One concern with a wooden fence is that it can blow down in high winds. If you prefer the look of wood fences like cedar, you'll be relieved to discover that most blowdowns can be completely avoided by following a few basic guidelines when choosing and installing your fence.
1. Allow for Airflow
A solid surface is more likely to give out when hit with a high-speed wind gust. You can allow for air to flow through the fence without compromising security or privacy. Choose a shadowbox fence panel design. This is where the pickets are installed on alternating sides of the rail, resulting in an offset that allows the wind to blow through the pickets.
2. Plan to Prevent Rot
Rot and water damage weakens the fence, making it more like to blow down in high winds. The type of wood you choose for the fence during installation can mitigate this risk. Cedar is an all-around good choice, as it is naturally rot-resistant. As a bonus, it also naturally repels pests that could damage the wood, so a cedar fence is a good durable option.
3. Pick Your Posts
Posts can also be damaged by rot which will make them less secure in high winds. Metal posts are one option, although they aren't suitable if you prefer the entire fence to be made of wood. The best material for a wood fence is pressure-treated lumber, as the treatment makes the wood resistant to rot and water damage. Thicker posts are also less likely to break or take damage from the wind, so opt for the thickest posts that will work with your fence design.
4. Create Sturdy Footings
Strong materials are only one factor of a sturdy fence post. The footings must be done correctly so the posts don't move in the ground. Your installers will sink the posts below the frost line, which minimizes damage from thermal soil movement. Concrete, as opposed to gravel, is also a much better choice in windy climates, as the concrete will provide a much better anchor.
5. Seal the Water Gap
A gap will remain around each post between the wood and the concrete footing. Moisture can seep into this gap, where it can weaken the concrete and compromise the post footing so it can't withstand wind as well. A bead of caulk along the seam for each post will keep water out.
Talk to a wood fence installation service to learn more.
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