Cold weather can have a dramatic effect on how long your fence lasts. During the winter you’re probably excited for the cool temperatures, and every once in a while, a snowfall in Georgia, but these things can damage your fence. Winter temperature fluctuations can cause the fence to crack, collapse, warp, rust, and become destabilized. Find out how weather can affect your fence and which proactive measures you can consider using to protect your fence.
Chamblee Fence Company has been serving the Atlanta community for 6 decades, and we provide quality services for both installation and maintenance of any fence type. During winter seasons, fences can be damaged due to fluctuating temperates and humidity from ice and snow. There are different effects on a fence depending on what kind of weather is occurring that year, so it’s good to be aware of what you’re dealing with.
How Does Rain Effect Your Fence?
Most fences are pressure treated and sealed for increase durability against rain and moisture, if any holes are made in the wood after this treatment then rain can seep its way in and damage your fence. As the fence posts begin to rot with moisture build up they weaken and make your fence more vulnerable to strong winds. Moisture and rot is one of the most important thing to protect against when it comes to a wood fence.
How do you protect against moisture and heavy rain?
You can opt for a pressure treated fence panel type. These kinds of fencing materials are eco-friendly and durable. They undergo a pressure treatment to force preservatives into the wood, which help prolong the life of the fence and fight against rotting. You can also install post caps and capping rails along the top of your fence which will allow rain to flow freely off the top of the fence and not collect and absorb into the wood. Applying sealant to the wood at regular intervals is also a good way to ward off the rain moisture.
Protecting a Fence from Soil Damage
Soil contains a lot of moisture, particularly after some heavy rainfall. The wood of your fence can have prolong exposure to this moisture with contact to the soil, which can dramatically reduce the lifespan of the fence. The way to stop this from happening would simply be separating the fence wood from the soil by some kind of barrier. Gravel boards along the bottom of the fence can act as this barrier, or setting wood posts in concrete. This will effectively stop the direct contact of soil and wood, and prevent rot from infiltrating from the bottom up.
Wood Cracks, Fence Warping, and Sagging from Moisture
When moisture gets seeped into the wood during harsh weather, the wood can expand and create cracks in the rails, posts and boards. It can also cause wood to sag, warp and degrade at a rapid rate. Expansion and contraction due to weather makes unprotected wood warp. These kinds of significant changes in the wood cause it to become unstable. If you notice cracks, warps or sagging in any parts of your wood fence, it’s best to consult with a professional fence company as soon as possible.
Snow Causing Fence Damage
Snow is a beautiful sight when it happens in Georgia. However, the tiny snowflakes can actually cause severe damage to unprepared fences. The weight of snow on a vinyl fence can easily cause cracking in the posts and possibly even break parts of the fence. Hail is another risk when it comes to very cold weather that poses a real threat to the integrity of any fence. If there is a hail storm, definitely check out the fence afterwards for any holes that may cause integrity issues down the road.
Cold months of the year are the time fences are the most susceptible to damage, so doing your fence maintenance in this time of year is essential. Ice hangs on a fence after a morning dew, and can be very heavy for a fence to bear. The pressure of the ice may damage vinyl fences, so brushing or chipping off any large accumulations of ice helps your fence last through the winter.
Strong Winds Effect on a Fence
Strong gusts of wind can be detrimental to the structure of any type of fence if not properly installed. Unstable fencing is especially prone to damage when there is powerful, gusty wind. Fences are often damaged not only by the wind itself, but also by the wind blowing debris like tree branches into the fence. Immediately replace any fence posts that are cracked or broken by the wind to avoid further damage and weakening of the posts.
Sunlight and Your Fence
Sunlight can’t cause quite the amount of damage as other types of weather of course, but the intense UV rays from long sunny days can eventually cause fading and discoloration to cedar and other wood fence types. When making your selection for a new fence make sure to look for durable and UV resistant fence products that will withstand these rays without fading or discoloring. Stains and finishes can also help protect your fence from sunlight.
Effects of Weather on Metal fences
One of the main things to look out for when it comes to metal fences is rust. Steel and aluminum fencing can both be victims of corrosion and rust over time. This process is sped up with prolonged exposure to moisture or salty environments like near an ocean. In wet conditions the metal becomes brittle and may crack and break down. Regular cleaning and applying multi-layer finishes when installing helps add a defense against fence rust. Aluminum is naturally resistant to rust, but it’s still best to have an extra defense if you’re in an area with harsher weather.
If you’ve experienced fence damage due to bad weather and need to speak to fence professionals feel free to call Chamblee Fence at 770-396-4200, or visit one of our showrooms today.