In the past couple of months, we’ve been seeing an increase of calls from people who lost their fences due to the weather. Most commonly, people see their fences falling over or being completely destroyed by the wind. Here in Sacramento, CA several broken fence homeowners have seen intense windstorms ruining their fencing investments.
A large majority of fences fall over because the wind pushes or crashes down nearby trees. The wind itself may not break the fence, but rather a large tree landing on it. A safe way to prevent a tree breaking your fence is by removing any overhanging limbs from near your fence. In some cases, you may have tree limbs near your fence because of your neighbors trees – asking them to remove those tree limbs would be a good idea. Make sure to remove any dead/dying trees, as a strong storm could easily uproot and fall over during a storm.
A heavy windstorm would have no problem launching objects into your fence. If you anticipate heavy winds, consider enclosing things like patio furniture, trash containers, and other objects at risk of being pushed into your fence.
Posts are what hold your fence up – they drive into the ground and provide stability. If they are loose or weak, wind could easily push them over – breaking the rest of the fence in the process. Fences made of vinyl or composite have posts that are particularly at risk of high winds, so make sure they are sturdy. Wood and metal fences may still have the same problem, but are generally more secure. Reinforcing with concrete is a great way to stabilize your posts – something we do with all of our metal fencing.
An unlocked gate is prone to swinging and smashing a fence – ensure you aren’t causing undue stress to your fence by securing your gate closed. If you want to be extra safe, you can remove your gate from it’s hinges and secure it in a safe place.
Rot is mainly a risk for wood fences/posts. Rot is a common way that posts became week. When installing a wooden fence, make sure to use rot-resistant lumber. If you notice rot after installation, reach out to the company that installed the fence and check to see if their warranty would cover a repair.
Beyond following the above recommendations, a general inspection of your fence before a windstorm is a safe bet. Look for loose panels, posts, gates, boards, etc. Repair them if necessary, or reach out to your installation company. Broken fence pieces can act as a weak point for your fence, but can also become a safety hazard during a storm.
When we install our iron fences and gates – we use our years of experience to prevent damage before it occurs. Unfortunately, we can’t always predict what might happen to your fencing when a storm hits – the above tips should be considered as a checklist to walk through when a storm advisery occurs. Ideally, you would follow the above tips as a soon as possible so you have time to respond to potential damages and repair them where necessary.