New England is home to hectic Winters each year that can dump feet of snow onto driveways, stairways, walkways and yards. Homeowners are left to struggle with shoveling and plowing, sometimes with only a day’s notice. Snow accumulation isn’t just an inconvenience though. If left unchecked, snowbanks can put stress on your fence, cover up sections that need repair or replacement, or even allow snow plows to crash into your fence by mistake. Follow these winter fence maintenance suggestions to avoid unnecessary fence repairs and replacements after a harsh Winter.
Prevent Pressure From Snow Accumulation
While your fence may seem like it was made to keep snow neatly contained in your yard without issue, it’s actually quite detrimental to allow snow to pile up near your fence. Whether it’s from plows compacting snow into your yard, your snowblower piling up near your fence, or even your shoveling efforts betraying you, any snow accumulation near your fence needs to be cleared up as soon as possible if not avoided altogether. An excessive load bearing on your fence for months at a time during freezing and high wind conditions is a recipe for a broken fence. Avoid unnecessary structural damage by piling your snow away from your fence and you’ll have far less cleanup and repairs to deal with in the Spring.
Inspect Sections For Breaks
During a New England Winter, your fence will be thoroughly tested for its ability to bear weight and stay stable during harsh conditions. You must check each section of fence for breaks and cracks that could compromise its structural integrity during a snowstorm or heavy gusts of wind. A simple repair here and there with regular winter fence maintenance before the dead of Winter is much more convenient than having to replace entire sections of your fence in a foot of snow. Your family and your fencing company will both thank you for your foresight.
Check Exposed Interior Wood to Prevent Wood Rot
If you have a wooden fence or a vinyl fence with wooden interior support, it’s crucial that you inspect your fence for cracks or exposed core and repair it with wood filler or a new vinyl encasing to prevent weakening and rotting once the Winter weather comes and covers it in snow for half the season. You can either attempt small repairs on your own or schedule an inspection or repair session with your fencing company to circumvent major repairs and post replacements in the future. A little winter fence maintenance goes a long way.
Avoid Damage From Snow Plows
One of the most common causes of damage to fences in New England would be accidents from snow plows. Sometimes the damage is subtle like pushing piles of snow into your enclosed area and causing fences to bear excessive weight and sag. Other times, plow drivers can either misjudge the distance between their plow and your fence or not see it altogether due to heavy snow or limited visibility. A collision from a snow plow will certainly cost you a post or two, if not an entire section. You can put reflective stakes near your fence to improve visibility and talk to your neighbors and local snow plowers about respecting and avoiding your fence during their snow removal activities. A few simple conversations and reflective pieces of plastic can save you fence repairs and even section replacements down the road.
About Geary Fence
Geary Fence is a family-owned and operated full-service fence contractor specializing in residential and commercial fencing. Please feel free to contact us via email or phone, and we will gladly answer any questions you have or provide any information that you need including a free estimate!