How traffic noise happens and what are the solutions?
Noise pollution, as we can understand from its name, is a kind of pollution and an undesired thing. As we have mentioned so many times before in our posts, noise has some harmful effects on human health. But it is possible to restrain or at least downsize the level of noise.
The most popular and disturbing type of noise is highway noise or roadway noise or traffic noise.
Traffic noise happens with;
- The exhaust sound of the vehicles,
- Engine sound of vehicles,
- Traction sound between the wheel and surface of the road,
- Horns and sirens of vehicles.
As the densest traffic is on highways, the biggest noise pollution is highway pollution. If your home is closer to one of them, you can understand the impact of highway noise pollution. All the noises from the sources above propagate through the surroundings of the roads. So, whether your house is an apartment or detached house, you will expose to traffic noise. Even if you are lucky to have a backyard, if there are no blocks around it, you will have to live with the noise. But, fortunately, there are some effective methods of traffic noise reduction.
How Traffic Noise Occur and How to Prevent?
So how the traffic noise happens? Actually, there is no difference between the noise and the sound waves. Noise is also a sound and propagates in a medium. And if you can block it somehow, it won’t reach the receptors in your ear. This is the easiest way to explain how to prevent noise. There are some ways to achieve this. Some of them are at the source, some others are at your backyard or house.
Although planting some types of trees and thick bushes or shrubs is a kind of prevention method, this is not totally enough. Because there are holes or empty spots in plants, which makes it unsuccessful as soundproof. There is a way to try them if they are able. Apply some hose water to the bushes. If the water goes through the plant, the sound will also pass it. If you will use plants as a noise barrier, you should use at least one line of evergreen trees and an inner row of evergreen shrubs.
Actually, instead of building blocks or walls in your yard, you can prefer constructing a fountain or a decorative pond. By creating a pleasant sound, you will be suppressing noise.
Other than constructing a fountain, you can create white noise inside your house to mask the noise. White noise is a type of sound, just like the sound of a river, that contains all the frequencies that a human ear can receive. This way, you will not hear the noise.
Another way to beat noise is to use active noise-canceling headphones in your house. These devices detect the sound frequencies around you and create just an opposite frequency. As they neutralize each other, you hear nothing.
Are Highway Noise Barriers Exact Solution?
The most effective way of preventing highway noise or traffic noise is to build a noise barrier. You can build;
- Concrete wall,
- Brick wall,
- Masonry wall,
- Or a solid wood fence
as a noise barrier. A proper fence system is also capable of preventing noise. But you have to be sure that there will be no gaps inside the fence. An old saying “If you can see the source of the sound, you can also hear it” is somehow true. So, while constructing a noise prevention fence system, make it as high as the officials let. Also, be sure that it goes all the way to the ground.
Although noise barriers are the most effective method of noise reduction, they should have some important features. Regardless of their raw material; metal, wood, masonry, or plants, the effectiveness of the barriers depends on their density and rigidness. The best barriers are the ones that are tall and long ones with zero gaps in their structure. This is why, highway noise barriers should be very high, but on other roads, barriers may not be so high.
At Hatko Company, we are making researches on this topic for many years. The most effective products for highways are EPDM noise barriers or rubber noise barriers. At Hatko Company, we manufacture the best quality highway noise barriers. To accomplish a project, first, we make the measurements in the area. Then we simulate the to detect the best solution. And then we construct the barrier system to its designated place. You can contact us for more detailed information.