Balconies are one of the most beautiful features of a home or apartment. They serve as an escape from the chaos and noise of your daily routine.
After a long day, you can relax on the balcony and enjoy the fresh air, or you can have a pleasant lazy breakfast on a Sunday morning.
But what if your escape to the balcony only exposes you to the noise of the traffic below the street?
There are several benefits of having a balcony, from adding to the appearance of your apartment or house to providing outdoor space for fresh air.
However, all the benefits go down the drain because of the continuous traffic noise that makes its way to your balcony and into your home.
Not to mention the various consequences noise pollution can cause to a person’s health, like psychological stress, high blood pressure, and anxiety. Reducing traffic noise isn’t just about relaxation but also better for your health.
Let’s look at the ways in which you can reduce traffic noise on a balcony to enjoy some peace and quiet.
Reducing Traffic Noise on your Balcony
First, let’s discuss ways to reduce noise on your balcony if you reside in an apartment building overlooking a busy street.
A Granite Water Fountain
Have you ever heard of the concept of noise drowning’? It means to block out the noise of something by creating a sound louder than the noise.
Installing a water fountain made of granite or concrete on your balcony will effectively work in drowning out the outside traffic noise.
Since the water fountain will be closer to you than the traffic, it will work perfectly in reducing the noise pollution on your balcony.
The calming sound of the fountain will add another soothing element for you to enjoy and relax in.
Although a fountain may help reduce the continuous noise from roaring vehicles and distant conversations, it may not eliminate sounds from horns or other high-pitched noises.
Moreover, for effective reduction of noise, the water fountain should be on your balcony, which might not be possible if you live on a higher floor.
Not every sound is regarded as noise; like the soothing sounds of a water fountain, there are other sounds that can help you relax and enjoy your balcony.
However, this hack won’t completely eliminate the sound on your balcony, but it will help in reducing it.
Installing an audio system on your balcony will effectively reduce noise pollution and as a replacement sound. The audio from the system will keep your ear sensors busy with the sounds of your choice.
You can use it to play anything from your favorite songs to any other pleasant audio that will help to relax you and improve the ambiance of your balcony.
This is an excellent solution for especially those who live in a high-rise building and don’t really have that many options to reduce noise pollution.
Furthermore, if you live on rent, your options are automatically limited; however, a sound system has nothing to do with changing the landscape or the walls of the balcony because all you have to do is place it there, and you will automatically experience minimal noise pollution.
Keep in mind to purchase an audio system that has Bluetooth technology. This way, you won’t be restricted to a specific spot to operate your music system.
Add Plants and Furniture
Did you know that objects and plants are excellent at absorbing noise?
- Since you can’t really close your balcony by constructing a wall, hanging pots of flowers and plants will work as excellent barriers from the noise outside. Even though they won’t be able to absorb a lot of noise, they will add to the peace and tranquility of your balcony, improve the air quality, and increase privacy.
- Rugs are also an excellent item that absorbs noise. Although it may not be a wise option if you live in a humid and hot place, it is a great addition for those cool wintery nights where a rug will provide coziness and warmth to your balcony.
A rug on your balcony floor will also add to the aesthetics and improve the ambiance.
- High-density objects efficiently absorb noise and adding a few pieces of furniture made of dense material will reduce traffic noise. Furniture items like cushioned wooden couches, thick coffee tables, non-hollow metal seating, lots of pillows, or throws are excellent choices.
- Wall hangings made of textiles can also help in noise reduction. Not only will such wall hangings help reduce noise but also improve the look of your balcony with the added pop of color and patterns. Another creative idea for wall hanging is felt wall art. If you already have wall hangings you don’t want to get rid of, simply adding foam pieces at the back will also work.
If you reside in a house, you can do a few extra things to further reduce traffic noise.
Build a Perimeter Wall or Fence
If you live in an apartment, your options to reduce noise pollution are restricted, even more so if you are on rent.
