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  • Writer's pictureStable Works LLC

Winter Fence Care: The Stable Works Guide to Protecting Your Privacy Fence From Heavy Snow

As a storm is rolling into our hometown in Franklinville NJ, we decided to help homeowners face the unique challenges in maintaining their privacy fences from the snow. This storm may not bring more than 3 inches, but following this guide will ensure that you do everything you need to do to protect your fence. You can use these strategies for managing snow and preventing fence damage, ensuring durability and visual appeal through the colder months.

Effective Snow Removal for Different Fence Materials

Different fence materials like vinyl, wood, and metal require specialized care during winter. The same rules apply for all fences for the most part- but be sure to read point 10 for Vinyl Fences and Metal Fences.

1. Mastering Shoveling Techniques

  • Use Smooth Strokes: Gently push snow away using horizontal movements to avoid damaging the fence.

  • Plastic Shovels for Delicate Materials: Use plastic instead of metal shovels for surfaces like vinyl and wood to prevent scratches.

  • Avoid Direct Contact: Keep the shovel’s edge from directly hitting the fence to avoid chipping or denting.

2. Regular Snow Clearance

  • Frequent Light Shoveling: Clear snow regularly to prevent heavy buildup, which adds stress to your fence.

  • Daily Removal During Heavy Snowfall: In periods of continuous snow, clear your fence area daily.

  • Reduce Weight and Pressure: Regular clearing helps distribute the weight of snow evenly, reducing pressure on your fence.

3. Managing Snow Drifts

  • Regular Checks for Drifts: Inspect your fence frequently for snow drifts, especially after heavy snowfall.

  • Use a Snow Rake: Gently rake away snow drifts without damaging the fence.

  • Seal Gaps: Apply caulk or weather-stripping to gaps in the fence to prevent snow from accumulating.

4. Plowing with Caution

  • Set Up Visible Markers: Place markers around your fence to guide snow removal and prevent accidental contact.

  • Inform Snow Removal Teams: Clearly communicate fence boundaries to anyone involved in snow removal.

  • Prevent Direct Plowing Near Fence: Ensure that plowing is done at a safe distance from the fence.

5. Guard Against Falling Snow and Ice

  • Post-Storm Fence Checks: Inspect your fence for snow or ice accumulation from nearby roofs and trees.

  • Pre-Winter Tree Trimming: Cut back tree branches near your fence to minimize snow and ice fall.

  • Monitor Overhanging Dangers: Be aware of potential hazards from overhanging snow and ice.

6. Strengthening Fence Posts

  • Secure Loose Posts: Check and tighten any wobbly or loose fence posts before winter.

  • Add Supports or Bracing: Reinforce fence posts with additional support to handle snow weight.

  • Regular Stability Checks: Continuously monitor the stability of fence posts throughout winter.

7. Routine Damage Inspection

  • Check for Visible Damage: Regularly inspect your fence for cracks, loose boards, or leaning posts.

  • Early Repair: Address damage immediately to prevent further deterioration.

  • Inspect After Storms: Pay extra attention to potential damage after heavy snow or wind.

8. Optimal Panel Spacing

  • Follow Manufacturer’s Guidelines: Space panels as per instructions for even snow load distribution.

  • Prevent Stress Concentration: Proper spacing ensures no single part of the fence bears excessive weight.

  • Check Spacing on New Installations: Ensure correct panel spacing when installing a new fence.

9. Professional Assistance

  • Hire Experienced Snow Removers: Engage professionals for complex or large-scale snow removal tasks.

  • Benefit from Expertise and Equipment: Professionals bring the right tools and know-how for safe snow removal.

  • Consult for Large or Intricate Fences: Expert advice can be crucial for maintaining larger or more elaborate fences.

10. Gentle Snow Removal Methods For Painted Metal Fences Vinyl Fences

  • Use Push Brooms or Soft-Bristle Brushes: Opt for gentle tools to remove snow, especially from fragile surfaces.

  • Avoid Harsh Scraping: Keep the fence surface free from scratches or chips during snow removal.

  • DIY Care for Sensitive Materials: Handle vinyl or painted metal fences with extra care to maintain their finish.

11. Future Weatherproofing Measures

  • Seal All Gaps: Post-winter, close any openings in the fence with durable sealing materials.

  • Install Moisture-Proof Caps: Protect the top of fence posts with caps to prevent water damage.

  • Ensure Full Extension to the Ground: Make sure fence panels extend fully to the ground for better stability and draft prevention.

By following these detailed steps, homeowners can effectively protect and maintain their privacy fences throughout the winter season. Each point offers practical advice for preserving the structure and appearance of the fence, ensuring it withstands winter's challenges and maintains its aesthetic appeal.

If you're looking to build a new fence in South Jersey, give us a call at 856-242-1930

or book your free in person estimate here:

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