Autumn and Winter will soon be upon us and with high winds forecast by the Met office in late August it’s a good time to check fences and gates.
Over the years fences and gates can take a battering, the wet weather ensures fences can become prone to rot. The summer dries them out making them brittle, frost and snow freezes water in fences and can blow the structure of the grain.
All this means your fences can quickly become unstable and potentially dangerous in high winds. Now it the time to check fences ready for winter. Here’s a few things you can check while the weather is fine.
Check each fence board.
With almost all types of fences they are made up of timber boards. Often these types of fences are referred to as waney lap or close board fences. Held together by a frame and nails these boards can become lose and or rot through. Take some time to check the boards to ensure they are safely and securely attached to the main fence frame. If any of the boards are loose they can often be re-secured with a panel pin or even a screw. If any boards are bowed this is usually a good indicator that the fence needs to be replaced.
Check the fence frame and posts.
Sometimes fences are attached to timber posts that have been buried in the ground. Over the years these posts can become rotten, if you see any signs of rot or the post is wobbly. It’s a sure sign your fence will probably come down in high winds.
Almost all fences are built around a frame. It’s this frame that provides most of the strength in the fence, over the years the panel pins holding the frame together can become loose or even rust through. Once this happens slowly but surely the integrity of the fence is seriously compromised ensuring a good gust of wind will more than likely blow it away from the posts. Replace fences with rusted through nails.
Concrete posts don’t always last a lifetime. Concrete is a great substance for fence posts, but water can often enter small cracks in the concrete. Once this water freezes the crack can become larger and larger, in time the concrete can become so poor the fence post can become wobbly. Check the stability of concrete fence posts too.
Give fences a lick of preservative.
Many fences today are pre-treated providing them with often 10 years guarantee from rot. Often the preservative used can evaporate from the outside in, meaning the exterior of the fence is less protected than the inner element of the timber. Use a good quality fence preservative to provide improved protection from the elements. Although fence preservative won’t stop rot or improve the integrity of poor fences it can extend the life of your fences considerably.
No matter what the Autumn and Winter throws at your fences and gates this year checking the above will help ensure you can take action now before the weather gets too bad. Repairing and replacing fences after a storm is always more expensive so it’s better to act now instead of paying later.