However, if you live in a house or townhouse, there are a few other things you can do to reduce noise to another level.
It is important to note that you won’t be able to do this if you are on rent. However, if noise is a persistent problem, then your landlord may consider making improvements to the property.
Building a fence or perimeter wall will serve as a significant barrier to noise pollution on the street. What this does is it absorbs a lot of the noise before it can reach the balcony, making the balcony more peaceful and quieter.
But for this technique to be effective, you have to carefully consider the material you will use to build the wall or fence.
Since dense substances are more soundproof and can effectively absorb noise, make sure to use them for building a wall or fence.
Best Sound Reduction Material for Fences
- Metal Fencing
Both wood and vinyl are dense substances and therefore work effectively in absorbing sounds. You might not like the look of a perimeter wall, or it seems too costly; a fence could easily alternate for it and reduce noise.
It will also give your home some privacy from the neighborhood. You can also paint the fence any color you like to make it more aesthetically pleasing.
Although heavy metal is not a good option to build an entire fence with, adding a metal sheet to an existing fence or wall can be rather effective in absorbing sound.
The best part about such fencing is that it does not require paint, polish, or any other treatment and is fairly low maintenance.
Metal sheets made of aluminum, copper, or stainless steel are excellent options since they are resistant to corrosion and rust. You could use iron; however, it will have to be galvanized to prevent it from rusting.
Best Sound Reduction Materials for Perimeter Walls
Acoustic barriers are installed on or around perimeter walls to minimize the transmission of noise from one side of the barrier to the other. Common materials used for acoustic barriers include concrete, brick, glass, and metal.
Concrete is a high-density material and is the best at absorbing sound. The more the thickness and height of your concrete wall, the more sound it will be able to absorb.
Additionally, a concrete wall that is not too high won’t cost too much, but it is not something you can do as a weekend project.
Building a concrete wall will require a professional as it is not an easy task, nor is it a DIY project.
It requires a proper understanding of building a wall strong enough that it can withstand any strong gusty wind or a heavy downpour.
It will take time but will effectively work in soundproofing not only your balcony but also your home.
Another effective soundproofing material is brick. If you don’t like the look of cement, brick is a great option that will enhance your lawn’s appearance and complement your house’s exterior aesthetic.
You can also add extra soundproofing elements like hanging plants and flowers on the wall.
Bear in mind that the higher your balcony is, the higher your wall or fence should be. Otherwise, noise pollution will still be able to reach your balcony rendering the wall or fence ineffective.
Soundproof Your Balcony
The modification we mentioned above will help reduce the noise pollution coming to your balcony, but you can also make changes to your balcony to eliminate noise.
If you insulate your balcony’s wall, it will effectively absorb all the extra noise coming from the street. Normal fiberglass insulation will be more than enough to reduce or even eliminate noise pollution from outside.
Additionally, it is one of the least expensive soundproofing materials available and will also help reduce water and moisture from entering your home through your balcony.
All the methods mentioned above will help make a significant difference in the amount of noise that enters your balcony. You can either employ one of the hacks mentioned above or use them all.
Reduction of noise will help you enjoy the best part of your home to the fullest while also reducing the stress caused by noise pollution.
We hope these hacks will help you effectively reduce traffic noise on your balcony. Feel free to leave a comment below to let us know if any of these hacks helped you, which one you used, and if there is a hack, we missed mentioning.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does traffic noise travel up or down?
Traffic noise travels in all directions. Noise that travels upwards is called “upwind“. Noise that travels downwards is called “downwind“.
Why sound is louder at night than at day?
The reason that sound is louder at night than during the day is because of sound propagation. Sound waves travel through a medium at different speeds depending on the medium’s density.
The speed of sound in air is 340 m/s, so sound travels slower in the air at night than during the day.
Do plants reduce noise pollution on the Balcony?
Yes, plants can help reduce noise pollution on balconies. Plants absorb sound, so plants can help lower the amount of noise that reaches your apartment.