As chilly temperatures draw near, preparing your fence for winter becomes a top priority for homeowners in Southern Colorado. Regardless of whether your fence is wood, vinyl, or iron, winter can wreak havoc on a fence.
This month, we give you our best tips for protecting and preparing your fence for winter in Colorado, ensuring its longevity and durability.
Understanding the Impact of Winter on Fences
Anyone who has spent a winter in Colorado knows that this time of year is notoriously harsh on fences. Between excessive snowfall, freezing temperatures, and icy, gale-force Prewinds, Southern Colorado fences can weaken, break, warp, and fall over. But a few preventative steps now can go a long way in protecting your fence from these elements.
Wooden fences, in particular, are susceptible to winter damage. Why? The moisture from snow and ice can lead to rot, mold, and mildew, which can weaken the structure of your fence.
In addition, freezing temperatures can cause the wood to contract, forming cracks that can widen over time due to freeze-thaw cycles.
Vinyl and iron fences, while more resilient than wood, are not immune to winter damage. Vinyl fences can warp or break under the weight of heavy snow.
Iron or Chain Link Fences
The typical freeze and thaw cycles that come with Colorado winters can cause soil to shift, resulting in warping and leaning. Additionally, the moisture from snow that does not melt quickly can cause rust to build up.
Preparing Your Fence for Winter: Start With an Inspection
Regardless of your type of fence, preparing your fence for winter starts with a visual inspection of the fence and surrounding areas.
If you have a wood fence, look for soft areas, termite holes, and cracks in the wood. Make a note of any cracking or missing boards that will need replacement. Ensure that the posts are fixed solidly into the ground.
For vinyl fencing, check for warping, cracking or breakage, and again, check that the posts are secure.
With iron fencing, your biggest concerns should be rust and stability. If you notice rust on any hinges or posts, remove it now. Rust is more than an eyesore; it is also a sign of a weakening fence.
If you notice any areas needing repair, contact a Colorado Springs fence repair company immediately.
Cleaning and Sealing
The next step in preparing your fence for winter is giving your fence a thorough cleaning. This step helps remove mold, mildew, and debris that may have accumulated over time. If your fence inspection shows that you need a light cleaning, a basic soap and water or vinegar and water solution should work great.
However, if your inspection reveals the need for a deeper cleaning, consider using a power washer to remove the gunk that accumulates over time. After using a power washer on a wood fence, proceed with sealing the wood to prevent water from seeping in and causing damage.
Trimming Nearby Foliage
Next, take a look at the area around your fence. Leaves, fallen branches, and other landscaping materials next to your fence can retain water and lead to wood rot, weakening the structural integrity of your fence base. In addition, trapped moisture may seep into the ground, affecting soil compaction around your posts.
Preparing your fence for winter also means trimming any trees or shrubs near your fence. doing so will keep branches from falling and causing damage during snowstorms.
Regular Winter Maintenance
Clear snow and ice from your fence during winter, and be mindful of piling snow up against your fence when clearing your driveway or sidewalks. At Blick's Fencing, we recommend homeowners keep snow at least a foot away from their fence, but deep snow (i.e., over 12 inches) should be moved further away.
If you are looking for an excuse to buy a snowblower, this might be a good reason. They are generally safe to use on grass, concrete, and pavement.
Professional Fence Services
Professional fence services can provide additional support when preparing your fence for winter. These services include regular inspections, timely repairs, thorough cleaning, and winter preparation.
And if you do need to replace your fence this winter, a professional residential fencing company can get the job done right the first time.
Preparing your fence for winter is an essential item on the honey-do list for many Colorado homeowners. By taking the necessary steps to protect your fence, you can ensure its longevity and durability and avoid having to deal with a damaged or leaning fence in the middle of a snowstorm.
So, don't wait until the last minute to start preparing your fence for winter. Start now, and you'll be able to enjoy a beautiful, sturdy fence all year round.
If you need help with fence repairs or want more information on why winter is a great time to build a new fence, contact Blick's Fencing today. Our free estimates and friendly service can get your fence ready for winter!