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Street Noise Reduction in a Home

How to Quiet Street Noise in Your Home

Author: Eric Dellolio

Last Updated: February 9, 2024

Read Time: 7 Minutes

How to Quiet Street Noise in Your Home

Author:

Eric Dellolio

Last Updated:

February 9, 2024

Read Time:

7 Minutes

Author: Eric Dellolio

Updated: Feb. 9, 2024

Read Time: 7 Minutes

Larry across the street swore that loud construction on his house would be done 3 weeks ago. Sabrina next door promised not to mow the lawn before 7am, so there she is every Saturday at 7:01am. And now they’ve blocked off the freeway entrance down the road so all the traffic comes right by your house.

 

Good fences might make good neighbors but soundproof walls make for neighbors you don’t notice. Between loud neighbors, barking dogs, lawn equipment, construction, dump trucks - the list of nuisances outside your home can start to add up. No more! We have some great solutions for both inside and outside your house to block noise and keep your home quiet.

 

Larry across the street swore that loud construction on his house would be done 3 weeks ago. Sabrina next door promised not to mow the lawn before 7am, so there she is every Saturday at 7:01am. And now they’ve blocked off the freeway entrance down the road so all the traffic comes right by your house.

Good fences might make good neighbors but soundproof walls make for neighbors you don’t notice. Between loud neighbors, barking dogs, lawn equipment, construction, dump trucks - the list of nuisances outside your home can start to add up. No more! We have some great solutions for both inside and outside your house to block noise and keep your home quiet.

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Popular Street Noise Reduction Products


soundproof panels for party wall
Fantastic Frame™ Soundproof Window Insert
Acoustical Sealant Caulk
Luxury Liner™ Roll - Mass Loaded Vinyl (1 Lb / 2 Lb)

How to Block Out Traffic Noise in Your Bedroom

There are three strategies for blocking noise from entering your bedroom. You can take methods to increase the soundproofing of your home, by beefing up your window assembly or doors, walls that are facing outside. You can also build some soundproofing measures in your yard, like a soundproof barrier fence. These have varying levels of effectiveness and ease of installation, here are the steps we recommend to soundproof your home from traffic noise, from most to least recommended:

  1. Soundproof your windows with soundproof window inserts
  2. Build a soundproof fence around your home
  3. Soundproofing exterior walls and doors

Step One: Improve Window Soundproof to Stop Traffic Noise

Luckily the exterior walls of most houses and apartments generally are very soundproof, and by themselves they block noise exceptionally well. The reason noise makes its way in your home is usually because of your windows. Windows tend to be a weak point in most buildings for exterior noise. The reason for this is two-fold:

sound transmission through wall in your home

Luckily the exterior walls of most houses and apartments generally are very soundproof, and by themselves they block noise exceptionally well. The reason noise makes its way in your home is usually because of your windows. Windows tend to be a weak point in most buildings for exterior noise. The reason for this is two-fold:

    1. Sound moves easily through the air, and will “leak” through even small gaps. If air is coming through your window, sound is getting through as well.
    2. Glass is significantly less soundproof than a full wall. The overall sound blocking ability of a wall is significantly reduced based on its weakest point. This graphic shows what we mean.

By soundproofing your windows, you can improve the weak point make an entire wall far more effective at blocking sound. The easiest way to soundproof windows is to upgrade them with our Fantastic Frame Soundproof Window inserts. The inserts are designed to be a DIY window soundproofing option that can blend right into your current window frame. Once installed, the inserts can reduce sound through your window by up to 80% by substantially increasing the STC rating. These window inserts are also great for providing thermal window insulation.

Other options include replacing your windows altogether with more soundproof versions, which can be costly. You also can attempt to hang a soundproof barrier (like mass loaded vinyl or a soundproof blanket) over your windows, but you have to make ensure the barrier is airtight and it doesn’t perform as well. The window also… isn’t really a window anymore. For a breakdown of different soundproof windows costs and options, see our article here.

noisy street in need of traffic noise reduction

Step Two: Build a Soundproof Fence to Soundproof Your Home

Another option often used in addition to window inserts is building a soundproof fence outside the home. Not only does this help reduce noise inside the house, but also makes your yard more peaceful to relax in. We suggest fences for soundproofing if you live next to a busy road or even if you're trying to make sure you don’t bother your neighbors with backyard get-togethers.

How to build a soundproof fence to reduce street noise

It’s possible to build a barrier that doesn’t block much noise. That’s why we included the basic tips below to help you make your fence as soundproof as possible. We also have a whole article on fence soundproofing where you can read more.

    1. Height - Build your fence tall enough that it blocks line of sight to whatever is making noise. This will help block more of the soundwaves making their way to your home. As a rule the height of your fence should be at least 1.5 times taller than the source of the noise, and preferably 2 times. Blocking line of site should help reduce sound by at least 5dB.
    2. Construction - Choose a dense material with a high STC rating and make sure the barrier you’re creating is as airtight as possible. Using a soundproof material, but then leaving huge gaps in the fence essentially renders it useless. A common option we see from customers is building a wood fence and then adding mass loaded vinyl, sound blankets, or BlocknZorbe panels to it. If you have an existing chain link fence, applying mass loaded vinyl or Quiet Quilt Outdoor Soundproof Blankets will be your best option.
    3. Placement - If you were trying to block out light, you’d either wear sunglasses or cover the light. Sound works in a similar way. For your fence to be most effective, place it either close to the noise source, or close to the area you’re trying to soundproof. See the diagram below for a better explanation.
best soundproof fence position to block noise from outside home

Additional tips on how to reduce road noise in home

The solutions we laid out are known to be effective and are likely your best option to reduce the noise coming into your home, but here are a few things to consider as you’re coming up with your soundproofing plan.

  • Try sound masking: This is the concept of playing an ambient background sound to drown out more obnoxious or unwanted noises. White noise, music, or even a fan can help mask outside noise, especially when you’re trying to sleep at night.
  • Double check doors and windows for gaps: Doors and windows are the biggest culprits in excessive noise. If you find gaps, seal them up with things like weather stripping, acoustical sealant, or a door seal kit.
  • DON’T use acoustical products: People often mistakenly use products like acoustic or sound absorbing foam or sound absorption materials for their soundproofing projects. These products are useful in their place, which is improving acoustics inside a space. Adding acoustic material to your walls or windows might be great for your upcoming acapella performance, but it won’t do anything to keep noise out. Instead opt for dense, airtight barriers.
how to block road noise from house

Step Three: Improve Other Exterior Barriers (Or Call Us)

If you have serious noise issues and you've gotten this far in the article, i recommend giving us a call. Soundproofing your exterior walls and door may help in some cases, like a glass back door facing out towards a busy area for example but most of the time the first two steps are the two that are truly effective in soundproofing your home to outside noises. We have articles on door soundproofing and window soundproofing that I recommend checking out.

Our homes are our individual fortresses of solitude, and when we don’t feel comfortable at home, where else is there to go? A lot of people look to hardware stores for soundproofing advice, but we recommend you come right to the soundproofing experts. For home depot window soundproofing alternatives, check out our article on the topic.

Not sure where to start? Call us for a custom soundproofing plan for whatever noise problem you’re dealing with.

Have questions about your project?

Call us at 1.800.679.8511