Winter weather and snow can certainly be beautiful, especially around the holidays, but it can wreak havoc on your fence. Here are some things to be mindful of in winter, especially during and after a heavy rain of ice/snowstorm.
Snow and cold weather maintenance:
•It is a good idea to give your fence a quick inspection for areas in need of attention. The cold and wet precipitation can cause changes in the ground and could potentially cause movement in your fence line.
•If you have loose pickets, rails or a gate that does not quite close properly consider repairing.
Check over your gates especially, make sure changes are working well and latches are closing tight. If you have a larger double gate check drop rod is working properly and can be inserted into the ground to stabilize the gate in high winds.
•If you have fence caps, make sure they are tightly fastened to the top of the posts.
•Limbs and trees can fall on your fence causing damage and security issues, try to look for broken limbs or leaning/uprooted trees that need attention.
•Winter weather can also cause fences to become brittle in the cold and more susceptible to damage. You may be able to replace pickets or rails without replacing full panels.
•Clear away snow
•When shoveling try to get snow away from the fence as heavy piled or drifted snow can become heavy over time before it melts. This can cause stress on the panels and posts.
•Be cautious as not to strike the fence with your shovel, the material could crack or split when cold and under blunt force.
•Be sure to remove snow especially around gate openings and as far as the gate opens to ensure you are not using the gate as a snow shovel or to move the snow. This can cause pressure and stress on the hinges.
•Take a walk and check your posts after heavy rain or melting snow.
•Excess water in the ground could loosen/upheave posts; inspect the posts and panels for anything that may be awry. Give the posts a slight tug or push to check for movement. Most fence style’s posts are set in concrete, but some are packed in earth. Either should have a stable post that does not easily move.
•Check gates before using the yard
•Keep your children and animals safe by checking to ensure the gates are properly latched and closed before using the yard. Sometimes a windy day is enough to blow your gates open.
•If you have a swimming pool it is best to double check the gates regularly. Pools can present a safety hazard, even in the winter months. Please click here to learn more about pool safety from the American Fence Association.

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