Brrrrr it’s cold out! Why did Punxsutawney Phil have to see his shadow?! The winter months can be harsh on your fence! In the summer, sunlight is the biggest threat to your wood fence, causing the wood to fade and warp. In winter, however, excess moisture and changing temperatures are the culprits. Here’s a look at what winter weather can do to your fence…
Rain and snow: Even though we live in Tennessee, the winter months can be harsh. They mean long exposure to wet conditions, without stretches of warm weather to allow the wood to dry. Moisture can soften the wood fibers and lead to mold, mildew and rot. To protect wood fencing against the rain, use a waterproof stain or sealant and keep the spaces between boards and rails free of any leaves or debris to allow for maximum airflow.
Changing temperatures: Wood fencing expands and contracts as temperatures grow warmer and colder. Knots in your fence boards will expand and contract at different rates than the surrounding wood and can fall out during the winter, leaving knotholes in your fence. These holes are breeding grounds for rot and pest infestation. Ick.
Shifting soil: During rainy or snow-packed winter months, water can saturate down into the soil, causing sinkholes, landslides and shifts in the soil that can affect the support posts of your fence. Monitor your fence’s health, and check posts throughout the winter to make sure they are straight, stable and rot-free.
Falling debris: While this isn’t as applicable to us as it is to the folks in the NorthEast, snow and ice storms weigh down the branches of overhanging trees. These overburdened limbs can break, causing damage to nearby structures – including wood fences. In case of an Ice Apocalypse, keep an eye on trees near your fence, and trim back any branches that appear threatening.
Wood Fence Maintenance Tips for Winter
By properly applying a quality fence stain before winter, you can nip many maintenance problems in the bud. Don’t stop there, though! There are a few things you should do throughout the season to keep your fence in shape and minimize damage.
- Inspect your fence for damage after every major storm. Make sure it’s still stable and level by running a piece of string along the tops of your fence posts. If you spot any dips or rises in the string, check the posts and replace them if needed to avoid further structural damage.
- Regularly clean off any leaves and other debris that has landed on your fence rails or become wedged between boards.
- Keep the cement footings free of dirt or other things like bark dust. This may seem counter intuitive, but doing so lessens the chance that the cement will be cracked by trapped moisture, and changes in temperature.
- If possible, promptly replace any boards that have been damaged.
It’s easy to forget about maintaining your fence during the winter, when most of your time is spent indoors. With a few simple maintenance practices you can prevent or minimize damage to your fence and avoid additional headaches come spring.
Franklin Fence and Deck specializes in aluminum fences, but we also build custom wood, vinyl, chain link, farm fencing, wrought iron along with commercial fences.
Do you have a fence problem in the Nashville area that you just can’t fix yourself? Maybe you just don’t have time! Call Franklin Fence and Deck today at 615-790-8428. Make sure to visit us HERE to sign up for special offers and promotions! We service all of Brentwood, Nashville, Franklin and beyond!