What is the best fencing choice for the London Winter?by Thomas Cramphon Professional Gardener
Winter can be the best time of the year for you to install a fence at your backyard as long as the ground isn't frozen and if it's the right time for you. Although fencing can be done in any season, there's no reason to leave winter out.
Take advantage of the off-season
The winter can prove incredibly challenging even for ardent outdoor workers, but there is a chance for you to use it to your advantage. Being well into the off-season, many fencing suppliers see a drop off in business during the winter. If you’ve just moved home, for example, and the spring or summer seems too long to wait, you might find it easier to arrange for your dream fencing project in the less frantic winter period.
How can cold weather be a Villain for Fences?The cold climate also brings in many challenges for fences as it can affect the fencing material, causing it to break down or become fragile. The most common type and a cheaper fencing option is wood. But, the hard winter affects wood badly as the humidity content of the air will cause the wood to shrink.
Periods of wet and then periods of dry weather can cause cycles of shrinking and expanding for wooden fences that will push fasteners like nails and screws out of the fence, and can cause boards and rails to come loose.
Some materials, like vinyl fencing, are made of a material that doesn’t absorb water. Yet, as temperatures drop plastics enter a glassy state and become more brittle, making them prone to snapping upon sudden impacts. This makes PVC a less-than-perfect choice for fencing in a cold climate.
What Material Makes the Best Fencing for Cold Climates?
So what fencing material does do well in cold weather? From a purely structural standpoint, metals are the best material for cold weather fencing. The molecular structure of metals doesn’t absorb water, so they’re not as vulnerable to moisture-based swelling and shrinking. That’s not to say that water can’t work its way inside a metal fence, or that metal doesn’t contract. But water simply doesn’t saturate metals in the same way it does for wood.
There are a couple of fencing options that take advantage of this:
· Wood fences with metal posts have wooden pickets that are subject to the same water absorption and other problems as your average wooden fence. But by not depending on wooden posts to hold them up, the structure of these fences is sounder and lasts longer. A wood fence with metal posts usually stays up through at least a few winters.
· Steel fences with steel top rails, pickets, and posts are a good option to withstand the winter. No parts of steel fences are prone to water absorption, but water can collect in joints and around fittings. It is very rare that expansion or contraction problems affect these fittings, but it can happen. Typically, steel fences have spaced pickets that allow strong winds through, making them good fences for windy areas such as the Great Plains and the coasts.
· Aluminium fences share many of the same properties as steel ones. They, too, are built with an eye toward the “wrought iron” look. These fences, however, are a lot lighter than their steel counterparts, and easier to install. Depending on the quality of the fence, aluminium fences can be more prone to denting and bending than steel is. A more critical winter issue is galvanic corrosion, in which a high salt environment (like an area near a salted road in winter) creates a reaction between the steel fittings and the aluminium fence, causing the aluminium to corrode.
If. If you're looking for a fencing option that can withstand many of the challenges of winter weather, then go for the above choices. Or, if you prefer a better choice with preference to aesthetics, there are other choices but with weathering issues. While a wooden fence on metal posts can stay up through winter, its handsome youth will likely be short-lived.
The wood fibres of the pickets are forced apart by repeated expansion and contraction throughout the winter, forming areas where mold and rot can take hold. On lower-quality metal fences, the protective coating may crack and flake off as the metal contracts and expands with the temperatures, leaving the bare metal vulnerable to rust.
While you protect your backyard with winter-proof fencing, check out on how can you protect your garden during hard winter months.
Created on Nov 21st 2018 02:45. Viewed 136 times.
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