Jan 26, 2022 11:00:00 AM | 5 Min Read

5 Tips for Winter Fence Maintenance

Posted By HOA Fence
5 Tips for Winter Fence Maintenance

If you don't love being out in the cold, imagine how your home's fence feels. It spends 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year exposed to the elements. Fortunately, you can protect your fence and extend its life by giving it the care and attention it needs.

Preparing your fence for the long winter months typically involves a few tasks. No matter what type of fence you have, performing winter maintenance will keep it looking great for as long as possible.

1. Inspect the Fence

Before winter gets underway in your area, look over your fence to ensure there aren't any major problems. Some things to watch for include rotting posts, loose pickets, and cracks or holes. Also, check to make sure no pickets are missing.

If you notice any issues, fixing them before winter starts is your best option. The extent of the repair project depends on how severe the damage is. In the case of a missing picket or two, all you might need to do is replace those pickets. If a large section of the fence is missing or there's significant rot, rust, or other damage to the posts, a total replacement might be your better option.

As the winter comes to an end, you'll want to do a second inspection of your fence. The goal is to compare the state of the fence after winter to its condition before winter arrived. Freezing and thawing soil could have damaged the posts, and snow and ice could have rusted or damaged the pickets.

2. Keep the Fence Clear

Your fence needs space and room to breathe. Keeping it clear usually means doing two things. First, it means clearing away any shrubbery or plant growth. You don't want the foliage to press up or grow on the fence, as it can contribute to rotting, particularly on wooden fences.

Similarly, keep piles of leaves and cut grass away from the edge. If your yard collects a lot of leaves during autumn, make sure to rake them away from the fence. It's a good idea to bag up the leaves and compost them so they don't end up blowing around and collecting at the base of the fence.

Should you get snow during the winter, make an effort to keep it from drifting up against the fence. The weight of the snow can put extra pressure on the fence, weakening the posts and pushing the fence over. Moisture from snow and ice can also accelerate the rotting of wood fences or cause metal fences to rust.

Also, avoid using the fence for storage. Don't hang yard tools from the fence and avoid leaning tools or sports equipment against it.

3. Trim Back Branches

General yard maintenance should be part of fence maintenance. If trees overhang your fence, prune back any branches that hang directly over the fence before winter.

A bare tree branch is heavy enough on its own. It gets heavier with the addition of ice and snow. A snow-covered brand can do considerable damage to your fence, should it snap off in the middle of winter.

If your neighbors have trees on their side that overhang your fence, politely ask them to cut the branches back, too.

4. Perform Repairs Before Winter Starts

Don't delay any repairs your fence needs. Left untreated, a minor issue with a fence can become a significant issue, particularly when mixed with snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. You'll save money and time by taking care of the little problems before they have a chance to get worse.

5. Clean the Fence

Give your fence a good cleaning before winter arrives and as the weather starts to warm up in the spring. Cleaning the fence removes dirt, moss, and mildew — all of which can contribute to rot and decay. Giving your fence a thorough cleaning also helps it look good through the winter months.

How you clean the fence depends on the material. You can use soap and water on a wood or vinyl fence. To clean a metal fence, you might need to use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub away any rusty areas. Then, wipe the fence with soapy water and rinse. Make sure to dry it thoroughly after.

Midwestern winters can be harsh. Help your fence make it through the cold, snowy days of winter by giving it some love and care throughout the season. If you have questions about the best way to maintain your fence during winter in the Greater Indianapolis area, HOA Affordable Fence Company can help. Get in touch with us today.

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Topics: Fence, Fence Repair, Tips

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