One of the great things about Hoover Alabama is its convenient location. Depending on where you are in town, it is 10-15 miles to downtown Birmingham City Center Business District and UAB. We also have the Galleria Shopping Center and the newer Patton Creek Shopping Center located at the intersection of I-65 and I-459. The Summit Shopping Center is located at the corner of US HWY 280 and I-459. One of the things that aids the convenience is the number of highways. Highways are great, however, they can create a lot of noise. If you live near a highway there are some things you can do.
To improve the noise INSIDE your house (especially in older homes), you can upgrade your windows. Windows have a STC rating. The higher the STC rating, the more noise resistant. Now would be a good time to upgrade your windows since you can get a tax credit for putting in energy efficient windows. Energy efficiency will also help with the noise.
If you live right ON TOP of the freeway (which most of us do not) you may want to check out sound proof windows. I don't know anyone who has needed them, however, if noise is a HUGE problem, you might want to check on these.
If you live in a new home, you may not be able to hear traffic noise INSIDE your home, but you can when you go outside. What should you do there? Sometimes a wall can help. The wall must be solid - no decorative holes. The noise you hear comes from the tires on the cars and trucks. So, your wall MUST be higher than the tire location to help. We have so many hills around Hoover, Alabama, you'd have to see where the road level actually IS to know if the wall will help. Trees help some, but not as much as a solid wall.
You can also use water features to block the traffic noise.
The water feature has to be fairly large and make a good amount of water noise itself (just one little trickle isn't going to work). I was in a house one time where the people had built an 8 foot wall across the back patio and had a water fall coming down the wall into a pool. The waterfall was beautiful and it totally blocked the traffic noise. The waterfall above was VERY soothing. You could leave the bedroom window open and hear the waterfall all night. If you have a big backyard, it might take more than one fountain in the backyard to work for you. You could just make a noise free zone where you sit or enjoy eating outside.
A well landscaped backyard that includes evergreen trees and one or two water features will go a long way toward making your backyard a pleasant place (and will help with resale value). Calling a landscape architect would help. They can really help your yard have a unified look
If you'd like to learn more about removing traffic noise from your home, check out my February newsletter.