Rain may make the flowers grow, but it certainly doesn’t do your fencing any favors. Home improvement aficionados from around the world offered some advice on how to maintain a fence and keep it standing tall despite the elements.
Use a Durable Materials to Avoid Rot
Rain exposes your fence to moisture, causing it to deteriorate over time. Moisture may cause severe damage to wooden fences, especially since it promotes the growth of molds and mildew. As a result, it not only jeopardizes the strength of your fence but also makes it appear unattractive.
To reduce the amount of environmental harm caused to your fence, use the most durable material accessible to you – and wood may not be the best option. Concrete and gravel are superior fence materials since they can resist the worst weather conditions. Finally, appropriate maintenance will assist to reduce the effects of rain. To prevent damage from spreading to other areas of your fence, replace and repair any pieces that show signs of wear.
Five Steps to Minimize Environmental Damage to Your Fence
When a cloudburst sends a deluge of water downhill, fencing materials are exposed to impacts from heavy raindrops, slippery surfaces from fallen leaves or grass clippings, and saturated soils. The ground acts as a natural sponge to absorb water from the sky, but flooding can make it difficult for fencing materials to “shake loose” these contaminants. In addition, dirt lodges at the bottom of the material’s grain and crevices which makes it hard for fencing materials to dry completely.
After being exposed to all of the elements, fencing materials—aluminum, steel mesh, wood posts—can corrode if they are not allowed to dry out. Corrosion affects metal components by rusting them or making it easier for them to lose their silicon coating that resists corrosion caused by rain and other environmental factors.
When water accumulates on a wood post, it can cause the post to rot, which creates an inviting environment for insects and fungi. Left untreated, this damage can quickly spread to other parts of the fence and even to the home itself.
Be Sure Your Fence is Supported
The posts of your fence should be set in concrete and be sure to use galvanized or vinyl-coated nails or screws when installing your fence. This will help to prevent damage from rain and rust.
Install Gutter Guards
Gutter guards can help to keep water from flowing over the edge of your roof and onto your fence. Rain gutter guards also help to keep debris from collecting in the gutters and clogging them, which is a common cause of flooding.
Install Weatherproofing Strips
Weatherproofing strips can be used to create a barrier between your fence and the water coming from the roof. This can help to prevent the wood from rotting and the vinyl from cracking.
Keep Your Yard Neat
Keeping your yard tidy will help to keep the rain from pooling around your fence and causing damage. Rake leaves, trim plants, and remove any debris that might prevent water from draining naturally.
Inspect Your Fence for Damage
One of the best ways to prevent damage from rain is to simply inspect your fence regularly and make the necessary repairs quickly. If you notice any signs of weakening or rot, contact a professional right away to have it assessed and repaired as necessary. When possible, try to schedule any work on your fence when it is not raining to prevent exacerbating the issue.
Catch and Replace Boards with Mold
If you have wood fencing, rain can cause water damage, making the wood warp, split, lean, and degrade over time. Consistent exposure to rain where the wood is unable to dry out can cause mold to grow and spread, which also damages the integrity of the fencing. Vinyl fencing doesn’t get nearly as impacted by rain as wooden fencing does, which is why it is more recommended nowadays.
To minimize environmental damage to your fence, you want to catch any rotting as soon as possible. If you notice a board or two is starting to rot, replace those boards as soon as you can. Replacing all of your fencings can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but replacing a couple of boards won’t cost very much. Catching rotting early and replacing the affected boards will prevent spreading and protect your wallet. You can also apply a wood preservative to your wooden fencing to help preserve it.
Seal the Fence Against Rotting and Warping
Rain can soak into the fibers of a wood fence and lead to rotting and warping. Moisture is bad for wood, and rain can ruin a wood fence.
When you first install your fence, you should seal the wood so that rain can’t penetrate the surface. A sealed fence will wear better and longer than an untreated fence.
I just said that moisture is bad for wood, so this next piece of advice may seem crazy, but I’ll explain. To care for your fence and help it withstand the rain, you should annually use a power washer to clean the fence.
Over a year, dust, wind-blown dirt, pollen, and pollution build up on your fence. Those particles hold onto the raindrops and retain the moisture, which increases rotting in the wood. Power washing your fence helps it to dry more quickly.
Apply Stain to Forestall Timber Expansion and Shrinkage
Fences are exposed to a constant change of humidity and moisture from the rain and changes of the seasons. Wet timber followed by direct sunlight causes continuous timber expansion and shrinkage leading it to warp and twist. Even though timber fences are built from tanalized timber to prevent rot and water damage, treated timber is still prone to mold that is tricky to water blast off.
The best thing to protect a fence from water damage, water movement, the sun, and mold, is to apply 2 or 3 coats of water or oil-based stain. Wood stain deeply penetrates the timber and protects it from absorbing moisture while being quick and easy to apply. The exterior wood stains make all outdoor landscaping look professionally finished and look great.
Switch to Concrete or Metal
Rain can adversely affect fencing. Despite most fences being designed to withstand weather conditions and last for years, rain can sometimes ruin your wood fencing, especially in the UK. Continual rain and snow cause wood to rot over time due to moisture infiltration.
Water damage is particularly common to wooden fences. Wood that is soft to the touch, holes, or cracks can all be signs of deterioration and require replacement. Winter temperatures can also cause some fences to become stiff and brittle.
You should switch from wood to concrete or metal fencing to avoid water damage. Just make sure that the metal fence is painted so that it doesn’t rust. If you prefer wood, you should treat wood or timber that is used for fencing to ensure it lasts a long time. Installing a fence post cap can resolve most weather-related issues with fence posts, as it protects these posts from the elements. Additionally, install a fence railing to provide support to your fence, especially during rainy weather.
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