The onset of winter means cold air, freezing rain, snow, sleet, freezing ground, and everything in between. The elements can be especially hard on outdoor fixtures, like fences. If your fence is older or if it has some faulty mechanisms, then you should consider having it winterized.
What is Winterization?
Winterizing is simply getting something ready for the harsh winter months. You’ve probably heard of winterizing your car, which is done by adding anti-freeze, getting new tires, and replacing windshield wipers. Winterizing a fence involves similar concepts, but much different implementations. Repainting and retreating the wood to withstand cold and wet weather as well as replacing rusty or worn-out hardware are just a couple of measures you can take to winterize your fence.
How is it Done?
Fence winterization is largely preventative as opposed to reparative. If your fence is wooden, then the wet winter weather can warp the fence. Once spring rolls around, you’re in danger of dry rot. In order to combat both rot and warping, it’s a good idea to repaint or reseal your wooden fence every year, before winter arrives.
Metal fences, while they will not warp or rot, are in danger of becoming rusty. If the rust is relatively new, then you can scrub it off and repaint the fence. But, when the rust has worn through the metal, it’s probably better to replace it. Latches and hinges on all types of fences can become worn out after a while, which can impede the functioning of latches and handles, meaning the gate will no longer close properly. For the safety of everyone who might use your fence, watch out for rusting parts and clean, replace, and repaint parts are necessary.
If you’re interested in increasing the value of your home, then you should consider the addition of a fence. While your instincts might tell you that you should wait until the spring or summer to install a new fence, autumn is actually is the best time to install a new fence. The following overview will explain why:
- There’s a high demand for fences in the spring and summer. Most people wait until the warmer months to install fences. What this means is that you’ll sometimes end up on a waiting list for a particular contractor or some less-responsible fencing companies may rush your job in order to move to the next. When you choose to install your fence during the off season, you’ll end up getting more personalized, attentive service and a faster turnaround on your fence project.
- Lumber prices are increasing all the time. Lumber is not getting any cheaper. Waiting until spring to install your wood fence means that you’ll be paying more. Additionally, the high demand for fence installation means that lumber companies are able to charge more.
- Installation is significantly easier for the contractor in the fall. The ground is still somewhat soft during the onset of fall, which means that fence posts can be put into the ground with much less effort than it will take during winter or even the very beginning of spring. Even in winter, when the demand for fence installation will be even smaller, fence posts can be installed, albeit with a little more difficulty.
Wood fencing that comes from the Western Red Cedar is unmatched in character and strength. Using this type of wood to create a beautiful cedar fence makes for a striking and gorgeous outdoor landscape. Here are a few of the qualities that make cedar a great choice:
- Ready for Building: Cedar is naturally tall, offering long, unbroken lengths for use in architecture and wood fencing. Because Western Red Cedar is as malleable as it is strong, it can be used for arbors, sheds, and any other outside fixture that comes to mind.
- Outdoor Versatility: Wood fencing made with cedar can adapt to many different environments and seasons. Cedar readily accepts harsh conditions that would warp or damage other woods, from high sun to excessive moisture.
- Resistant and Durable: Cedar is an excellent choice for wood fencing due to its strength and resistance to natural enemies. The oils found in the wood are repellent to fungi and insects and resistant to rot. Cedar fencing is ideal in moist environments, thanks to its ability to withstand plenty of humidity.
- Fine Grain, Natural Beauty: Cedar wood is known for its colors and unique texture. Ranging from amber tones to rich reds and deep browns, cedar is a very striking and beautiful material. Typically, cedar is left natural or lightly stained during finishing, as any darker finishes can dull its beautiful colors.
- Environmentally Conscious: When selecting a fence builder, choose one that obtains their wood from a sustainable source. Cedar is an eco-friendly building material, because it, along with most woods, is efficient to mill and refine. Furthermore, cedar does not release harmful gases like some synthetic materials can.