Fences are a great way to give your property line a definitive border, to make your yard safer for pets or children, to add curb appeal, or to increase privacy levels. When you install one around the perimeter of your home, you expect that it will be strong and durable enough to stand up to the outdoor elements. If you live in an area prone to high winds, however, you may want to tailor your fence choices accordingly.
Read on as we explore the best fence types to withstand the wear and tear that high winds can have on the structure, as well as tips and tricks for installing and maintaining them.
Known to be both warm and welcoming, picket fences are probably one of the most common out there, and are highly desirable because they're aesthetically pleasing. Although these fences don’t necessarily offer much privacy given the openings between slats, it is exactly this feature that makes them a great contender for high wind regions. The openings between slats allow for the wind to pass freely through the structure, minimizing the wear on your fence, even among the windiest conditions. Note that these fences are only ideal for windy conditions when the vertical slats have several inches of space between each of them, as smaller spaces will not let the wind pass freely.
Because picket fences are made of wood, they require maintenance to prevent them from rotting away. While these structures should last 10 to 15 years before requiring replacement, you can lengthen their lifespan by applying a wood preservative to seal it, which will protect it from rain and other natural elements. You should also avoid letting your sprinkler touch your fence and reduce the weight put on it by keeping bushes and vines away.
Iron fences are a superb option for windy regions because they are extremely sturdy, and the space between iron posts allows for air to freely flow, which ensures that the tension put on your fence is minimized during windy spells. Iron fences are of great quality and are sure to last for years to come, not to mention their regal look that's guaranteed to up the curb appeal of your home.
One important note about iron fences is that they must be maintained in order to diminish the chance of rusting, which is likely to happen after repeated exposed to rain and humidity. The best defense against rust is prevention. To cut down on the chances of this damage occurring to your iron fence, it should be treated with a protective sealant or a coat of wax. You can also coat it with paint to put a layer between the iron and the air, which is helpful.
Vinyl fences are about five times stronger than wooden options, besides being more flexible. That makes them the perfect choice for windy areas, as they're less likely than wood to break even in the windiest conditions. This option has other benefits, as well. These types of fences are not susceptible to problems such as termites, rotting, warping, and mold.
Vinyl fences have a long lifespan, but they do need to be maintained. They are prone to grass and even algae stains, and a power washer may not always do the job in getting them clean as a whistle. To renew their look, you can use your garden hose with a sprayer attachment, dish soap, and a non-abrasive scrubbing pad to wipe the structure clean. You should work from the bottom up while cleaning the fence.
If that method doesn’t work on tougher stains, you should substitute the dish soap for bleach. (If you are using this mixture, you might want to wear rubber gloves as you scrub, since bleach can be harsh.) In general, you should mix one part bleach with five parts water to create the cleaning solution. However, darker colored fences require less bleach and lighter shaded ones require more.
Safety and Longevity Tips
When installing any fence, first ensure that you do adequate research and have all buried utility lines located and marked. When choosing the materials of your fence, you want to pick those that will stand up to the test of time. Use treated lumber that is approved for ground contact along with weather-resistant galvanized nails and exterior screws.