Winter weather is harsh, and it can last from November into early April in many parts.
Not only will you have heavy snow but high winds and driving rain to put pressure on your fence.
A client called recently asking for ideas on a fence around the yard.
They knew about the weather and the heavy snow and wanted a fence to stand up to the worst of it.
Our experts were able to help; we have a bit of form in the area of fencing for heavy snow.
Among the tips we give for choosing fencing for heavy snow areas are:
- Rails and pickets are better than privacy
- Metal fences can withstand the cold and the weight
- Wood needs a lot of maintenance
- Vinyl is good in the cold
- Bury the posts deep in the ground
Let’s take a closer look at each tip for those living in heavy snow areas
Rails and pickets are better than privacy
Snow is heavy, especially when it falls continuously over the winter and freezes at night.
The heavy snow, combined with high winds, will drift and gather on your fence.
Picket and rail fences will let the snow blow through the gaps and not build up around the structure.
With a privacy fence the snow has nowhere to go, and it will pile up in huge amounts during the winter months.
Unless you want to be out shoveling the drifts away from the fence, then choose a style other than privacy on the property.
Metal fences can withstand the cold and the weight
Metal is tough.
It can handle the pressure of the heavy snow drifts, and it will not crack in the very low temperatures of winter.
Treated aluminum and iron does not absorb water, so it will not expand and contract when temperatures drop at night and rise during the day.
A metal fence of rails, or pickets, will allow the snow to pass through and not drift into pockets of great weight along the line.
One problem is when a metal fence lies alongside a salted roadway. Here the salt in the air may corrode joins and undermine the structure.
Worth considering when weighing up your options for a boundary fence.
Wood needs a lot of maintenance
We have plenty of wood-loving clients who only want the traditional look on their property.
Wood fences are durable but may need metal posts to get them through a few winters.
You will also need to do a lot of maintenance to keep the wood sound, with all the pressure the freezing temperatures put on the structure. A wood fence will need treating and sealing annually for cold, heavy snow winters
Often the damage done over the winter is only obvious when the snow melts, and you may need to get to work as soon as the spring arrives.
Vinyl is good in the cold
In the early days of vinyl there were questions about how it withstood the cold.
Modern vinyl fencing answers the questions by standing tall through the worst of weather.
You will get the problem of the excess weight during heavy snow, and a picket or rail fence is the best solution.
Anti-impact inhibitors strengthen the structure, and the vinyl fence will not crack under pressure.
Bury the posts deep
The posts can be the weakest point when the snow blows and gathers into heavy drifts.
The freezing earth below can gather moisture and expand and contract, loosening the posts, which will blow over after a while.
The solution is to bury the posts deep into the ground. Ask locally how far the frost goes in the soil and go another couple of feet below. Line the hole with concrete and bury the ground-treated post deep into it.
The stronger the posts, the stronger the fence.
Heavy snow is a big problem for fences.
Not every fence can withstand the weight of a drift or the freezing temperatures.
Our experts know a thing or two about installing a fence for the heavy snow areas.
Call us today for all your fencing needs.