Choosing Noise Reduction Fencing To Block Out Railway Noise

If your home or commercial building is close to a busy railway line, a noise reduction fence can be a very smart investment. Acoustic fences on residential properties will help preserve your peace and quiet, while erecting noise reduction fencing around a commercial property will help to reduce disturbing ambient noise, boosting productivity and employee comfort.

A passing freight train can make an incredible amount of noise, so you should choose the most effective noise reduction fencing you can afford. If you are looking for noise reduction fencing that can effectively muffle railway noise, keep the following important points in mind:

Choose The Right Fencing Material

As a general rule, thick, dense fencing materials will block out railway noise more effectively than thinner materials. Thicker, heavier materials absorb sound waves and vibrations, reducing their intensity and volume.

Timber is a popular choice for noise reduction fencing, and a thick, timber panel fence made from quality wood can be highly effective. Timber noise reduction fencing can also be quite attractive in its own right, especially when paired with greenery and tasteful landscaping.

However, timber noise reduction fences will need to be painted or oiled regularly, or they will fall victim to rot, mould and termite damage. Both sides of the fence will need to be treated, and this can be problematic if the rail line prevents you from safely (or legally) accessing the other side of your fence.

If maintenance access is problematic, a composite panel fence can be very useful. These fences are made from timber fibres mixed with vinyl plastics. This unique composition is denser than ordinary vinyl fencing and much better at blocking out noise. Composite fences require virtually no maintenance beyond an occasional cleaning and are available in timber-look designs that closely mimic real wood.

Higher Is Better

The taller a noise reduction fence, the more effectively it can block out noise. This rules out any panel fencing that is shorter than the average height of the people who live or work on the property—train noise will simply travel over a short fence and directly into your ears.

For a truly effective noise reduction fence, go as tall as your budget will allow. Bear in mind that local bylaws and railway regulations may limit the legal height of your fence, especially if your building is located on a bend or junction in the railway tracks. Check with your local government and/or planning authority before constructing any noise reduction fence.

Opt For Professional Installation

If you attempt to erect a noise reduction fence yourself, any gaps you leave between panels and posts will allow noise to travel straight through the fence. DIY fence erection can also be complicated by the ground vibrations created by passing trains. These vibrations can loosen fence posts, disturb trenches and prevent concrete footings from setting and curing properly.

To avoid complications that can undermine the effectiveness of your fence, you should have the fence installed by a professional, high-quality fencing contractor. These services have experience in erecting noise reduction fences and know how to compensate for vibration and other hazards, creating a solid noise reduction fence with no gaps or cracks. 

Contact a fencing contractor for more information.