So you have just purchased your home but when you first looked at it, you didn’t realize just how bad the traffic noise in the backyard really was. Now you are committed to a 30-year mortgage and asks “What can I do Dr. Bob? Well, I’m glad you asked.
You can construct a soundproof or a sound-control fence. Now will this fence block 100% of the traffic noise? I’m afraid not, but will it make your backyard life tolerable? You bet it will.
There are some things that you need to know about building an effect sound control fence that will make it more effective. First and foremost, you new sound control fence needs to be 8 ft above the noise source. Now you need to check with your city or township to see if they have height ordinances regarding fences. If they will only allow a 6′ high fence, you can always build an earthen berm to increase the height of the backyard where the fence will be erected.
Now lets talk about the fence itself. I recommend building a cedar or redwood slatted fence as high as possible, (8ft being the minimum height above the noise source). The term “Above the noise source” means simply this, if the noise is coming from an automobile muffler, then the fence technically needs to be 8′ above the cars tailpipe. This should be simple enough. If you fence isn’t exactly 8′ above the noise source will it not be effective? Of course it will, but at the 8′ level you will get the best sound blocking.
Let’s talk about constructing your fence. The new redwood or cedar fence will have at least 4″ X 4″ posts mounted in concrete footings and sunk at least 2 ft into the ground. You will want as stable a foundation as possible for your new sound control fence as you will be adding heavy sound blocking agents to it. Once the posts are set and the concrete has cured, you will then add the fence cross members. These are generally 2″ X 4″ beams that connect the posts together and offer extra support for the fence slats. Now once the fence framing is complete, you will then be ready for the soundproofing membrane to be installed. You will have already called the professionals at Soundproofing America and ordered a product called “mass loaded vinyl”. Mass loaded vinyl is a loaded vinyl soundproofing barrier that comes in rolls that are 35’x 4′ or 30′ x 4 ½’. Once you have your rolls of mass loaded vinyl and the acoustical caulk and tape that go with the MLV, you are ready to install the soundproof membrane for your new fence.
Your first step is to stretch the MLV along the frame of the fence, you want to make sure the that the MLV extends all the way down to the ground so that the sound does not leak though the bottom of your fence. Once the MLV … Read More