Wooden fences are one of the most common types of residential fences available, due to their low cost and the natural, rustic aesthetic which they provide. However, wood is extremely susceptible to damage in the winter months due to moisture exposure and severe weather conditions, both of which can cause damage to the structural integrity of your fence. Thankfully, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that your wooden fence is prepared for the subzero temperatures of the winter.
The first thing that you want to do is remove any built up leaves and other organic debris which may be up against your fence. This is because they can collect and hold water, and in close proximity to your wooden fence, can facilitate the growth of mold and cause warping in your fence boards. If you leave the debris there, it will collect a great deal of water in the spring when the snow melts.
Additionally, during the winter months themselves, you'll have to remove the snow that collects along the fence, as the extra weight of the snow can cause the fence posts to bend or fall over.
Inspect for Rot
Before the snow actually falls, you'll want to visually inspect the fence boards for signs of rot, and replace them. Rot can ruin the structural integrity of your fence and make it easier for the fence to collapse. Rot usually takes the form of discoloration and spongy wood, but warning signs of rot on the interior of your fence include loose fence boards or posts and week connections between fence boards and their supports.
While checking for rot, it's a good idea to keep an eye out for any other signs of physical damage as well, and replace the damaged posts or fence boards before winter hits to ensure that your fence can stand up to the pressures of cold weather and snow.
After you've replaced all the damaged or rotting boards, if necessary, it's a good idea to waterproof your fence to seal it against the moisture that it will be exposed to once the snow falls. There are a number of waterproofing options available, including paints, stains, and clear sealants – choose the one that gives your fence the aesthetic that you want, and have it applied as soon as possible. You can check to see if your fence is adequately waterproofed by splashing water on the fence – a properly sealed fence should have the water bead up instead of being absorbed into the wood.
For more help, contact a company like Hinesville Fence.