A fence is a great investment for almost any homeowner. It enhances the look of a yard, protects personal property, keeps pets and children safe inside, and may provide privacy. Fences are vulnerable to weather and wind, especially without proper care. This article will help you understand how to protect your fence from damaging wind and learn which fences can withstand the strongest winds. It will also answer some frequently asked questions about fences and wind damage.
Tips to Protect Fence from Wind
There are some things you can do to keep your fence safe from wind:
Inspect and Maintain
Inspect your fence for loose or rotting posts frequently, and repair as needed. Fix loose or damaged boards right away as they are likely to fly off and cause further damage when exposed to strong winds.
If you experience strong winds frequently, it is a good idea to reinforce your fence. This can be done with wood, metal, or concrete and will make the fence more stable and able to withstand frequent strong winds.
Protect from Trees and Large Objects
During strong winds, fences are often damaged by other objects rather than the wind itself. To help prevent this from happening put away or secure large objects when they not being used or when you expect there to be heavy winds. Trim all trees near your fence line and remove any dead or dying trees in your yard.
Close and Lock Gate
This one is very simple. Keeping the gate of your fence closed and locked will prevent it from swinging during winds. A swinging gate is likely to become damaged and cause damage to adjacent fence. If you know wind is coming, definitely close your gate. In fact, it doesn’t hurt to keep it closed anytime it is not being used.
Which Fence Should Withstand the Strongest Wind?
In general, metal is the fence material that will withstand strong winds the best. Both steel and aluminum will do well in windy areas. Chain-link fences are a great choice as they allow the wind to flow right through the fence rather than putting all of its force directly on it. They are made of galvanized metal, which is a very strong material that will not lose strength over time. If you want a fence that provides privacy, however, this is not the fence for you.
If you are looking for a fence that provides both privacy and resistance to wind, vinyl is generally a better choice than wood. Vinyl has a bit of give that helps it hold up against wind without breaking. It is also not vulnerable to rot and pests, like wood is, so it retains it strength better over time with very little maintenance required. When vinyl fences are reinforced, they offer a high level of wind resistance while providing full privacy.
Wood fences are naturally the least resistant to wind. However, wood fences are very attractive and provide great privacy, so they are highly desirable. If you want a wood fence but are worried about wind damage, you can look for a vinyl fence that resembles wood. If you want real wood or already have a wood fence on your property, you can increase its wind resistance by following the tips to protect from wind that are listed above. You can also have a fence contractor come out to inspect your wood fence.
Regardless of the material that you choose for your fence, proper installation and upkeep will help your fence stand up to strong winds. Even wood fences can withstand winds quite well if they are installed into a concrete base and reinforced with metal brackets. Having your fence professionally installed will ensure that the posts are deep enough and properly reinforced. Following the tips to protect your fence from wind damage described in this article will make any fence more wind resistant.
No fence is completely wind resistant, but there are things you can do that will make a real difference. By choosing the right material and reinforcing and maintaining your fence, securing large objects, and trimming nearby trees, you can give your fence the best chance of surviving strong winds. If your fence does become damaged or fall down, be sure you and your family remain safe. Then you can decide how to proceed and prevent it from happening again.
Do You Need Gaps in Your Fence for Wind?
Gaps between posts can definitely help your fence withstand strong winds. Most metal fences naturally have large gaps between posts making them more wind resistant. Wooden fences are less likely to have gaps, but they can be built with small spaces between posts. This will offer some privacy while increasing protection against strong winds. If your fence does not have gaps, you can still protect it against strong winds with reinforcement and proper maintenance.
Is Wind Damage to Fence Covered by Insurance?
In many cases, wind damage to fences is covered by homeowner’s insurance. Every policy is slightly different so contacting your insurance agent is the best way to find out exactly what your coverage will pay for. If your fence damage is covered, there is probably a deductible as well as a maximum limit so be sure to ask about these. This information can help you make an informed decision about how to proceed with repairing or replacing your fence.
If your fence is damaged by wind, be sure to take lots of pictures. Call your homeowner’s insurance company as soon as possible. Some policies do exclude wind damage, so you’ll want to find out if your fence is covered right away. Ask lots of questions to be sure you understand your coverage details.