When your house is built near a busy highway, you probably would have to put up with a lot of traffic noise. Research by the World Health Organization in 2017 revealed that 3 out of 100 people die from heart disease as caused by noise. This is how traffic noise can put a toll on your health.
Having to deal with traffic noise every day is downright frustrating. Your home should ideally be your haven or place to relax but the external noise is getting in the way of you achieving that.
The Basic Anatomy of How Sound Works
Understanding how sound works can help you come up with solutions so you can deal with traffic noise. You can combine different techniques in order to reduce traffic sounds. Dealing with the noise both from the inside and outside can help you minimize the intrusion.
Sound travels in a wave by air in order to reach your home. The sound wave bumps air particles one after another that it creates a domino effect and rapidly picks up its pace. With each bump, the sound gets deflected and spreads in different directions so it may appear more diluted or weaker. This explains why sounds may weaken when you are away from the source. The sound can only be absorbed or can bounce off to the point that the sound becomes muffled or fades out.
Sound travels in different ways depending on the materials it passes through. For instance, dense and thick walls can help block the noise because the energy is reduced and the noise levels are minimized. The idea would be to put as much blockage or distance between you and the traffic noise without moving your house.
Tips on How To Effectively Muffle Traffic Noise
Complaining about the traffic noise does not solve the problem. Taking action does. Here’s a combination of simple and alternative ways to muffle traffic noise when you live near a busy street:
- Ear Plugs. This is a very basic and cheapest approach to reducing traffic noise from reaching you in your home. Wearing earplugs is a simple solution to a complex problem. You can use the simple type or advanced ones depending on the extent of blockage you need especially when you are asleep or want to relax in your bedroom.
- White Noise Machine. Investing in a white noise machine does not just mask traffic noise but also provides you a relaxing and soothing space to keep your sanity intact. The fan can or a humidifier can also provide some white noise effect to your room. This can help camouflage the loud irritating sound and give you that calming noise effect instead. This is advisable especially for families with babies or little ones who require more hours of sleep or nap time.
- Water Fountain. If you are looking for that natural or green approach, then going for outdoor fountains may be the best option for you. You can reduce the irritating sound of traffic noise by injecting the calming sound of water. The gurgling or running sound of water helps drown out the noise of busy traffic and is replaced by the serene sound of waters
- Rearrange your home interiors. Consider the source of the troublesome traffic noise, and move your interiors around your space so that the living rooms and bedrooms or your home office are set up as far away from the disturbance of the traffic noise. You can also reduce kitchen noise.
- Put Up Curtains. The windows would be the usual passageway for sound waves so double layers of thick curtains and drapes would usually be able to block traffic noise. The weight and bulk of these thick drapes and curtains can effectively muffle the noise. Blinds would also be ideal for keeping the noise out. This provides enough noise insulation for your home. Draperies and curtains are great and fit those who are renting and are not allowed to create alterations in your windows. There are also special noise-absorbing or blackout curtains that can block the night and noise. This helps you create a tranquil space conducive for a restful sleep.
- Seal Your Window. You can stop background noise from entering your home by sealing your windows using a soundproofing material such as a weather strip or caulk. You can also consider using window shutters and plugs.
- Noise-reducing Fences. Soundproofing fences are a popular way of keeping your home free from the disturbing traffic noise. These noise-reducing fences are either made of durable wood or plastic and are built tall and dense to keep noise at a bare minimum. These fences should be built solid enough and without any holes to provide resistance. These are also most preferred in neighborhoods because it’s cheaper and also available in modern styles.
- Insulate Your Doors. There are special noise-proof doors that you can purchase for your home. You can replace your old one or try some easy hacks with soundproofing your existing door. You can use seal strips for your doors or door sweeps to seal the gaps in between the door and floor or any open space. Aside from dampening traffic noise, the seal strips can also provide that extra layer of protection from insects, wind, dust, and abrasions.
- Hedging. If you are not in a hurry, you can try hedging by planting shrubs to provide a thick coverage of greenery that does not just block unwanted noise from your home but also give you fresh air and an attractive view in your garden. This might take longer to grow but it’s well worth the wait for sure.
As the population increases, traffic noise becomes unavoidable. Modernity has its toll however there are ways to soundproof your home and keep your peace in your own space. You can mix and match all of these soundproofing techniques to whichever fits your space and budget. Making your space livable and comfortable for you by installing soundproofing materials is the best solution you can do to muffle traffic noise and deal with a home set near a highway.