If you're going to be having a wood fence installed this fall, make sure it's ready for winter. Your fence may be new, but it's still susceptible to winter damage. One way to protect your wood fence is to make sure it's installed before the freezing temperatures arrive. This will ensure that the concrete has a chance to cure before things get too cold. Here are four additional steps you should take to make sure your new fence doesn't suffer any winter damage:
Choose the Right Wood
Knotholes might give the wood a unique appearance, and give it a personality all its own, but they also undermine the structural integrity of the wood. First, the continuous freeze/thaw cycle that's common during the winter can cause the knotholes to expand and shrink, which can lead to significant damage. Not only that, but those knotholes provide easy access for pest invasions. While you're choosing wood for your new fence, be sure to avoid pieces that have knotholes in them.
Provide Securing Footing for the Posts
If you live in an area that experiences severe winter weather, including snowfall, heavy rains, or freezing rains, you'll want to make sure that the fence posts are secured deep beneath the soil. Shallow post holes can leave your fence susceptible to soil shift. Unfortunately, if the soil shifts too much, it can cause your fence to collapse. The soil can shift when heavy rains wash the soil away from the posts, or when the soil thaws after a deep freeze. You can protect your posts by ensuring they're placed in holes that are deeper than the anticipated frost line. For maximum protection, try to dig the holes at least three feet deep.
Add a Layer of Waterproofing
Once you have your new wood fence installed, don't leave it exposed to the elements, especially if you're expecting heavy rainfall or snowfall this year. If your wood isn't properly treated, the snow and rain exposure can lead to rot, which can destroy your fence. As soon as it's installed, apply a thick coat of waterproof sealant. You can apply either a clear coat so that the look of the natural wood shines through, or you can apply a color stain to the wood. Either type of waterproof sealant will protect your wood from damage this winter.
Trim Your Trees
Finally, if you have trees in your yard, and you're expecting significant snowfall this year, take the time to trim your trees. Overgrown trees can accumulate a lot of snow on the branches. Once the snow becomes too heavy, the branches can fall right onto your new fence. Avoid that possibility by pruning your trees before winter arrives.
Contact a fence contractor for more information and assistance.