Soundproofing Your Backyard
Soundproofing a back or front yard from say, traffic noise, is actually one of the most difficult soundproofing projects that any soundproofing engineer or acoustical consultant could ever want to tackle. In essence you are trying to soundproof the outdoors, from the outdoors. It is nearly impossible to accomplish. There are methods that are marginally effective, and would most likely keep the noise in the "tolerable level" range.
Most people believe that a simple fence between the traffic generator and their backyard will suffice. This is pretty much a total myth. Now if the fence or barrier is a stone or masonry type fence, your chances of blocking the noise become much better, but keep in mind that for any fence to be effective, it needs to be at least 8' above the noise source.
With many city ordinances this is an impossibility, due to the fact that fence heights are normally limited to 6'. A 6' fence, no matter what it is constructed of, will do little to quell constant traffic noise pollution.
Now if your city ordinances allow for an 8' or even a 10' fence, then your odds of obtaining some effective soundproofing have been greatly improved.
If you are planning to build a wooden fence (dog eared slat type) then all the gaps in the wood fence must be caulked in with a good acoustical caulk such as OSI-175. After you have caulked the gaps between the slats, you will need to line the backside or the side facing the traffic, with a Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV). American Mass Loaded Vinyl is an excellent choice as it is weatherproof and superb sound blockier/barrier. Some customers have actually opted for the 1/4" American Mass Loaded vinyl, which is twice as thick, but not twice as expensive.
The (MLV) could be glued (waterproof contact cement) or actually stapled to the back of the fence. It really doesn't matter which side of the fence the (MLV) is adhered to, but I generally recommend that the (MLV) face the noise source whenever possible.
Never count on State or County to construct costly sound barrier/attenuation walls simply because one citizen complains. If you have neighbors with similar issues, go to the State or County collectively, you will always get better results when you go in numbers.
For further information on soundproofing your backyard from traffic or even from next-door neighbor's noise, please feel free to contact the experts at Soundproofing America, Inc. They will be happy to help and advise you on the best methods for soundproofing your yard from most traffic noise.
Thanks for reading and learning. Knowledge is Power. The more you know about soundproofing, the more you need Soundproofing America Inc, The Professionals choice.
As Always, Dr. Bob!