Colder weather is tough on wood fences.
Wood can crack, and the weight of a heavy fall of snow may knock over the best of fences at the weakest spot.
We work hard with our customers to make sure they are ready for all types of weather such as the blistering sun and the damp of continuous rain.
It is not any different with the colder weather.
Our experts know a thing or two about cold weather conditions and how to prepare a wood fence for the worst of the winter.
With this in mind we’ve put together a quick answer sheet for cold weather conditions.
On our list of how colder weather affects wood fences is:
- Moisture damage from rain and snow
- Changing temperatures cause cracks
- Snow drifts are heavy
- The soil may shift
- Posts loosen in cold weather
Let’s take a closer look at how colder weather affects your wood fences.
Moisture damage from rain and snow
Moisture damage is a slow mover, but once it takes hold of your fence, it can wreak havoc.
The water from constant rain and snow seeps deep into the wood over time.
It lodges inside, and when there is not a drying sun or wind, the soaked wood will begin to rot.
We always insist you use heat-processed wood on your property and that you apply a layer of water sealer at regular intervals.
Colder weather will not allow to wood to dry; you will need to protect it.
It may be cheaper to buy untreated wood, but it is not cost effective over the many years of a fence.
Changing temperatures cause cracks
With all that water seeping in to the wood you will see another problem when the mercury begins to drop.
Freezing water in the wood fence expands. The stretching of the wood will cause the fence rails and posts to crack, especially when the temperature drops and rises, during the winter.
The constant changing temperature between freezing and melting weakens the wood. The damage may not be noticeable, until the spring when you put some pressure on a rail.
Knots and existing splits are visible problem areas and you will need to pay them particular attention.
Joins, where the rails meet the fence, may also come loose after a band of colder weather passes through your part of the world.
Snow drifts are heavy
This may be an obvious one, but no less critical for colder weather preparation.
A heavy snowdrift will bring downs walls and trees. When combined with a strong wind it will do a lot of damage to your fence.
There are a few things you can do to lessen the effect of a snowdrift on your fence. Well-placed boulders and the planting of trees and hedges may give the fence some protection.
If you can shovel snow away before a drift becomes too big to do damage, you may be saving yourself a lot of trouble.
The soil may shift
Just as the wood may crack under changing temperatures so will the soil.
The constant expansion and contraction of the soil will cause it to split and shift.
The weight of snow and heavy rainfall can cause the soil to subside in patches and some areas you may see sinkholes forming.
Shifting soil, mudslides and the weight of snow and ice will undermine the structure of a wooden fence.
Posts loosen in cold weather
If you don’t seal the gap between the post and the concrete holding it in place rainwater will seep in and stay.
Colder weather will freeze the water, causing expansion, and contraction when it melts.
The weight of the snow and that constant cold wind will loosen your posts, and the fence will be in danger of collapse.
Always seal the rim of the fence post hole with caulk to stop it from moving in the wind, and to prevent water seeping in too.
Solving cold weather problems is what we do.
Our experts are always happy to help with problems, but we are big believers in prevention.
Contact us today for all your fencing needs.