Noise Problem!

Discussion in 'Home Improvement, DIY and Repair' started by Kris86, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. Kris86

    Kris86 New Seed

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    Hi everyone,

    I live right by a freeway in San Diego, and the traffic noises are driving me insane. I tried planting some trees along the wall to try to deaden the noise, but it's not helping at all. My friends suggested a water fountain, but it sounds so expensive! I would really love to spend more time in my backyard, but it's so difficult when all you hear are constant traffic noises. Are there any inexpensive solutions??

    Thank you in advance!
     
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  3. Frank

    Frank GardenStew Founder Staff Member Administrator

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    Hi Kris and welcome to our fine forums :smt039 Let's see if we can help you. Straight away I would say the solution to your problem will not be to combat noise with noise, it will just make things... well noisier :) Other than that tidbit I struggle to see how to reduce the noise level short of a pair of earplugs or moving house. Not very helpful I know :( A more 'soundproof' installation (solid fencing solution or wall) will only dampen the sound somewhat but I really don't know how reduced you need it to be.

    Hopefully this will start some brainstorming.
     
  4. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Hi Kris and WELCOME to our forums. I really don't know what to do about your noise problem but I'll see what I can find out for you. :-D

    Later:

    Well I'm back again but not with good news I'm afraid. There's very little information on the net about how to decrease traffic noise in a garden. Suggestions were to either build a high wall between the noise and yourself, plant thick shubbery or hedging (which you seem to have already done) or move house!!! So sorry I couldn't have been more helpful. :(
     
  5. manolok

    manolok New Seed

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    Hi Kris,

    The bad news is that there isn't much you can do about it.

    The good news is that your council or the freeway responsible should do it for you and install some sound barrier.

    However if you ever tried to get a council to do something for you, you already know that is not an easy task to accomplish.

    My plan would be;

    Collect signatures from affected neighbors and other people to support your petition.

    Present them to the council/freeway responsible and wait.

    If after waiting a while have no answer, try to get the case in the newspapers/media (that may help a bit).

    However if you finally get them to install the sound barrier you'll discover that it helps a bit but you'll still hear the cars.

    Another problem you face is that even if you decide to move away, this will problem make you house more difficult to sell (try to arrange viewings at light traffic times).

    Sorry for the bad news :-?
     



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  6. Primsong

    Primsong Young Pine

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    Another problem may be that when they go to install their (ugly) barrier, they will take down many trees and shrubs to do it. :-(

    Short of madly expensive things like enclosing part of your backyard in a sunroom with soundproof windows I'm afraid there is little to do but earplugs and moving... Good luck!

    In the meantime, you could transform part of your interior into a conservatory of sorts - in the middle of lots and lots of houseplants and a grow-light or two can be a very peaceful place to be.
     
  7. Evil Roy

    Evil Roy In Flower

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    What type of trees did you plant? You'll need close spaced, tall, dense plants to absorb the sound. Typical trees aren't dense enough. Also, take a look at the area and double check where the noise is coming from. Planting bushes and trees between you and the noise source will help, but the noise may also be reflecting off of your house and other flat surfaces. Try hanging something over these that will dampen the noise as a test. If the noise level drops, there are several tall grasses and shrubs that can be used to absorb the sound.
     
  8. house21

    house21 New Seed

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    Hi
    You need good double glazing ( try the triple panel glass) and the you have to sound proof the walls.A cheap way to do it is to build drywalls using insulation 50 mm so that you don't lose room space.
    It will reduce the noise up to 40% if the job is done properly.
     
  9. Uncle Jabba

    Uncle Jabba New Seed

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    a fountain would be a great idea. If you make it your self they are not very expensive. There are tons of designs online. My wife made a simple with a few suggestions from the guys at homedepot.
     
  10. jgeorgie33

    jgeorgie33 New Seed

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    Is the problem outside the house only or inside as well? A couple friends of mine who run a little online film school thing have taught me a little bit about sound proofing a room in the past.

    So, kinda like what house21 said, good insulation and triple paned glass windows are a good start.

    I've seen a local park use some large sheets of curved plastic to block the noise of their public pool from the rest of the park and that also seems to work really well, though I'm not sure you'd be willing to put something like that in your own backyard..
     
  11. desertflower

    desertflower Seedling

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    Hi Kris,
    Boy do I understand noise. I live very near a railroad track/crossing. Trains and whistles every 15 min, but not constant like you. We built a massive wall between our garden and the track. It is over 3 ft thick and it did little if nothing to even dull the noise. I really thought it would muffle it just a little. Don't have any suggestions. I just pretend I like the noise and go about my day.
     
  12. ricstutor

    ricstutor New Seed

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    I think you might want to have a buffer of mixed plans. The mix is important because different types of leaves reduce different types of noises. Of course the location, height, width and density of the planting are important too.
     
  13. coolalaskan

    coolalaskan New Seed

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  14. nan1234

    nan1234 Seedling

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    Sounds are waves. I wish there was an equipment that counter wave the noice.
     
  15. TurningColorz

    TurningColorz New Seed

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    The noise cancelling headphones are a brilliant idea.(if you don't mind wearing headphones while enjoying the garden). They work best with the type of noise you have, a steady drone. They will pick up that noise only, and generate an opposing sound which cancels both sounds out. You are left to hear all the other sounds of nature, without the constant "white noise". I prefer the KOSS brand, but many others work just as well. Might be worth a look.

    Mike - TurningColorz
     
  16. timestocome

    timestocome New Seed

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    I used to have a home on Main St. as well.

    You need a wall between you and the noise. A good solid fence between the front and back yard does a nice job.

    In the house I used to just keep music on.
     

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