Most people enjoy having a balcony in their homes because they provide a relaxing atmosphere where they can unwind after a long day’s work and enjoy the views as they sip a hot beverage and reflect on the day’s activities.
However, a common problem many people face when living in a city is the noise pollution from the traffic and busy streets, with cars and other vehicles honking away and stealing that precious stillness we crave.
The situation can be quite annoying, especially if you close your balcony doors and the noise pollution still finds itself inside, taking away your peace of mind and making you regret living in that particular location.
You may be wondering if there is anything you can do to combat all the noise and prevent it from finding its way indoors and even on your balcony.
It may be a little disheartening to find that it is impossible to eliminate the sounds coming from the busy streets completely.
However, you can still take several measures to ensure the noise is somewhat reduced and bearable so you can go about your day with ease without feeling distracted and annoyed by the sounds outside.
Let’s explore how you can make your balcony soundproof.
What Causes Noise Pollution In Balconies?
If you’re living in a prime location, such as the middle of a city center, there is no doubt that there will be a lot of sounds coming through from high-traffic regions such as busy streets and highways, which easily travel to your balcony, especially if you’re not that high up from the bottom floor.
Dense city areas are the main culprits that create all kinds of noise pollution, which means that you should have thought about this problem before buying a home in a busy location.
Balconies are enclosed areas that allow sounds to bounce around and become amplified, and the surrounding buildings also contribute to this problem.
Let’s explore some changes you can make to your balcony situation to reduce the overall sound coming from outside.
Invest in Floor Padding or a Rug
Since balconies are made of smooth materials like concrete and metal, they provide the ideal surface for sounds to reflect off the wall and ceiling, which is what makes balconies noisy.
However, you can prevent this from occurring by investing in floor padding or a floor carpet, which absorbs most of the sound and prevents it from bouncing off at perpendicular angles, creating a quieter environment for you to enjoy.
When choosing the right material for your balcony floors, such as a rug or padding, you will want to choose the thickest material to ensure that sounds get absorbed and do not become amplified.
An important thing to keep in mind is that the rug or padding should be fairly resistant to the external environment so that it doesn’t degrade over time.
Your balcony might receive some rain and become wet or be exposed to the scorching sun, which will eventually cause significant wear and tear on your floor padding unless you choose a high-quality material that is resistant to the elements.
Buy Noise Barriers to Prevent Sound From Coming Through
Prevention is the best remedy for creating a soundproof environment, which means you may want to install noise barriers on the outside of your balcony to reflect the sound and prevent it from coming into your space.
This diversion tactic is very useful when combined with floor padding since they work together to minimize noise pollution.
These noise barriers are walls that you can erect, but most apartments will not get permission to install such prominent structures, which is why other barriers like fences and privacy screens may be your best bet when seeking to make your balcony soundproof.
You may want to look at bamboo and reed fencing, which are good options but need to be implemented properly and with double the material.
Privacy screens are available in thick fabrics, and you’ll get great results by sticking with the thickest materials, which can absorb and deflect the sounds with ease.
Metal screens are also fairly popular and can be covered with a lot of greenery to not only give an aesthetic look but to deflect the sound away from your balcony.
Another important thing to consider when setting up these outdoor barriers is to consider the height, which should be tall enough to go above the balcony railing so that you get the best effect possible.
This is noticeable more prominently when you’re sitting down and the fencing is fairly high, preventing any sound from coming through.
Purchase Curtains That Reduce Noise
If you’re serious about making your balcony soundproof, you will want to cover all aspects of your balcony, such as the ceiling and floor, which is where noise reduction curtains come into play and complement the floor padding to minimize the noise coming through from the external environment.
You can easily find different kinds of curtains online that are soundproof and designed to stay durable in harsh outdoor environments, but you might encounter some issues when opting for this particular solution.
To get the maximum soundproof effect from your curtains, you will have to keep them closed at all times, which can be a bother if you enjoy the views your balcony offers.
After all, balconies are so popular and relaxing because they connect the inside with the outside, and what’s the point of having one if you have to keep the outside covered at all times?
Soundproof curtains also have another drawback: they’re opaque and prevent light from coming through, which means you won’t be able to enjoy natural light as much when you’re prioritizing your balcony being soundproof.
Buy Plants That Block Noise
One of the best ways to create a beautiful environment on your balcony is to invest in indoor plants, especially ones that are dense and block sounds from coming through.
They might not be the best option for soundproofing your balcony, but their impact is significant, which may be enough for you to enjoy some peace and quiet.
Dense hedges work really well in blocking sounds, and there are many options out there for you to consider, such as small trees and shrubs.
Cover Your Walls
Since wooden, metal, and concrete surfaces work wonders to reflect and amplify sounds, you can add décor items to your balcony to achieve sound absorption, which will reduce the overall noise coming in from the outside.
