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How to turn your backyard into a noise free haven

Supplier: Modular Wall Systems
01 August, 2014

Suburban living these days has its fair share of noise and disturbance.

We are constantly bombarded with noise from various sources such as constructions sites, neighbouring air conditioning units, barking dogs, public transport, cars and other vehicles.

No matter how beautiful your backyard space may be, external noise can destroy any feelings of tranquility it might inspire. In fact, recent studies have also shown that living in a noise filled environment can reduce your life span.

It is simply not possible to block all external noise from your yard, but certain noise barriers can reduce the noise levels significantly enough for you to ignore it and enjoy your backyard space.

Here are some solutions:

Choose the right material for a boundary fence

The amount of noise reduced is highly dependent on the material of the boundary fence you select. For example, masonry walls, such as brick or masonry alternatives such as modular walls and fence panels perform better in blocking out sound as compared to a timber or metal fence.

This is mainly because most timber and metal fences are not as dense to reflect noise and timber fences also tend to have gaps in them. Sound waves will take the path of least resistance, so gaps will allow the sound through.

A masonry wall may not always be suitable due to the high cost, space available or trees along the boundary line which have a preservation order on them. In such cases, you can opt for cost-effective modular wall and fence products which do not require strip footing, are much more flexible and versatile in their applications and can be installed in a matter of days.

More details on our modular walling and fencing solutions

Choose the right type of plants

Barriers constructed out of plants and vegetation are natural and add visual interest. To block out road noise, living barriers of trees and shrubs must be planted densely enough that you can't see over or through them. If you're blocking intermittent noise, such as lawnmowers or temporary sounds, a single row of trees or shrubs may be ideal, but to block road noise, this will not be effective because there are too many gaps for sound to travel through.

Plant at least one row of tall evergreen trees, and then an inner row of evergreen shrubs for best results. The denser you plant your barrier, the more effective at reducing noise it will be.

Water Features

You can reduce noise in your backyard by counteracting it with more desirable noise. The sound of running water can be effective in drowning out mild to moderate road noise, while creating the feeling of serenity in your backyard. The right type of water features can create "white noise" in the same frequency of other noises, such as cars driving past, lawn mowers, or air conditioners.

Because they are closer to you than the road noise, the water feature become the dominant sound and can drown out the noise from the road.

To ensure the most effectiveness from your water feature, position it close to your outdoor seating area or next to your house, and combine it with another barrier, such as a row of trees or a fence.