High winds can wreak havoc on your fence and your property. If a recent storm left your fence damaged or destroyed, there are some important things you should know.
Check out these tips for what to do (and what not to do) when wind damages your fence, how to use insurance to cover the damage, whether to repair or entirely replace your fence and how to make the most of your fence investment going forward.
A damaged fence in your yard can be a serious issue so it’s understandable that you want it fixed as quickly as possible. However, don’t rush into a hap hazard DIY fix or select the first contractor you find.
Trying to repair the fence yourself can lead to serious physical injury or major property damage if you’re not familiar with the process. Every property has underground lines for water, gas, etc. An inexperienced person doing even seemingly minor repairs to your fence line runs the risk of hitting these lines, which can result in thousands of dollars in damage and injury. For these reasons and more, generally a DIY fence repair or replacement is a bad idea.
Reputable contractors will be familiar with the regulations before replacing a fence. This includes contacting an Underground Service Alert organization so that your property can be marked for utilities before any digging or fence installation starts.
Saving a few days or a few dollars is not worth the risk of doing the project yourself or using an irresponsible contractor.
Some insurance policies will cover damage done to your fence or property. If you check with your insurance provider, you may be able to get help paying for your fence replacement.
You’ll likely need pictures of the damage from multiple angles as well as measurements. Once you submit the claim, an adjuster will assess the damage and you’ll have to wait for the claim to be approved. We’ve created a step-by-step guide for how to use your homeowner’s insurance to cover damage to your fence here. You can always contact your insurance provider to learn more about the process.
When wind or weather impacts your fence, it can be hard to know if repairing or replacing it is the better option. In some cases, only a portion of your fence is damaged by a storm. In others, the majority of your fence may be completely ruined.
Generally, if the majority of your fence is in decent condition but there are a few areas of concern, scheduling a repair would be the best option. A repair job can be anything from replacing a few planks to fixing a small section of your fence line. You can read more about different types of fence repair here.
However, if your current fence is structurally unstable or multiple elements or sections have been damaged, a full replacement is the way to go.
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. If you’re ready to invest in a new fence that’s prepared to face future wind storms, here’s a short guide.
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.
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. Metal is also stronger than wood and won’t sag or lose strength over time like a wood fence might.
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.
Your fence is an important part of your property. A well-constructed fence built with quality materials and maintained with proper care will be long lasting and can help you have the property you love. Whether a recent storm has damaged your fence or you’re simply ready to replace your existing fence, give us a call.