Last updated: December 24, 2019 at 11:03 am
Do you have a noisy environment? Are you sick and tired of the train hooting, indistinct chatter, annoying neighbours, and car engines or you happen to be located close to a bomb testing site? If you’re trying to create a soundproof environment, then you have come to the right place.
This guide will tell you all you need to know from the very basics of understanding basic acoustic principles to installing your very own acoustic fencing. We also have a dedicated article on different ways to soundproofing your garden.
In major cities and places with high commercial activity, the level of noise pollution can become overbearing even in residential areas. Reports portray increased stress level, sudden headaches and even sleep related issues in these areas.
Even the WHO recommends maximum background sound levels of fifty decibels (50dBA) which is frequently exceeded in our daily lives. Leaving your place of work and going home to an environment that is relatively noise polluted can hamper your performance and efficiency as a whole. This is where soundproof fencing comes into play.
What is Acoustic Fencing?
Acoustic fencing has been designed and tested to provide a reduction in sound level. Soundproof fences act as insulators and are basically modified to prevent sound waves coming from the external environment and thus creating a soundproof environment. They are usually employed by industries, homes as well as schools.
How Do These Fences Work?
Sound waves basically travel in a straight line. Sound can therefore be reflected, refracted or conducted based on the material properties. Thus any obstacle between the wave paths will potentially obstruct the wave and thus reduce its energy level.
Any sound coming from the external environment such as car and engine sounds, children playing, partying, animals etc will all go in a directed path to your house except if an object stands in its way.
3 Types of Acoustic Fencing
There are several types of acoustic fence available. The type of materials used directly affects the quality of noise reduction obtainable.
1. Wooden Fence
A strong wooden fence without any spacing can adequately mirror the noise from the street. The thicker the wooden fence, the better it becomes in mirroring the commotion. The wooden fence ought to be thick and strong enough to be used as a strong boundary fence. Cedar and redwood are great choices to construct a wooden soundproof fence.
Wooden fences are less strong and may show signs of wear and tear after some time due to local weather conditions. Proper insulation of the wooden fence against the weather will play a significant role in lengthening its life span.
2. Metal Fence
There is no uncertainty that metal fences are strong and provide high quality soundproofing. A layered metal fence is another alternative to soundproof the fence. Consider purchasing water-safe and erosion safe metal or metal compound to manufacture the fence.
3. Concrete Soundproof Fence
Clearly stones or blocks can stop most of the sound waves because of their thickness. The most common structural material on the planet is concrete. Many projects requiring soundproofing have made use of concrete due to its capacity to reduce noise levels. A solid soundproof fence is a strong obstruction fence worked from rock and concrete.
Another type is the brushwood fence. Brushwood walls are made utilizing twigs, little branches, and undergrowth. Building a thick brushwood fence can give some measure of noise reduction. The thickness of the fence must be more than 60 cm to be powerful enough.
Thing to Consider When Installing a Soundproof Fence
You should allow a separation of at least 20 metres between the fence and your home to get the best effect. The greater the separation, the better the performance you will have.
The geographical nature of the land surrounding the area you wish to soundproof will have a big impact on the effectiveness of soundproofing. In fact, even a slight dip or valley can provide significant improvements. The use of a lower height fence can sometimes allow sound to go straight over the top of your home with minimal noise.
At the other extreme, if the property you plan to soundproof is on a hill or a slope, you may have serious noise issues. A high acoustic fence may make a big improvement if positioned correctly.
3. Wind Currents
The wind can have a major effect on the level of noise you experience. In some areas the wind is very unpredictable and often changes direction. In these situations, there will be little positive impact from changing your design.
However, some places have very consistent prevailing winds. In these areas it makes sense to design your fence positioning to take the prevailing wind into account.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do soundproof fences block noise completely?
A. No, a soundproof wall will never totally block out the noise. A fence will only help in decreasing sound levels. It is difficult to totally soundproof a fence. Certain materials can reduce, square, assimilate, and redirect the sound. However, they will never make your home completely soundproof.
Q. Does growing plants and hedges along the fence reduce noise?
A. Indeed, a few dense plants will help to absorb noise and reduce background noise levels. Their branches should be thick and located close along the fence to be viable.
Q. Is it possible to soundproof my backyard?
A. Total soundproofing is unrealistic. There will always be spillage. However, up to a specific level, soundproof wall will have a noticeable impact on blocking and reducing noise pollution in your enclosed yard.
Q. Can I waterproof my wooden acoustic fence?
A. The simple answer is yes. You can treat acoustic fencing with standard waterproofing compounds as used on any other wooden fence.
Q. How much will a good acoustic fence reduce the noise level by?
A. A high quality acoustic fence can reduce noise by up to 30 decibels.