Fences don’t just protect your home. They carry another purpose beneficial to your peace of mind.
Are noisy neighbors a common problem? Dog barking? Or maybe it just so happens there’s construction happening in your area.
Whatever the case, I understand what’s at stake here. Your privacy might be in check; however, proper rest and relaxation are just as important to you too, right?
That’s precisely what a soundproof fence is for, and if you’re having trouble or looking for a solution, a soundproofing fence might just be what you need. Let me teach you how to soundproof fences.
Does Soundproof Fencing Work?
The short answer: Yes, they do.
Soundproof fences can help block and reduce most sources that enter your house. An example of a noise source that is typically distracting to your peace of mind is road noise.
Although, completely blocking road noise isn’t possible solely through sound proofing. Fencing can help reduce traffic noise and other noise sources in the area. However, it’s important to understand first how soundproof fences work.
How Does It Work?
Sound waves behave by traveling from the origin of the noise source to its destination in a straight line. Sound also only travels in a straight line if there are no barriers to block its path.
If we relate this to all the road noise, dog barking, and noisy neighbors in your area, all this noise travels in a straight line. Any houses nearby the source will feel the full effects of the sound and noise levels unless you have a barrier to deflect the sound itself.
With soundproof fences, you can deflect sound back to its original source, reducing noise at a considerable level.
Of course, soundproof fences aren’t as easy as just installing them. When it comes to soundproofing a fence, you have to consider the features and factors that make it an effective noise barrier.
Here’s what you need to know.
Features of a Good Soundproof Fence
Essentially, you’ll need to be aware of 4 features in order to make it an effective sound barrier:
- Durability – Soundproof fences need to last on a long-term scale. This prevents higher costs in installation and material expenses.
- No Gaps – Installing a soundproof fence is going to take more than just nails and shoveling space for it to stand on. To effectively reduce and deflect sound, there shouldn’t be any spaces or gaps in between each fence. This is a critical feature to take the highest priority in.
- Acoustic Properties – This refers to the NRC rating of the fence material you plan to use. Check the product label or go to your local hardware store and ask for any info about the fence material you’re planning to use.
- Ease of Installation – Wooden fences are typically the easiest to install. Other soundproof fences might not be as easy though and might require more tools or will require a more labor-intensive process.
Now that you have an idea of the features that make good soundproof fences, let’s head on over to the factors you should consider.
Factors To Consider Before You Install Your Soundproof Fence
Soundproof fences require careful construction if you want to reduce sound considerably and effectively. Make sure you consider these factors before installing your fence.
1. Fence Height
Taller soundproof fences can block more noise than shorter fences. Going for a minimum height of 2 meters should block most of the noise coming in.
For something that carries more noise like traffic noise, for example, an effective sound barrier would require a height equivalent to at least 15 feet.
Before you set the fence height though, make sure to check with the city ordinance on what are the height restrictions of fencing in your area.
2. Fence Thickness/Density
Soundproofing materials with more mass will block or reduce noise more effectively than thinner fences. The problem with a then fence is it amplifies noise and easily vibrates especially if heavy road noise is present in your area.
Soundproof fences that are heavier and much denser like cement or metal offer much more noise reduction and would be a good option in areas with heavy noise pollution.
While you’re at it, make sure you don’t leave any gaps to maximize the mass and the fence’s noise reduction ability.
Fence location is vital to reducing noise in your area. The closer you position your fence to your home, the less likely will it reduce noise coming in.
The closer your fence is to the noise source, this will shorten the gap between the sound waves and your fence, proving to be a lot more effective.
The fence location depends on the size of your area. If you have a backyard, fencing the outermost sections of the area would allow the fence to be closer to the noise source.
If your area isn’t as wide, placing your fence as far away as you can and closer the source can still provide a considerable impact on noise reduction.
4. Noise Sources
There are different sources of noise, each with their own impact of disturbing your peace of mind and quietness. A few worth mentioning are:
- Road or traffic noise
- Pets e.g. cats, dogs
- Mechanical equipment e.g. lawnmower
Understanding the varying sources in your area can help you identify suitable fence options to install in your home. For example, masonry or a brick wall is highly effective against road noise. Thanks to its dense material, this should reduce noise in significant amounts.
Apart from the density and durability of the material used, soundproof fences also come in varying price levels. A wooden fence would be the cheapest or most inexpensive option while acoustic fences are pricier and more costly to install.
Examining the features and factors to consider when buying soundproof fences can help you eliminate the noise problem in your home right away.
Understanding the source is just as vital to your success, especially if you want to eliminate backyard noise. Seeing as how your yard is closer to the source, you’ll need a denser, taller, and possibly a more expensive option.
Now let’s tackle the different types of fences you can install in your home:
You’d be able to choose from 5 different types all with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. The types mentioned below are also in no particular order.
1. Acoustic Fence
Acoustic fences are class A soundproof fences. Engineered specifically for noise reduction, these soundproof fences are taller and denser than most types, providing that added edge of soundproofing.
Acoustic fences use materials made of either plastic composite or layered wood and are cheaper soundproof fences to use compared to brick types.
They’re also easy to install and are the best soundproof fences against backyard noise.
2. Wooden Fence
Soundproof fences made of wood are common residential options. They provide a good visual appeal for any home and are also the cheapest option both in material cost and installation.
The downside to using a wooden fence is their noise reduction ability against heavy noise pollution. Soundproof fences made of wood are suitable for areas that require lower noise reduction.
