Common problems with concrete fences and walls

Many cities, municipalities, neighborhoods, HOAs, upscale homeowners and commercial businesses turn to concrete walls and fences for privacy and sound reduction. Concrete walls are commonly found along highly trafficked roads and highways.

Concrete walls are certainly a good option for buyers looking for fencing that is durable, permanent and low maintenance. However, given technological advances in fencing, concrete fences and walls are a bit “outdated.”

Here are some of the common problems with concrete walls and fences that shoppers for fences should know about.

First, they are the most expensive option out there. Installing a concrete or brick wall costs about 9X that of a wood fence, using wood fences as a baseline. Here’s a handy chart of comparing the costs of typical fences.

This chart contrasts typical costs, including labor, of common fencing applications.
This chart contrasts typical costs, including labor, of common fencing applications.

Second, the installation process is highly destructive to yards. Because a concrete truck pours the walls, having access often means tearing up a yard in the process. Also, installing concrete walls requires a buffer zone around the walls for the workmen and concrete pouring. This often means the walls cannot be installed on property lines. The wall will leave that buffer zone unused. Something to know.

Pouring a concrete wall that shows how concrete walls are poured and what you might be committing to.

Third, while concrete walls are great for durable privacy, they are not the optimal solution for sound reduction. Concrete fences do reduce sound. They reflect sound. The problem is reflected sound goes somewhere. It can go upward into trees to be reflected back down into your backyard. Often they get reflected across the street to another concrete wall that just reflects it back! In fact, this can create a “sound tunnel” similar to what you experience driving through a real tunnel. To truly reduce sound, you want to capture and absorb it so it cannot get through the material nor be reflected.

The final problem with concrete fences is that they’re too permanent. Needs change over time, and removing a concrete fence is impractical to say the least, as well as frightfully expensive. Concrete walls really limit your options.

So what do you choose instead of concrete walls? Simtek Fence is an outstanding alternative, and you won’t have any of the problems common to concrete walls. The only real advantage to concrete walls is their nearly impenetrable and might be preferred for safety considerations. However, Simtek fences are fabricated with steel reinforcement and are also very sturdy and durable. They may not stop a speeding car like a concrete wall would, but they beat concrete everywhere else.