The cold, wet weather of winter puts a lot of stress on outdoor structures. If not properly maintained, your wooden fence may take such a beating that you’ll have a big repair job on your hands come springtime. Luckily, winter fence protection isn’t so tough to do. With a few quick maintenance projects, you can help your fence stand up to the season.
As in all seasons, excess moisture puts the wood of your fence at risk of mold, mildew, and rot. However, winters lack the warm, sunny days that usually dry your fence out during the warmer months. Staining your fence with a good oil-based stain is an important part of winter fence protection. Clearing leaves, snow, and other debris away from your fence will also prevent exposure to the moisture that can get trapped there.
Another wintertime risk is the shifting of the soil as the ground freezes and thaws. This can move and loosen your fence posts, compromising the structure of your entire fence. To prevent this, fence posts should always be installed at least three feet deep. If yours aren’t deep enough, don’t despair. Keeping the cement footings free of snow and moist debris can help prevent erosion. Make sure to check your fence posts for signs of damage in early spring, so that you can arrange any necessary repairs.
Finally, make sure to cut back any branches that might be hanging over your fence. Tree branches are especially susceptible to snapping during the wintertime, as the buildup of snow and ice can overload them. A falling branch can cause structural damage, so it’s best to eliminate the risk now.
A little winter fence protection goes a long way. By investing a bit of time in your fence before the cold weather arrives, you’ll save yourself the time, money, and hassle of repairs when the sun comes out again.