Monday, October 29, 2012

Protect Your Fence from Storm and Wind Damage

Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on the Northeast U.S. and, while it may be too late to protect your fence from her wake, it is a good opportunity to share some tips for avoiding future storm damage to your fence.

Here Are 5 Steps You Can Take To Protect Your Fence Against Storm and Wind Damage.


Trim Trees Near the Fence


Don't let your fence end up like the one on the left. The vast majority of storm fence damage we see comes from tree limbs falling on the fence and crushing one or more sections.  In most cases this is easily prevented by removing overhanging limbs.  If the fence is yours, but the tree is on a neighbors property, ask them if you can have the overhanging limbs removed.  In most cases they will agree.  And remember, it's not only hurricanes and/or high winds that can cause tree limbs to fall; many customers over the years have had limbs fall because of heavy snow storms.

Also remove any dead or dying trees near the fence as they are the most likely to uproot and fall during a storm.

Remove Temporary Yard Objects


A stiff wind can make that garden gnome fly as far as Travelocity.  Anything that can get picked up in high winds is a potential threat to your fence, your cars, and your home.  When you know a storm with high winds is coming put patio furniture, trash containers, grills, flowerpots, etc. in the garage or other enclosed area.

In a pinch, you can sink patio furniture to the bottom of a swimming pool, just be aware that it can damage the liner of your pool if done incorrectly.  

Repair Loose Posts and Sections if Necessary


 Loose or damaged fence posts and sections are the most susceptible to high winds since their stability is already comprimised.  Remove and rebury any posts that have started to lift out of the ground due to frost or prior wind damage.  Fix any loose or damaged boards on wood or vinyl fences as they can break off and create a ballistic hazard.

Wind can easily push over a fence when posts have started to heave out of the ground


Use Reinforcements for Vinyl, Composite, and Aluminum Fences


If you live in an area of frequent storms or high winds you should consider reinforcing your posts and rails with wood, metal, or concrete.  If your fence manufacturer offers steel or aluminum reinforcement channels for your posts, adding them at installation will up the cost of the fence, but will reduce the likelihood of wind damage in the future.

Lock Down or Remove Gates


If you don't have a good lock on your gate, use a padlock or chain to secure it.  The last thing you want in high winds is for your gate to start slamming against the fence, or worse, the side of your house.  If the gate is easy to take off the hinges, even better; take it off and store it in the garage until the storm passes.

Have any other useful tips for storm-proofing your fence?  Let us know in the comments section and we'll update this post with them.

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