It happened!

Denver “technically” got its first snow storm of the season last night. Now, I say technically because if you live in this area of Colorado, you know that all the snow is generally melted away by lunch.

You also know that there is definitely more snow on the way, so keeping your property’s features (like decks, pergolas and fences) in good condition is now a more pressing issue.

But how do you properly take care of these features – specifically fences – to ensure their survival through this winter season? Here’s how:

 

1. Water Proof Fence Stains

During the spring and summer seasons, long-term exposure to heat and sunlight tend to be the biggest factors leading to damage.

For obvious reasons, this isn’t the case during winter.

Prolonged exposure to the snow’s moisture actually weakens the wooden fibers of your fence. This not only affects the structural integrity, but it puts your material at risk for mold, mildew and eventually rot.

That’s why you’ll need a water proof fence stain for optimal fence maintenance.

PRO-TIP: While we don’t specifically recommend any particular product, if you are using natural wood (like Cedar or Redwood) you’ll want to use something that is oil based.

 

2. Know That Changing Temperatures Changes Your Fence

Living in Colorado, our winters are quite interesting. Heavy snow fall that is melted away by noon can surely be considered a privilege.

At the same time, these rapid changes in temperature can affect your fence. This causes your fence materials to expand and contract, causing knots to fall out leaving your pickets full of holes.

And be sure that on these type of days you’re checking your fence for those holes. If left unaddressed your fence becomes susceptible to rot and wood eating insects.

 

3. Constant Check Ups

Building off the previous section, another great line of defense for fence maintenance is to regularly check up on your fence during this season – especially after storms.

Look for any damage or imperfections so you can fix them before they get any worse. Plus, the moisture can seep into the soil and form sinkholes, landslides or shifts that could impact the support posts.

So always check up on your fence’s condition to fix any issues before they get too detrimental or expensive to fix.

 

4. Routinely Clean Your Fence

You’ll also want to be sure to clean your fence from any leaves or other organic matter that has set into your rails or is between boards.

This debris actually inhibits air flow in the wood and creates a trap for moisture. And as we’ve addressed previously, moisture is VERY detrimental to your fence.

 

5. Cleaning Your Cement Footings

Yes, you should be clearing these from debris, dirt or any other matter as well. Cement is actually able to trap moisture, just like wood.

And with that trapped moisture, the cement cracking is very likely to occur. Thus affecting the structural integrity and leading to possible repairs.

PRO-TIP: If any materials throughout this season start to see issues, promptly replace them. Better to repair a few boards than an entire section!

 

Concluding Thoughts

All in all, fence maintenance can be really easy. A lot of good maintenance involves a homeowner who is willing to set aside those 5 minutes to do a casual inspection and take note or fix any issues they see.

We know that there is a lot of information on this subject of proper fence maintenance, some of which we may not have touched on. That being said, feel free to call us to speak with a specialist who can answer any and all of your questions.