fencing for the perfect family environment

Is Your Wooden Fence Ready For Winter?

Wooden fences need to be completely protected from precipitation in order to maintain structural integrity. During the winter, this type of fencing is especially vulnerable to precipitation because snow and ice can break down the paint and stain that protects wood. This is why it's very important to prepare your wooden fence before winter arrives. These tips will help you get your wooden fence ready for snow and icy weather.

Inspect Your Fence

Take a look at your wooden fence. Pay close attention to the areas of the fence that come into contact with the ground, because these areas tend to be the most vulnerable to the elements.

Look for:

  • Splits in the wood.
  • Peeling paint.
  • Bare wood not covered by stain or paint.
  • Holes from pest infestation.

Make Repairs

Identify problem areas in the fence. Split pickets are never going to become un-split and should be replaced. Holes from old pest infestations can be filled in with wood putty as long as the wood is still structurally sound. Areas where the wood is bare will need to be repaint or re-stained, as described below, but first you should make sure the wood hasn't begun to rot. Use a screw driver to poke the wood. If the wood is brittle, crumbly, or soft, or if the screw driver sticks in the wood easily, it's rotten.

Rotten pickets should all be replaced. Remove one of the old, rotting pickets, then take it to a store that sells fencing supplies. Use the old picket to pick out new matching pickets. Once you've removed all the old pickets from your fence and installed new ones using wood fence screws to hold them in place, proceed to the next step.

Seal the Wood

You can seal the wood either by painting it or staining it, whatever matches the old coat of sealer on your fence. Sand away the old layer of paint or stain using an orbital sander. Wash the dust off with a strong jet of water from a hose. When the fence is dry, either paint it with exterior grade primer and a layer of exterior grade paint, or seal it with a coat of stain. Once that has dried, apply a second coat and wait for that to dry. Do this at a time when the weather is predicting no precipitation for a couple days.

Following these steps, your wooden fence should be ready when winter finally comes.

For fencing supplies, contact a company such as Harrington & Company