Road noise is stressful, and it can also affect your health. A study published in the International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health linked traffic noise with increases in blood pressure and cholesterol. Road noise also breaks the sense of peace and quiet you want for your home. With the additional health effects, it only makes sense to find ways to reduce road noise in your home.
A shrub border around your home is an effective way to reduce road noise. Shrubs will cut down noise better than trees because they are denser at the ground level where it's most likely to be an issue. For year round comfort, choose evergreen shrubs. Arbor vitae or thuja provide an additional benefit as a privacy screen. It also offers the value of dense foliage both at the ground level and higher if allowed to grow to its maximum 30 foot height.
Replace single-pane windows with double- or triple-pane windows. The added glass will absorb outside noise while reducing your energy costs. If cost is a factor, consider placing soundproofing mats between the outside glass and the storm window. Bear in mind that the mat will prevent light from entering a room. But if road noise is disturbing your sleep, you probably won't miss the light from the window.
An effective way to reduce road noise is to add insulation to your walls. Insulation acts like a sound barrier, absorbing outdoor noises. Add insulation to your attic, too. Energy Star recommends adding insulation to R-38 width or about 12 to 15 inches of insulation depending upon the type that your install. Use the U.S. Department of Energy insulation calculator to determine the recommended type for your area.
Sealing Your Home
Another solution you can try is to caulk all gaps in your windows, ducts and vents. These openings allow road noise to enter your home. As with insulation, caulking can help reduce your energy costs, providing additional peace-of-mind. Add weatherstripping to doorways and windows.
Options for Outside the Home
Like shrubs, vines or creepers on the side of your home can absorb outside noise. These plants do best if there is a surface for which they can adhere. Adding a trellis to a bare wall gives climbing plants an attractive base from which to grow. Add some colour to your home by choosing vines with attractive flowers such as wisteria or climbing rose.