loud sounds, helping make your outdoor area peaceful and quiet.

Landscape designer Stephanie Hubbard recommends installing them in front of this old house as part of her plan to reduce decibel levels by up to 10 dBs! Psycho-acoustics, energy conversion, and other methods also play a role in creating these calming effects.

With the help from acoustic specialists or landscape designers like Ms. Hubbard who understand how best to reduce road noise around homes with their knowledge on various techniques, you can enjoy some peace and tranquility without having to worry about being disrupted by external noises again!

Explore Alternative Ideas for Noise Reduction

Explore Alternative Ideas for Noise Reduction
In addition to perimeter barriers, there are other options for reducing traffic noise. For instance, water features such as fountains can be used to mask sound and create a tranquil atmosphere. Wind chimes also provide pleasant background music that helps muffle the noise from passing cars.

Lastly, trees planted near roads may not reduce road noise significantly, but they do have an aesthetic appeal that can improve your outdoor space’s ambiance and help you relax in spite of the surrounding commotion.

Water Features

You can add a soothing soundscape to your landscape with the addition of a fountain or other water feature, masking road noise while creating an inviting and peaceful atmosphere. Water features are also good starting points when designing landscapes for acoustic principles of noise reduction.

Such greenery complements seasonal flowers and adds depth to any outdoor space. Here are some ideas that you can use as part of your basic approach:

  • Place fountains close by – this helps mask sound perception from passing traffic.
  • Incorporate plants strategically – evergreens provide acoustic comfort and aesthetic appeal.
  • Utilize natural barriers like trees, shrubs, masonry walls – these help block sound waves.

By making simple changes around your home such as adding water features or greenery, you’ll be able to enjoy a tranquil retreat in spite of nearby road noise.

Wind Chimes

Adding a wind chime to your outdoor space can create an inviting and calming atmosphere, helping you relax in the midst of road noise.

Wind chimes come in different shapes, sizes, and materials, which produce various types of sound depending on their construction–from gentle tinkles to deep resonances. With proper positioning, they can help reduce reverberation control by diffusing or reflecting sound waves away from their source before reaching your ears.

Wind chimes are a great outdoor noise reduction solution if you’re looking for something less permanent than fences or walls but more effective than air conditioners alone–especially when it comes to general nuisance noises like traffic sounds!

For example, this application works especially well with balconies that overlook busy streets as the higher elevation allows more direct contact between the listener and the source of noise pollution.


Although trees may have little effect on reducing road noise, adding a few evergreens to your outdoor space can help create an inviting and tranquil atmosphere that will drown out the sound of passing cars.

Foliage cover is particularly effective at dampening sound waves as long as it’s mature enough.

Additionally, if you’re dealing with a small courtyard, landscape architecture featuring tall growing plants around the perimeter helps form an acoustic membrane for added noise-canceling effects! This is also preferred when compared to more permanent options such as walls or fences, which require frequent maintenance besides being costly upfront investments in most cases.

Trees are, therefore, a great option for those looking to reduce traffic sounds without too many issues involved!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the most effective way to reduce traffic noise?

The most effective way to reduce traffic noise is by installing a solid and thick barrier fence, such as masonry walls or stockade boards. Avoid gaps in the fence and extend it down to the ground for maximum sound reduction of up to 10 decibels.

What type of fence is best for blocking sound?

Masonry walls, such as stone, brick, and stucco-covered concrete, are the best fences for blocking sound. Stockade or board fences can also be effective in reducing noise if gaps are avoided and they reach the ground.

Are trees effective at reducing road noise?

No, trees are not effective at reducing road noise. While evergreens and shrubs can offer acoustic comfort and aesthetic appeal, they have little effect on sound reduction. High fences may block some sound, but low ones will allow more to pass over the top.

Solid barriers such as masonry walls or stockade fences are better suited for blocking noise from traffic.

How high should a fence be to provide sound reduction?

A fence should be at least 6 to 10 feet high for adequate sound reduction. Consider the height and length of your barrier as well as its density and coverage to maximize noise reduction. Solid masonry walls are best, while metal fences provide less protection against traffic noise.

How close should a fountain be to the listener to effectively mask noise?

A fountain should be as close to the listener as possible to effectively mask noise. Positioning it near the area of greatest sound reduction will provide maximum benefit.


Your backyard can be a haven from the hustle and bustle of traffic noise. By using a combination of acoustic principles, barrier options, and alternative ideas, you can create a tranquil retreat that is a safe haven from the noise of the outside world.

With a bit of planning and creativity, you can turn your backyard into an oasis of peace and quiet, shielding you from the never-ending waves of sound. Think of your backyard as a cocoon, wrapped in the warmth and serenity of the natural world beyond.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.