Want to reduce traffic noise in backyard?
The howling of car tires, the blaring of horns, and the never-ending drone of engines is something that many people find irritating.
The noise pollution from traffic can be reduced by using a few simple materials readily available at your local hardware store.
This guide will show you how to build your own sound barrier for your backyard based on how much money you want to spend and how quickly you need relief.
What Causes Traffic Noise in Your Backyard?
Before we focus on reducing traffic noise, it’s helpful to understand what causes this kind of noise and where it comes from.
Traffic noises are caused by two different factors: from the bottom up (vehicle engine sounds or tire resistance) and top-down (aircraft engine vibrations).
The distance from the source of these noises determines how much decibel level they have.
These levels can add up to several dozen within a mile radius on some locations.
High levels of traffic noise will leave you sleep-deprived, agitated, and stressed.
So, what can you do about it?
How To Reduce Traffic Noise in My Backyard (Effective Hacks)
It’s frustrating how traffic noise can disrupt your sleep and make you feel cooped up in the backyard.
But there are a few ways to reduce these disturbances so that they don’t get out of hand:
1. Soundproofing Insulation
Put on soundproofing insulation or windows with double panes for better noise reduction.
This will help absorb sounds like honking, engine idling, sirens, etc.
These two options won’t be effective if you’re located close to major thoroughfares where heavy construction work is on all day long (especially before noon).
The best solution would be installing some kind of wall coverage between the road and your property line, which blocks these annoying noises from entering your home.
If you’re too close to the street and can’t afford any of these options just yet, consider earplugs (especially if there’s a lot of construction work going on in your neighborhood).
2. Live Fence
Plant or place live plants near windows for better insulation against outside sounds.
This will also create an attractive view around you and provide some kind of privacy from the world outside.
Live plants may not be effective with traffic noises coming from major thoroughfares nearby because they don’t typically absorb those sounds very well (see the wall section above).
Put a sound barrier (a curtain) in front of windows to block noise from entering.
This will also provide privacy and an attractive view when you want it without blocking out light altogether.
Curtains are very versatile and can work with all kinds of types of layouts, but they won’t do much if your backyard is right next to major thoroughfares which have traffic going by day and night because curtains don’t typically absorb those sounds very well either (see the wall section above).
A door is a familiar sound source in the home, so it makes sense that improving its seal will help reduce traffic noise.
Soundproofing kits can be purchased to make the airtight seal more effective against outside noises.
Quiet Armor’s product line includes an acoustic insert for doors and windows and a silicone-based spray foam adhesive meant specifically to attach weather stripping where needed on all types of exterior doors.
You’ll want at least three coats of this foam applied over any cracks around your doorway or window frames because these little nooks amplify unwanted sounds from passersby or passing cars by up to six times what they would have been without the extra insulation.
5. Water Fountains
Water fountain – water fountains are a great way to reduce traffic noise in your backyard.
The sound of running water masks some other sounds, so people won’t notice that much about outside noises when they’re near it.
It’s also not too hard to set up and maintain if you have the right tools for plumbing work around the house.
6. White Noise Machine
If you have a problem with traffic noise, the best solution is to either soundproof your home or go somewhere else.
But if that’s not an option and you need some relief from the constant drone of cars, trucks, and buses outside your window (or backyard), there are things you can do to help yourself out.
The most common technique for dealing with unwanted background noises like street sounds is white noise generators.
These devices emit soothing sounds like rushing waterfalls or waves crashing on the beach to mask other distracting noises so people can sleep at night without being woken up by ticking clocks or sirens going off down the block.
They’re also great for drowning out annoying coworkers who insist on talking too loudly about their favorite TV show while you’re trying to do your work.
It’s easy enough to get a white noise generator: you can make one with just two household items or order one online for less than $20.
You want something relatively portable that plugs into an outlet and runs on batteries so you can take it anywhere without needing access to power (like in the backyard).
7. Brick Walls
Brick walls and high fences are the most effective way to reduce traffic noise in your backyard.
I was talking with a friend who lives on the border of my neighborhood, and he said that his house’s brick walls help block out all outside sound, including traffic.
If you don’t have easy access to bricks or drywall, I recommend investing in an expensive fence like Amazon: Black Aluminum Slat Fence for Home Garden Yard Privacy Outdoor Guard Security Barrier Gate. It’ll be worth it.
8. Smart Grass Mat
The smart grass mat is a soundproofing product with excellent results in reducing traffic noise for over ten years.
The smart grass mats are made of artificial turf, where special sturdy foam support underneath provides its unique function of absorbing all kinds of sounds.
A single mat under your bedroom window will be able to decrease noise levels by up to 32 decibels (dBA).
This unique product aims to improve the quality of life by decreasing the level of traffic noise on particularly busy streets or highways near where you live or work and commercial areas such as airports, train stations, and sports stadiums.
One of the many examples is at the Royal BAM Group’s industrial complex located along Highway A7 in Heerlen, Netherlands.
This industrial site hosts some industrial buildings and companies, including DHL Supply Chain.
The new DHL warehouse with its large parking lot was causing excessive noise on one side of the building where it faced a residential area.
After installing two mats on their rooftop terrace facing the residential area, they reported that people had stopped complaining about excessive noise.
Final Thoughts on How to Reduce Traffic Noise in My Backyard
You can make your backyard more tranquil by planting trees to provide windbreaks and lots of plants.
They will not only create a sense of calm; they’ll also help reduce unwanted noise pollution for you in your own backyard.
If you have any other questions about how we might help with this project, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Hi, my name is Todd R. Bressler and I am the founder of this soundproofing blog. I’m a DIY enthusiast from Cincinnati, the city that just beat New York for the City That Never Sleeps Award in 2020. (Original) I have been in the DIY soundproofing industry for close to 5 years, running a YouTube channel and a Podcast show every Saturday. I started Crafty Soundproofing to help you learn the basics of “self defending yourself against noise”
Have an idea worth sharing? Please contact me and I’ll be happy to respond ASAP.