It’s pure bliss to go to bed in peace and wake up at your own pace, not because of traffic noise, or your noisy neighbor. Those who stay in busy neighborhoods get their share of daily disturbances that only a good soundproof material can solve. Building a mass loaded vinyl outdoor fence is an effective way to ensure the outside noise is greatly reduced from getting into your home. But how do you go about soundproofing a fence with mass loaded vinyl? Read on to find out.
How to Build A Soundproof Mass Loaded Vinyl Privacy Fence
1. Measure Your Fence
The first thing to do when soundproofing a fence with mass loaded vinyl is to measure your fence.
This way you will know how much MLV you need to buy. Measure the length and breadth of your fence as well as the area since MLV is mostly sold in square feet.
There are different sizes available; 16, 40, and 100 ft2. It’s always better to have excess than insufficient, so overshoot a little when buying.
If you are on a tight budget and won’t be able to completely soundproof your fence, you can focus only on the areas where the chunk of the noise comes from.
Such areas include the side facing the source of traffic noise, a noisy neighbor, a school, or any source of noise to your home. It would make an impressive difference.
2. Choose Your Method of Installation
There are many methods of applying MLV and you have to decide on what’s best for you from the start.
This way you can better prepare and make the necessary purchases if you would need some tools you don’t have.
One method requires nails and screws, and you would need hammers, drills, or nail guns to install the MLV.
You can choose to opt for the other method of building your MLV fence that involves an adhesive or spray.
3. Prepare The MLV and Tools
Tools you would need for the installation are:
Note that you won’t need them all as it depends on the method of installation you choose and the tools you are comfortable using.
Once you have gotten your tools ready, cut the MLV material according to the measurements you made earlier. Be careful while cutting though as any mistakes you make may affect the final result you get.
4. Attach The MLV to Your Fence
With Nails or Screws
Using nails or screws with MLV in sound dampening fences is the best option if you are not sure you would want to permanently have the MLV on your fence.
This is because it would be really easy to remove if the need arises.
Check the integrity of your fence before you begin and be extra careful if your fence isn’t in its best state.
Use the appropriate size of nails or screws, and have someone else to help you. When installing the cut pieces of MLV, begin with the top and work your way down.
Don’t overstretch the material else you will reduce the quality of soundproofing you get.
Avoid spaces in between MLV pieces, but instead, install them close together, or have them overlapping slightly.
When using an adhesive like Green Glue, note that the installation would be permanent.
Be careful to avoid making mistakes.
If you prefer spray adhesive, apply it on your fence as well as on the MLV material.
Secure the top of the MLV to prevent it from falling, and also to ensure you do a neat job.
Once you are done spraying and securing the top, press down the remaining parts of the material hard on the fence.
If you choose Green Glue, apply on the MLV first and allow it for a while until it gets tacky before you install it. Press hard against the fence to make it firm.
Mass loaded vinyl is a well-known name when it comes to noise dampening as it effectively reflects and absorbs noise. It also provides thermal insulating properties which can be of benefit if used indoors.
MLV is a viscoelastic material that has an inert material embedded in it for weight. Being viscoelastic, it gets deformed on a molecular level when it interacts with sound waves as it tries to accommodate it, and then returns to its original shape after dampening and dissipating the sound energy.
It’s effective in soundproofing your fence only if you completely cover your fence with the material. MLV works on these three levels:
- Reflects incoming noise
- Absorbs noise
- Isolates outgoing noise
These three properties of MLV as it concerns noise reduction through your fence can help you reduce the noise by 50% or even more.
By dampening noise, it reduces the effect by dissipating and dampening even before the sound reaches its full potential.
Mass Loaded Vinyl Outdoor Fence: How It Works
Imagine a non-static barrier like your blanket hanging on a cloth line. When an object like a stone or a ball is incident on it, it moves in the direction of the object and stops the object in its track by absorbing the energy.
Now imagine that blanket was clipped to a surface and made rigid. What would then happen? It would reflect the object and the energy would be transmitted causing a vibration.
MLV is viscoelastic and can be likened to a non-rigid barrier. Since it’s fluid-like, incident sound would lose energy and get dissipated.
That way, the noise can be controlled. The noise you hear through your fence is because of the transmitted vibration of sound waves upon coming in contact with your hard fence.
This vibration travels through the rigid substance of your fence and causes airborne and structure-borne noise
So even though you can’t make your fence to be non-rigid, applying a fluid-like material does the trick and transforms your regular fence into a sound deadening fence.
Why Would You Want To Soundproof Your Backyard with MLV?
If your house is just by the street, then you would be no stranger to regular blaring honks and traffic noise, especially during rush hour.
It can take peace very far away from you except when you do something to keep the outside noise down and one effective way to ensure your quiet is to soundproof your backyard with MLV.
You can’t control the way your neighbors live, and instead of laying multiple complaints if your neighbors are noisy, you could just soundproof your fence to control the loud noise coming from your neighbors.
Contain Your Noise
If you are noisy yourself, you might want to lower your backyard noise with sound dampening fences so you don’t cause so much disturbance to your neighbors.
This way you can make all the noise you want, without having to be careful or worry that your neighbors will complain.
Living in a noisy environment can deprive you of sleep, or any form of rest at all leading to stress. You can’t always control the factors around your environment, but you can control how they affect you. If the noise disturbs you, make a sound deadening privacy fence with mass loaded vinyl as it will go a long way to keep it under control.
Apart from the traffic noise and other outdoor noise, you may want to soundproof your fence to keep your own noise in the backyard.
Your neighbors may not be okay with the noise your parties, loud music, or machinery makes and it’s civil to keep the noise from going out if you won’t stop making it.