A great soundproofing material to use for wooden soundproof fences would be Cedar or Redwood. These both carry the highest mass against other wood types.
For an added or improved noise-reducing effect, you can use MLV or Mass Loaded Vinyls along with your wooden fence to create an enhanced soundproofing solution.
MLV’s are flexible, weather-resistant, and durable materials that don’t just reduce but also block noise. They’re costly though but can turn your wooden fence into a noise-blocking fence easily.
3. Metallic Fence
Metallic soundproof fences are durable and cost-effective options against airborne noise. This means children playing, dog barks, and noisy neighbors are all examples of airborne noise.
Soundproof fences that use metal as the primary material are great options for areas that need lower noise reduction.
Sound at considerably higher levels or areas with heavy noise pollution can penetrate metal soundproof fences too, though not as easily as wooden types.
It’s important to use water-resistant and corrosion-resistant metal fences to prevent any weathering or easy wear and tear.
The biggest downside to metallic soundproof fences is the vibrations it easily makes in areas with high traffic noise.
4. Concrete Fence
Concrete soundproof fences are effective noise blockers. Thanks to their mass and density combined, a concrete fence or brick wall surrounding your home can block all the incoming sound or noise that enters your home.
The taller your concrete fence, the better will it even block noise from coming in. You don’t have to worry about vibrations either seeing as how stone and bricks don’t produce vibrations as they come in contact with sound.
The only drawback of installing a concrete fence in your home is the cost. These expensive soundproof solutions are definitely steep but worth it, especially for areas with heavy noise pollution.
5. Green Fence
You can also refer to them as hedge or brushwood fences. Green fences aren’t the best soundproof options. Essentially, you’re using thick plantation to reduce any sound or noise in your area.
They’re good options if you want to muffle any sound in the area and also make great visually appealing additions to your fence.
Hedge fences and brushwood fences are both different types of green fences you can use and install for your home.
Hedge fences are thick, take longer to grow, and last for as long as 100 years. Once hedges fully mature, they have the capacity to block noise even.
Brushwood fences consist of twigs, undergrowth, and small branches. They’re cheap to install and can also last you for 20 years; however, they’ll need to reach at least 60 cm of thickness to be effective noise reducers.
If you’re not up for the waiting game, you might want to use these as additions to your fences.
While they don’t make for great soundproof solutions alone, you can grow them along your fences so they can add to your soundproof ability to reduce noise.
Soundproof Solutions To Use Along With Your Fences
When you think of soundproof fences, you can consider them to be your first line of defense against any noise pollution in your area.
That being said, you can still add plenty of soundproof solutions to your home that act as great noise-reducers/blockers. A few common examples include:
1. Soundproof Curtains
Soundproof curtains do a great job of reducing noise inside your home. Since soundproof curtains use denser, thicker materials, they fall as considerable complementary additions to achieving soundproof living in your home.
2. Soundproofing Paint
The best advantage of soundproofing paint is being able to use them both inside and outside of your home. Their standard application requires three coatings. Each coating of which can reduce between 2 – 4 decibels of sound.
Using Soundproofing paint inside and outside your home can help reduce any incoming sound that passes through your soundproof fence.
3. Treat your Windows, Doors, and Walls with Soundproofing Solutions
There is a whole list of options you can do to soundproof your windows, doors, and walls. Although, this may come out as a costly expense if you decide to treat all areas.
Using MLV on the walls, for instance, offers significant noise-blocking capabilities. Replacing your door with a solid-core door or using acoustic foam blankets on your door can reduce sound greatly.
A window seal kit or installing double-glazed windows combined with your door and wall soundproofing solutions would boost the soundproof ability in your home.
4. Use White Noise
A white noise machine could be one of the best investments you could make if you’re living in an area with heavy noise pollution or in an apartment space.
White noise doesn’t reduce or block sound. It simply replaces the noise you hear outside with the kind of noise that is more pleasant to the ear. It’s also effective for those who struggle with insomnia.
Examples of white noise include radio static, air conditioner humming, whirring fan, or radiator with a hissing noise.
This humming is actually an audible frequency played in equal intensity and equal distribution that stimulates the brain.
Other types include pink and brown noise, which you find more common to hear since a majority of these sounds associate with nature.
Sounds such as light rain, waterfalls, thunder, and leaves rustling are all examples of noise you might want to try to help mask off any other sound inside your home.
5. Consider Earplugs
Should your situation become worse or you’re looking for a budget option to add to your soundproof solution, earplugs are inexpensive options you can go for.
If you decide to get one, check the NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) first to test how effective it is. A higher NRR means it’s more effective.
Go for an NRR that has a rating between 25 – 29. Flents Quiet Earplugs come in at an NRR rating of 29. They’re also comfortable and easily fit into most ear canal sizes.
Before You Go
Installing a soundproof fence provides significant noise-reducing/blocking coverage for your home. This; however, shouldn’t make you complacent to turn away from other soundproofing solutions.
Using a soundproof fence alone can only do so much to shield you from noisy neighbors, dog barks, and the worst – road noise.
If you live in a noisy neighborhood, it’s even far more vital to consider how else you can soundproof your home using various acoustic materials.
Be that as it may, there’s a valuable lesson learned about fencing here. These soundproof solutions are also protectors against animals or strangers, and they provide privacy & security for your home as well.