Worried about how your fence will stand up to high winds? Fear not!
The location of your property can impact how exposed your fence is to weather. Properties on hills, near the coast or surrounded by open land (like fields) are more susceptible to high winds throughout the year.
Knowing which fence types are best capable of withstanding wind can give you peace of mind and save you money on repairs or replacements down the line.
There are plenty of different choices when it comes to wood fence types that are well-suited for wind. Generally, fence styles that have gaps to allow the wind to pass through are best.
Dog Ear style fences look great and can be installed in a variety of heights. Traditional Dog Ear style fences do not have gaps between the panels, but are very sturdy. Dog Ear fences can be built to resemble more of a picket-style fence by adding in gaps/spaces between some of the panels. The openings between slats allow for wind to pass through the fence structure, which reduces the pressure on the fence.
Board-on-Board fences (sometimes called shadow box fences) are fences with staggered rows of pickets on each side of the fence rails. These fences can offer more privacy while still allowing some wind flow through the fence to relieve pressure on the structure. While this style won’t allow as much air flow as a fence with wider spaced pickets, it’s still a choice that will withstand windy conditions better than fences with little or no spacing between pickets.
The build for this fence type is essentially the same as Louvered non gapped, but the pickets are angled a bit more to provide space between them. Louvered Nail Up with gaps can't be built since the pickets are overlapping and nailed through each other to the rails, leaving no possible space between them. Picture Frame Louvered with gaps can be built because the boards are nailed to the top and bottom rails.
No matter the wood fence style, it’s critical that the posts are properly installed. To ensure the structural integrity of your fence, the post depth below ground should be at least 1/3 of the height above ground. The ratio may vary between 1/3 and 1/2 since posts are available in lengths of 8', 10', 12' & 14'. In addition to quality installation, proper care and maintenance of your fence are crucial. Taking care of minor board damage and other issues before they develop into major structural problems is key.
Chain link fences stand up well to high winds. When the wind blows, it can blow right through the gaps in the chain link, which means little to no pressure on the overall fence structure. Chain link fences will require virtually zero maintenance because the metal used is galvanized including the wire mesh. galvanized metal has been treated using a special process that makes it less likely to rust or warp. Metal is also stronger than wood and won’t sag or lose strength over time like a wood fence might. The potential downside to this fence type for residential areas is that it offers less privacy than wood alternatives.
Vinyl is a great option material for building a fence that, when properly reinforced with metal and additional fasteners, can stand up to high winds while providing full privacy. Like other privacy fences, a vinyl fence will take the brunt of the wind head-on. However, unlike wood vinyl has some ‘give’ which allows it to bend slightly without breaking or collapsing.
Vinyl is typically cheaper than wood and is also more durable and low-maintenance. The synthetic material will look great for a long time as it is less susceptible to things like rot, insect damage and mold than wood. Vinyl can be a great option if you’re interested in a combination of value pricing and high wind resistance.
Regardless of which fence style you choose, it’s always best to have your fence professionally installed. Contractors will use higher quality materials and expert installation techniques that will make your fence stronger and last longer.
With the proper installation and maintenance, any one of the fence styles described in the article would be a great choice for withstanding wind!