How to Protect Your Ottawa Wood Fence This Winter

Winter brings many things to Ottawa – including numerous threats to your wood fence.  Harsh Ottawa winters can put the final nail in the coffin of your aging fence or significantly impact the life of your new fence. The impacts from snow, ice, and wind can be mitigated with a few steps to protect your Ottawa fence.

Prevent Falling Limbs
Snow can overload limbs, causing them to snap, break, and hit your fence causing structural damage. Trim your branches back now before it gets too cold and your motivation to do so is the same as watching a Maple Leafs game.

Prevent Moisture Build Up
Snow exposes your wooden fence prolonged moisture, leading to the potential for mold, mildew, and rot. Take the time to stain your fence with a good oil based stain before the winter months come. And when the winter and snow comes, try to keep the spaces between your fences clean. Fallen leaves, debris, and snow can trap additional moisture where the wood is weaker.

Prevent Warping by Using the Right Materials
Temperatures rise and fall – even in Ottawa we get plenty of warmer days. The drastic changes in temperature can play havoc with wood fences as they expand and contract at a rapid rate, creating knotholes in your fence. While unattractive, the bigger problem with knotholes is they are places where pests like to hide. Furthermore, knotholes exacerbate pests.  We’re pretty sure you don’t have a time machine, so there is not a lot you can do about the materials of your current Ottawa fence, but we’d love to help you choose wood fencing materials for the Spring that are knothole resistant.

Prevent Shifting Soil
Again – time machine is most effective means for prevention here, as posts need to be about a meter deep. One of the biggest reasons is the soil beneath your fence can shift when the frost thaws causing your posts to shift. Your fence posts can also loosen when the soil shifts, compromising the entire structure of your fence.  Keeping the cement footings of your fence free of debris, dust, and dirt can help, keeping additional moisture from getting trapped next to the concrete, eroding it.

When Spring comes, check your posts and make sure they’re staying stable and straight. And run a string along the top of the fence to make sure it’s still level. If it’s not you’ll have to get your fence posts repaired.

Keep in mind Platinum does repairs in early spring, but only when the weather is warmer than freezing as it’s nearly impossible to work with cement when temperatures are extremely cold. When Platinum installs Ottawa fences, we put our posts a meter underground to ensure to get past the potential frost line. By doing this deep, you eliminate any worries of your posts shifting or getting loose during the spring thaw.

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