Some examples of décor items are tables and chairs, and you can even create a flower wall to absorb sounds and add aesthetic appeal to your balcony.
Many people also find that artificial grass or AstroTurf is excellent for the balcony’s flooring, and you can create a garden vibe while also minimizing sounds from coming through.
Create Your Own Sounds
It’s not unusual for people to add small water features to their balconies, such as a water fountain, which acts as a diversion and keeps unwanted sounds away.
You can also keep your speakers outside and play relaxing and atmospheric music that is loud enough to divert other sounds and create a nice environment on your balcony and in your home.
Although this is not the best tactic, you will still find that it has a noticeable impact, especially when coupled with other sound-blocking tactics, which will minimize the noise from outside.
Seal All Nooks and Crannies to Prevent Sounds from Coming into the Balcony
If your balcony is old and you haven’t invested in any repairs, you will often find that there are many cracks and edges where sounds can come through.
These nooks and crannies must be thoroughly examined and investigated so you can seal them with plaster or hire a professional to get the job done for you.
Holes and cracks that are at least an inch in width can add 10% more sound to your balcony, which means you will achieve a significant reduction in noise pollution by filling these nooks and crannies.
You may also find that you keep insects and small animals at bay by sealing these infrastructure compromises, which is an added bonus.
When it comes to soundproofing your balcony, one of the most effective methods is acoustic insulation.
This involves adding a layer of material to your balcony walls or ceiling that will absorb sound waves and prevent them from entering your living space.
There are several types of acoustic insulation available, including fiberglass, mineral wool, and foam insulation.
Fiberglass insulation is a popular choice because it is affordable and easy to install. It is also effective at reducing noise levels and improving energy efficiency.
Another option is to install a noise barrier. This can be a wall, fence, or even a row of trees or hedges.
The barrier will help to block out noise from the surrounding area and create a more peaceful environment on your balcony.
In addition to traditional noise barriers, there are also more creative options such as reed fencing or a flower wall.
These options not only provide sound insulation but also add a decorative touch to your balcony.
Another way to improve the acoustics of your balcony is to add greenery. Plants, shrubs, and trees can all help to absorb sound waves and reduce noise levels. .
A rug on the balcony floor can also absorb sound and create a more comfortable, inviting space.
Finally, if you are still struggling with noise levels, a noise machine can help to mask unwanted sounds and create a more relaxing atmosphere.
With a combination of acoustic insulation, noise barriers, greenery, and other soundproofing methods, we can create a peaceful and enjoyable balcony space.
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Soundproofing your balcony is not an easy task and requires a lot of effort on your part, which is why you should ask for help from a family member who agrees with your plan and is also tired of the noise pollution seeping in from the outside.
All of these solutions will yield a significant reduction in noise, which is why you may want to combine the ones you agree with the most to yield the best results.
Completely soundproofing your balcony is not realistic, but if you achieve a 70% reduction in noise pollution, which is probably good enough.
After just a few short weeks of implementing these solutions, you may find that your stress levels are lower than they used to be, and it’s easier for you to fall asleep in your room because of less background noise, which had become normal.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are some effective outdoor noise-reduction curtains?
Outdoor noise reduction curtains are a great way to reduce noise coming from the outside. Look for curtains that are made of thick materials like canvas or vinyl.
These materials are great at blocking out sound and can also withstand the elements. You can also opt for curtains that have sound-absorbing properties, which can further reduce noise.
What are some noise-reduction plants that can be used on a balcony?
Plants are a natural and effective way to reduce noise on your balcony. Look for plants that have large leaves and dense foliage, like bamboo or tall grasses.
These plants can help absorb sound and create a natural barrier between your balcony and the outside world.
How can I block out traffic noise on my balcony?
Blocking out traffic noise on your balcony can be challenging, but there are a few things you can try. One option is to install outdoor noise barriers like walls or fences.
Another option is to use noise-reducing curtains or plants. You can also try using a white noise machine or a fountain to create a soothing background noise that can help mask traffic sounds.
What are some outdoor noise barriers that can be installed?
Outdoor noise barriers like walls or fences can be effective at reducing noise on your balcony. Look for materials that are dense and absorb sound, like concrete or stone.
You can also install a living wall or vertical garden, which can provide both noise reduction and a beautiful aesthetic.
How can I soundproof my apartment balcony door?
To soundproof your apartment balcony door, you can use weatherstripping or a door sweep to seal any gaps around the door.
You can also install soundproof curtains or add a layer of soundproofing material to the door itself. Another option is to install a soundproofing panel over the door.
How can I stop sound from coming in through the floor?
To stop sound from coming in through the floor, you can add a layer of soundproofing material to the floor itself.
This can be done with materials like acoustic foam or mass-loaded vinyl. You can also try using a thick rug or carpet to absorb sound and create a barrier between your balcony and the floor below.