Winterizing Your Fence

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depositphotos_1965820_sAs the leaves change and temps get cooler, thoughts of winter and what it may bring come to mind. What will this year’s epic El Nino conditions bring? Forecasters are predicting a mild December, but below average temps and above average precipitation from December through February in Maryland.  (source: http://www.theweathernetwork.com/us/news/articles/us-weather/winter-preview-el-nino-contributes-to-a-tale-of-two-seasons/56531/)

While predicting the weather is uncertain at best, one thing we are certain of is that winterizing your home – including fences – is always a good idea. Whether you have a vinyl fence, wood fence or metal fence, there are things you can do to help your fence withstand the elements.

Winterizing A Vinyl Fence

The first step in winterizing your vinyl fence is to walk the fence line and check for any loose rails, panels or posts. Secure anything that is loose. If you are unsure as to how to secure something on your vinyl fence, contact a professional fence contractor. They can either provide you with advice on what to do, or they may schedule a repair visit depending on its severity.

Another good idea in winterizing your vinyl fence is to be sure that it is clean going into winter. Dirt and mold that can form on vinyl fencing in damp, shady areas can be easy to remove with a power washer if it has not been on the fence long. The longer it stays, the more difficult it will be to remove later. With winter sure to bring wetness and freezing, any dirt or mold on your fence will be that much more engrained in your fence by winter’s end. Going into winter with a clean fence means far less work cleaning it after winter’s wrath!

Winterizing A Wood Fence

Wood fencing can be particularly susceptible to damage during the harsh winter months. In order to ensure as little wear and tear on your wood fence as possible this winter, give it a good check before winter weather strikes. Check your entire fence line for loose boards, rails and posts and be sure to secure or replace them as needed. Any areas of the fence that are leaning are especially in need of fixing, as heavy snow and ice on an already compromised fence will surely do damage. If necessary, contact a fence professional to repair or replace loose or leaning items.

If your wood fence is stained, painted or treated and is showing signs of wear, take care of touching it up before the weather turns. Exposed or damaged wood fencing left untreated prior to winter will only make it that much worse and difficult to repair in the spring.

Winterizing A Metal Fence

Metal fencing is one of the strongest fences you can buy, and generally holds up well even under the most harsh conditions. With any fence, though, the years will bring some element of damage which can lead to necessary repairs or replacement. Before winter, check your metal fence for any exposed metal. Areas near grass where mowers or weed whackers may have chipped the metal fence coated should be checked closely. Touch up any exposed metal on your fence now to prevent rusting later.

You should also walk your metal fence line to check for any loose posts or rails.  If needed, contact a fence professional to do any repairs.

Fences, like any other part of your home, should last for years to come with proper care and maintenance. A little TLC goes a long way!