Between very cold temperatures, wind, and rain, winter could be a huge challenge to timber fences. Spending time out in the extremely cold environment is probably the last thing many homeowners would want to do in winter, but a bit extra maintenance can help prolong the life of your timber fence and also lessen possible problems that you’ll face in springtime.
What the Cold Months Does to a Timber Fence
While heat and sunlight are generally the biggest enemies with regards to damage to a timber fence, the persistent changes in temperatures and moisture levels of the winter could also cause serious damage. Below is a good idea on how the freezing weather can affect timber fences:
Snow and Rain:
The fibers of wood fences will weaken when exposed to such natural elements for long periods of time. It also leads to the development of rot, mold, and mildew. A waterproof sealant is the best protection against such elements. It’s also very important to keep organic matters such as leaves and twigs, from getting stuck between the boards, as this hinders the circulation of air and creates a trap for moisture to develop. In addition, such materials decompose and will cause damage to the fence.
Changes in temperature will cause the timber to contract and expand, which can eventually lead to knots falling out, leaving the structure with knotholes. If this problem is ignored, the knotholes will invite pests and encourage rot.
Too much rain could cause water to soak into the soil and develop landslides, shifts, and sinkholes that can affect the supporting posts of timber fences. Throughout the winter season, it is best to keep an eye on your timber fence to ensure that it stays strong, straight, and free of rot.
Overhanging branches of trees could break when the weight of ice and snow gets unbearable. As branches fall, the fence could get damaged. Check trees near your timber fence, and trim away any branches that pose a threat.
Maintenance Tips During Winter Season
Using a quality sealant or stain before the winter season comes is your first line of defense against winter damage. But there are important steps to take throughout the winter season:
* Check your fence after a relatively strong fence. Check it for any damages and see to it that the posts are still plumb. To check this, run a piece of string along the posts’ tops. Look for rises or dips in the string, then inspect the posts to know if they require repairs. Fixing any damages now will keep the problem from getting worse throughout the cold months.
* See to it that the cement footings are free from dust, dirt, and other unwanted materials. This may seem pointless but doing it reduces the chances that the cement will develop cracks due to moisture buildup and changes in temperatures.
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