Friday, June 03, 2005

Sound control Fences

You don’t find too much information on the Internet or in hardware stores about “Sound control” walls or fences. I have found that a lot of landscaping professionals are getting tasked with building these fence/wall projects and they really don’t know where to turn. Now there is a place, Soundproofing America has developed many proven and innovative means for building an effective sound control fence or wall. Obviously, the best sound control wall is a masonry or stone, but even with that much mass the wall still needs to be at least 8’ above the noise source to be effective, and these walls are often very costly to construct.
In this narrative we will be discussing wood fences (the type with the dog-eared slats). Once again for this or any barrier fence to be effective it needs to be at least 8’ above the noise source. Your first step will be to frame out the fence and slat the inside portion only with the dog-eared slats. The inside slats must be tightly butted together and caulking them with acoustical caulk is always a good idea. Once you have the inside slats nailed up and tightly butted together, you are ready to begin the soundproofing.
We will be doing the soundproofing from the outside of the fence, the area facing the noise source. Something I always suggest is to line the backside of the slats with a layer of 1 Lb. Mass loaded vinyl (MLV). The MLV will be glued or stapled to the back of the freshly installed slats to line that backs of them. It is advisable to caulk the MLV at all seams as well as around the perimeter with an acoustical caulking compound. The MLV will provide a good solid barrier and will work in conjunction with the next step, which is the installation of a 1” closed cell foam mat. The closed cell foam is glued (contact cement or construction adhesive) directly to the MLV. This is the horsepower for our new sound control fence. The foam absorbs the offending noises and the MLV blocks any sound that should happen to pass thru the foam. The closed cell foam is quite weather resistant, but it is strongly recommended that an outer layer of dog-eared slats be nailed up to the outside portion of the new fence, this is both to protect the foam and to make the fence much more aesthetically pleasing. The outer layer of slats should be gapped at 1/8” to ¼” apart to allow the septum to do it’s job.
In essence we have created an absorbent cavity inside of the fence itself. I would seriously recommend purchasing the 1” thick closed cell foam mat at a minimum or even the 2” thick foam if the budget permits.
For the most part you now have a sound blocking and sound-absorbing barrier fence. The closed cell foam is very weather resistant and the double layer of slats will help it to last even longer.
This system is not a cure all, but is an economical way to quell unwanted noise from polluting your backyard. Our goal is to keep the noise at tolerable levels. If you need more information on sound-control fences or walls, please call us here at Soundproofing America. Thanks for your time and never forget that Knowledge is power.

As Always,

Dr. Bob!
e-mail: dr.bob@soundproofingamerica.com
Call Toll free (877) 530-0139

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