Evidence seems to show that usually the only significant improvement from a
hedge is psychological - which is not to say it is a bad idea.
Secondary glazing can work well so long as the windows are shut (!), the
walls are fairly heavy, and there are no other significant leaks. Make
sure the outer windows are really well sealed (you may want a very small
deliberate leak to reduce condensation) and make the air gap between the two
panes as large as possible. If the air gap cannot be large you could use
heavier glass (6 - 10 mm). Avoid thermal double glazed units which are
worse at low frequencies than solid glass of the same weight.
Whether the wall will work depends on the geometry of the site. If it gives
visual shielding it will work to some extent at least, but watch out for
sound coming round the ends. You may not need masonry, you will get some
effect from a heavy timber wall with no gaps. Since some sound will get
round the wall, the higher performance of the masonry may not be
The extra sound reflected to the opposite side of the road may be detectable
but will probably not be very significant unless your wall is quite close to
the traffic. You may have to be careful if there is a barrier on the other
side, you should make sure your wall does not reflect sound over the barrier
to windows that would otherwise be shielded. You can work it out with
angle of incidence = angle of reflection.
That is such an excellent concise set of comments that I just had to say so.
A couple of comments I would add. While a small deliberate leak can be
considered for condensation control, make sure the other window that does
not have the leak is well sealed. Also, it can be helpful to use laminated
safety glass for the added window.
Au contraire. Anecdotal evidence from a friend suggests that
trimming/cutting down trees (power co.) produced significantly higher
road noise penetrating indoors.
The OP seems to have a fairly tricky problem with, as I gather, noise
generated well below the level of his house. A wall or hedge at
road-level seems unlikely to cut his noise significantly, while
plantings in an intermediate spot might help at least a little.
I recently spent a night/day of hurricane with friends who had super-
double-glazed windows and air-tight doors (owing to breathing
problems). The difference in sound level between inside and out was
remarkable. While I think greenery, properly placed, would provide
fairly cheap noise baffle, I must say that thoroughly sealed/insulated
windows and doors do a good job, too. The only question is whether you
want to live without fresh air *all* the time.
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