Winter Maintenance Guide for Wood Fences

Between the very cold temperatures, rain, and wind, winter can be a huge challenge to a wood fence. Spending time out in the extremely cold environment is probably the last thing many people would want to do in winter, but a bit extra maintenance can help prolong the life of your wood fence and also reduce possible problems that you’ll face when spring comes.

What the Cold Season Does to Wood Fences

While the sun is generally the biggest enemy when speaking about damage to timber fences, the unwavering shifting of temperatures and moisture of the winter will also cause serious damage. Below is a good idea on how the winter season can affect a wood fence:

Rain & Snow:

The fibers of timber fences will become weak when exposed to such natural elements for long periods of time. It also leads to the development of mildew, mold, and rot. A good quality waterproof stain or sealant is the best protection against these natural elements. Also, it is essential to keep organic matters such as twigs or leaves, from getting stuck between the fence boards, as they block the circulation of air and creates a trap for moisture to develop. In addition, such things deteriorate and can cause damage to your fence.

Changing Temperatures:

Changes in temperature will cause the wood to contract and expand, which can eventually result in knots falling out, leaving the fence with knotholes. If this problem is simply ignored, the knotholes will invite pests and rot.

Shifting Soil:

Too much precipitation could cause water to soak into the soil and create shifts, sinkholes, and landslides that could negatively affect the supporting posts of your fence. Throughout the cold season, it’s best to keep an eye on your timber fence to make sure that it stays strong, straight, and free of rot.

Debris:

Overhanging branches of trees could break when the weight of snow and ice becomes intolerable. As branches fall, the fence could get damaged. Check any trees near your timber fence, and prune off any branches that present a threat.

Wood Fences Maintenance Tips for Winter

Using a good quality fence sealant or stain before the winter season arrives is your first line of defense against winter damage. But there are important steps to take throughout the cold months:

* Check your wood fence after a significantly strong storm. Inspect it for any damages and see to it that the posts are still straight. To check this, run a piece of string along the posts’ tops. Look for rises or dips in the string, then inspect such posts to know if they need repair. Doing the needed repairs now will keep the problem from worsening throughout the cold months.

* See to it that the cement footings of the fence are free from bark dust, dirt, and other unwanted materials. This may seem pointless but doing so reduces the chances that the cement will develop cracks caused by trapped moisture and changes in temperature.

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