It is currently wintertime here and the theme is COLD! Thus, the question arises: what are the best fence types for cold weather? Now, we understand that our local area does not have the coldest climate around. . . but this aspect is something to think about if your primary desire is for a fence that will last in all conditions, especially constantly changing ones. Plus, we sometimes don’t know what kind of weather we will get in this area! This past December was proof that we can achieve very cold temperatures in and around Maryland.
1. Steel – Number one on the list of cold tolerant fences is steel. Period. Steel fencing is almost completely resistant to water absorption, thus making it immune to issues caused by water expansion and contraction. Steel fences are strong and solid, there to stay. Steel fences are also immune to wind damage by design. The spaces between pickets allow for wind to easily pass through.
2. Trex Composite – If you get large amounts of snow and harsh winds on a regular basis, but you also want privacy, Trex is the fence for you. You can see more about this product on the Trex website or via our most recent blog post here. Trex is virtually undeterred by weight, heavy winds, and the cold.
3. Vinyl – Vinyl is a great product choice to withstand cold temperatures, but you may wish to consider what style option is necessary for your situation. What naturally comes with cold weather is wind and heavy snow. If you get large amounts of snow or wind, consider a more open style of vinyl that allows wind and snow to pass through. Vinyl privacy sections are not meant to hold up as well in windy conditions and against weight as the composite.
What about wood?
Sadly, wood is not listed above. Wood material, being natural, absorbs and holds water within it. This characteristic makes it susceptible to expansion and contraction as the weather changes. Over time, things like cracks and mold start to appear and general deterioration of the material itself starts to happen. We all know that wood fencing does not last forever no matter what we do. However, if steel, vinyl, or composite do not appeal to you over wood, there are some things you can do to make a wood fence more cold tolerant. . .
Steel posts- As mentioned previously, steel holds up extremely well against the cold. Many wood fences can be constructed with steel inside the posts, adding some strength and cold resistance to your favorite wood fence style. The fence pictured here is a great example. Each post has steel inside of it.
Treat your fence- Regularly applying stain or paint will preserve the general health of your wood fence and help resist damage and wear that comes with harsh weather conditions. See more about recommended treatment products here and more about treating pressure treated fences here!
Choose an open style- As previously mentioned, cold temperatures often bring wind and snow! Open styles of fencing, such as paddock, estate, or picket can allow wind and snow to pass through instead of pushing against the wood and potentially causing damage.