If you haven’t been there, count yourself lucky; many homeowners struggle with keeping their fences upright during the windy seasons of the year. March winds are roaring in like a lion, and if you’ve installed a fence in the past year, you may be wondering whether it’s strong enough to stand up to the forces of nature. Or maybe you’re about to put in a fence, and you want to make sure that it will stand the test of time. Either way, here are some ways to be certain that your fence can withstand high winds.
Start with the Posts
A fence is only as strong as its posts. If you’re having a typical six-foot fence installed, your posts should be close to three feet deep underneath the ground. Don’t skimp out on the size of your posts, either. They should be thick and sturdy (4×4 should be your minimum). You can make your posts more sturdy by setting them in concrete. However, keep in mind that concrete is going to be semi-permanent, so you won’t be able to move the posts after they’re set. An alternative to concrete would be using crushed gravel, which is easier to move if needed. Of course, your professional fence installer will be aware of all of these post concerns and be aware of the potential benefits of each option.
Watch for Rot
A fence that was sturdy when first installed may become weak over time if it starts to rot. If you’re having a wooden fence installed, be sure to either buy rot-resistant lumber or treat your fence before you expose it to the elements. Not only will this make your fence more resistant to high March winds, but it will also make the fence last longer in general,
requiring fewer repairs.
Consider Panel Design
If you’re open to it, the design of your fence panels can go a long way towards keeping them from blowing over. Panels with decorative holes or cutouts in them will allow some of the wind to pass through, while solid panels are going to catch more wind and have to withstand higher forces. While it may not be practical for privacy fences, if you’re using a fence mainly for decoration, selecting panels with cutouts can help to prevent wind damage.
Wooden fences with nothing but vertical planks are more likely to blow over. If you add horizontal bars to one side of the fence, this will brace it against high force winds, strengthening the entire panel. Many fences will use three or four vertical panels, with small gaps in between, and one or two horizontal bars on the back side of the fence.
March winds can certainly take a toll on your fence but keeping these things in mind as you install and maintain your fence can make all the difference.