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Using a Fence as a Sound Barrier

Often we talk about fencing in terms of its aesthetic properties. And of course, it’s very true that fencing can make a beautiful aesthetic addition to your home and add a unique visual dynamic to your yard. But fencing has just as many functional attractions as it does aesthetic, one of them being its ability to serve as a sound barrier.

Homeowners who live near a busy street, for example, might find that the sound of the passing cars on the road is distracting, and can even interfere with everyday life. One potential solution to this problem is to install a fence to serve as a sound barrier. To learn more about using a fence as a sound barrier, read on!

noise barrier

Using a Fence as a Sound Barrier


The construction of the fence is the key component in its usefulness as a sound barrier.

First, it should not have any gaps. This means no gaps between the borads, and no gaps between the fence and the ground. Why? Because sound is like water in terms of the way it moves. It will find little openings wherever they are and flow through them. So getting rid of the openings reduces the amount of sound that gets through.

Height is another important factor. The taller the fence, the better it will be at doing its job as a sound barrier. Of course, there are many areas in which the maximum height of a fence is controlled by zoning regulations, so it’s important to research this beforehand. This Old House has a good explanation of the potential for sound reduction of an 8-foot high fence.

An 8-foot-high solid fence or wall might knock 6 to 10 decibels off traffic and other ambient noise, which typically measures 60 to 70 decibels—about equal to the noise an older dishwasher makes. That might not seem like much, but the decibel scale is logarithmic. To the human ear, a 10-decibel drop seems like half as much noise — in this case, from an old dishwasher to a refrigerator’s hum.


The thicker the material, the better. This is because denser materials reflect sound waves better. Usually, fences designed for use as a sound barrier are made of a thick solid wood.


Hercules Fence of Richmond has been providing professional fence installation and service in Richmond for more than 50 years. Call us at (804)752-7992 or contact us on our website to learn more about residential and commercial fencing in Richmond.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 9th, 2015 at 8:36 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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