The Great British Weather: is your fence ready for it?
As autumn and winter draw in your garden might not be the focal point of your home for the next few months, but now is the perfect time to carry out the maintenance required to make sure you’re prepared for winter and your home and garden are secure.
Use this time to assess whether a new fence or gate might be needed to withstand the upcoming seasons, to avoid time-consuming repairs or replacements come the summer months when you just want to enjoy your sanctuary.
Here are 5 things to look out for when considering if your fence is geared up for winter.
1. HOW UPRIGHT ARE YOUR POSTS?
It might sound like a strange question, but one of the most common causes of a leaning fence is because the posts themselves are poor quality and are rotting at ground level – and nobody likes a soggy bottom! Posts are arguably the most important aspect of your fence or gate as they need to support the wind loading that batters your fence panels.
Any weakness in your posts caused by poor quality timber, lack of treatment, and prolonged soaking in the ground and it’s a snap waiting to happen.
2. HOW GOOD IS YOUR TIMBER?
Not all timber is suitable for use in the ground, and some types aren’t susceptible to taking up the chemicals involved in treatment. The type of timber and then treatment applied is incredibly important in its ability to take on the Great British Weather.
At New Forest Fencing, we only use high quality timber, sourced from 90% British Woodland to ensure its sustainability. We pressure treat our timber on site, kiln-drying it and then later applying treatment layers. The result is strong, hard wearing timber posts, gates, or fence panels that are built to last.
Click here to find out about our timber treatment services.
3. ARE YOUR POSTS THE RIGHT SIZE FOR YOUR FENCE?
The higher your fence, the larger the surface area for wind loading – so you need to make sure that your posts are up to the job.
For a 1.8m high (above ground) fence post, go by these rules for the best chance of standing up to the Great British Weather:
Make sure the post is at least 600mm below ground
Secure the post in a straight-sided hole, with a bit of drainage at the bottom (usually gravel or ballast so it’s not sat in water).
Secure with at least 60kg of concrete.
In particularly windy areas, there’s no harm in opting for extra length, heavy duty posts for extra reassurance.
4. HOW SUSCEPTIBLE ARE YOU TO WIND?
No, this isn’t a personal question, honest! If your site is susceptible to strong winds, you’re best bet is to opt for fence panels designed for less wind resistance. Go for panels with gaps between the pales, but still offer privacy.
5. HOW ROBUST ARE YOUR FIXINGS?
You’ve made sure you’re using pressure treated timber, your posts are the right height with the right foundations – and they’re upright. Now you need to consider the fixings you’re using.
Only use screws and nails that are stainless steel or have been galvanised. Anything else and you’ll end up with rusty orange/brown trails running down your fence, and worse – cracks will start to appear in the panels, and it could come away from the post itself.
Assess your fence with all of the above in mind. It’s worth investing to make sure that your boundaries stand the test of time, are secure, and look great as it will pay dividends in the long run.
If you need a new fence and peace of mind that you’re getting high quality timber, the correct panels for your site, and at the right size - at New Forest Fencing we’re here to help. Offering manufacturing, treatment and installation, you can count on us to create a show (and wind) stopping solution for your needs.
With all this talk of soggy bottoms, cracks and wind - we can’t promise that it won’t have some Great British Bake Off puns thrown in there somewhere, but we can promise that we’ll uphold our assurance of high quality craftsmanship, hard work, and a friendly, personal service.
Contact us through our website, or call us on 02380 733442 to arrange a consultation.