Road Noise FAQ's

1. Do sound walls and noise barriers reduce road noise?

Not always. When a noise barrier wall is constructed, there is a significant noise drop immediately behind the wall. The problem is that those buildings that are on hillsides, at intersections or driveways or anywhere there is an opening in the wall, will not benefit from noise reduction. In some cases where noise walls are built parallel to one another, noise reflections or echoes of the sound waves off the opposite wall can actually increase noise levels at a location near the highway.

2. I live near a busy road or highway. What can I do to reduce the noise inside my home?

The best solution is to treat the noise at its source. Studies show that certain types of asphalt pavement can reduce noise significantly.

3. Will planting trees and shrubs reduce road noise inside my home?

Unfortunately, no. You would have to have over a football field of trees between your house and a road to begin reducing noise. That's a lot of planting!

4. What is the best method for reducing road noise?

Treat the road noise at its source using asphalt. Contact your local department of transportation to see what plans have been made to reduce road noise in your area.

5. At what point does noise become painful to a human?

The threshold of hearing is set at 0 dB(A). As you can see in our Numbers and Statistics section, the threshold of pain is around 140 dB(A), yet long term exposure to noise above 80 can lead to hearing loss and permanent damage.