Winter is a hard season -- on you and on your fence! The snow, cold temperatures, and freeze-thaw cycles can lead to cracked or split wood, rotten fence posts, and dislodged panels. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to help protect your wooden fence from the harsh winter weather.
Ensure proper drainage.
Especially in the winter, rot often starts near the ground. As snow melts and puddles form, fence posts may begin rotting if they are constantly sitting in those puddles. If you ensure the area around your fence is properly drained, then the fence posts won't be exposed to as much water. Take some time to fill in any low spots near the fence. You may even want to have a landscaping expert come install drain tile or a series of ground drains to ensure water does not pool in the area.
Apply a waterproofing agent.
Applying a waterproofing solution to your fence may be something you do during the spring, but there's no harm in applying a second coat in the fall before the snow starts falling, too. Pick a dry day, and make sure you apply a generous coat of a quality sealant This will help keep moisture from the snow from seeping into the fence boards, which could be particularly important as snow falls and melts throughout winter.
Seal cracks and crevices now.
If your fence has any little cracks in it, they will just become larger over the winter. Water will work its way into the crack, and then when the temperature falls, the water will freeze into ice and expand. This will push the wood outward, expanding the crack.
If you have cracks in your fence, take the time in the fall to fill them with some wood glue or wood putty. You can make your own wood filler by mixing sawdust with wood glue until it forms a firm paste. You can use a spatula or paint stick to scrape over the filled hole and smooth it out. Do this on a dry day so that the mixture can dry for at least 24 hours before being exposed to moisture.
No matter the type of fence you actually have, if it is not in great shape, you may want to consider having a fence company like Citi Fence and Concrete come repair or replace it before the cold weather strikes. If you wait until the spring, you may have more extensive repairs to make once the cold and wetness have contributed to the destruction.