When you own your own home, you’ll find plenty of different compelling reasons to erect fences. If you have young kids, for instance, you might find fences very useful to keep your youngsters safe while they play outdoors. Fences also help keep pets within bounds and help protect you from prying eyes. Fences can even help your home stand up to adverse weather.
Not only are there lots of different reasons to put up a fence, there are also many different ways to build one. You have your choice of a wide range of materials, and there are often subsequent follow-on choices to make as well. Wood fences are extremely popular – but what sort of wood is right for your own needs? Whatever materials you choose and however you build your fence, there’s one thing that’s certain: You want it to last as long as possible.
To maximise the number of useful years you get out of your fences, make use of these suggestions:
1) Prepare For Winter Properly
Cold weather subjects your fence to added stress that can shorten its lifespan. Snow is especially troublesome because it can pile up on fences and stick around for days or weeks. If you live in a region where you know you can expect heavy snowfall, prepare your fences by applying a heavy, oil-based stain. You should also keep the gaps in your fence clear of leaves and snow as much as possible so that they don’t get a chance to harm the wood.
2) Finishes Are About More Than Looks
Applying paint or stain to your fence isn’t just about changing its appearance. These products form an effective barrier against all sorts of potential risks from the UV radiation in sunlight to the destructive moisture in rainstorms. If you want to preserve the natural colour of a wood fence, apply stain to it in multiple coats. You should also make use of a product that includes a sealer; this gives you an added layer of protection without requiring additional painting.
3) Avoid Knots Whenever Possible
Over the course of the year, your fence is subjected to a lot of different temperatures. In certain seasons, the ambient temperature can range widely in a short space of time. These rapid changes cause wooden fences to expand and contract. The repeated changes in the form of the wood can pop knots right out and leave holes in your fence. If you’d rather not end up with a fence that gives insects and other pests free access to your yard, stay away from wood with knots or other flaws.
4) Keep Your Eyes Turned Upwards
The finest fence in the world can be damaged or even destroyed if a heavy tree branch falls onto it. Tree branches can fall during violent windstorms or in the depths of winter when they’re loaded down with snow and ice. Check the trees on your property carefully to make sure none of them are overhanging your fences; it’s particularly important to do this before winter weather sets in.
5) Don’t Let Fences And Shrubs Mix
Moisture is the wooden fence’s most consistent enemy. In order to keep your fence dry and strong, don’t let shrubs, bushes, or other vegetation grow too close. Bushes that grow immediately adjacent to a fence will trap in moisture and keep the wood wet longer following rain or snow. This can significantly shorten the fence’s lifespan.
6) Secure Fence Posts Thoroughly
In the coldest part of the year, you might see frost begin to form on your fence posts. A frosted post that’s not anchored securely into the ground may fail in cold weather, weakening the entire fence. Drive fence posts deep into the ground; it’s also a good idea to secure them with concrete footings.
7) Check Your Fences Regularly
Take the time to inspect your fences on a regular basis. Minor damages like broken pickets will weaken the fence as a whole. Repair fence damage as soon as you spot it; you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding the materials and tools you need at your local hardware store.