Top Line Fence

Winter Fence Maintenance

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When winter blows into Glenwood and other areas of Chicagoland, the natural tendency for most of us is to huddle inside our homes and mostly forget what’s going on outside. Once you’ve packed up the patio furniture, put the lawnmower into hibernation and checked the insulation on the water pipes, it’s easy to settle into an indoor routine, depending on your furnace and warm drinks to keep winter at bay.

Winter Damage

The downside is that Chicagoland winters can damage your fencing in many different ways. Prolonged exposure to rain and snow can weaken wood fences, exposing them to mildew, rot and insects. Changing temperatures can also cause wood fences to expand and contract, creating knotholes, opening your fence to rot and insects. Heavy precipitation can rust metal fences, soak the soil and compromise the cement footing around fence posts, while falling limbs weighted down with snow and ice can inflict considerable damage.   

Maintenance Tips

The good news is that you can take a few basic steps to minimize winter damage to your fencing.

Slow wood decay – Before winter arrives, inspect your wood fence and repair cracks and knotholes with wood filler and replace heavily damaged boards. Consider applying a new coat of stain or protective sealant to preserve the wood.

Prep metal fencing – Inspect your metal fence and remove any rust with a wire brush, then repaint with rust-resistant paint.

Clean your fence – Remove accumulated debris that can inhibit air flow and trap moisture.

Cut back overhanging branches – Walk along your fence line and cut back any overhanging branches that might fall and damage your fence.

Clean the cement footings – Clean off dirt and debris that can trap moisture in the cement causing it to crack, weakening the integrity of your fence. 

Make small repairs – A few stop-gap measures can help your fence get through the winter. These include pounding popped nails back into the wood, using wood filler to close knotholes and silicone caulk to fill any gaps between the concrete footing and fence posts.

If you need help with fence maintenance and repair, or if your fencing is damaged beyond repair, reach out to Top Line Fence. We’ve been installing, maintaining and replacing fencing in Glenwood and other Chicago suburbs since 1972, and we want to help you. Call us today at 773-637-2122 and let one of our contractors give you a free, no-obligation installation, maintenance, repair or replacement estimate.

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