Tips & Tricks

5 Proven Ways To Protect Your Fence In Winter

If you want to protect your fence in winter, you just need a little preparation and attention to detail.

Winter Weather VS. Your Fence

You finally did it. This was the year you invested in a brand-new fence for your property. All the compliments from your friends and neighbors have left you feeling warm and sunny, but now the weather is changing.

The leaves have fallen off the trees, the wind is beginning to blow, and the forecasters are even calling for snow. While we never know exactly what’s going to happen in Jersey, we do know that winter is here.

snow on a wood picket fence black and white photo

No matter what type of fence you have, winter weather can do a lot of damage. While wood fences can suffer the most damage during a winter season, PVC, chain link, and aluminum fences can also crack, break, and deteriorate due to winter weather.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to prepare and protect your fence this winter season. Keep scrolling to read it all, or click on the topic you want to read to jump to that section.


5 Ways To Protect Your Fence This Winter

1. Trim Your Branches

The first preventative measure you can take to protect your home or business’ fence is to trim any nearby branches.

Winter storms often bring heavy snow and ice to the New Jersey area. This precipitation can cling onto tree branches, weighing them down. When the weight becomes too much to bear, weak branches will often break off and fall on anything below them, including your brand new fence!

Large snow covered trees next to a snow covered split rail fence

Before snow is in the forecast, make sure you survey your property and check for any branches near your fences. You’ll want to remove any weak or dead looking branches. You can do this yourself or hire a tree removal service.

Sometimes, your neighbor’s branches will threaten your fence the most. Depending on what county or town you live in, you will have different rules over who is in charge of removing those branches. Make sure you check before you remove and always talk to your neighbor beforehand. Good fences aren’t the only thing that make good neighbors!

2. Keep Snow Away

Once we get a snowstorm in the Garden State, it’s time to clean up. While you’re shoveling or snow blowing your driveway, it can be really temping to move the snow to the closest area possible. Unfortunately, that area is sometimes right next to your fence.

snow piled up on a wood plank fence

Never pile up snow against your fence, especially when we get those wet and heavy snowfalls. The weight from your piles can crack, bend, and otherwise damage even the strongest materials.

Do the extra work (or pay the kid down the street) to redirect snow piles away from your fencing. Even if it’s just a little snow, another storm could add on even more weight and crack your fencing over time. It’s not worth it!

3. Keep Your Fence Clear

After a snow or ice storm, it’s also a good idea to go out and clear your fence off. Dust off any accumulated ice or snow with a broom or one of those snow removers you keep in your car.

This will not only keep the weight off your fence, but protect wooden fences from prolonged water exposure and damage. This is especially important for wood fences.

4.Watch Out for Shifting Soil

Temperature changes and precipitation during the winter months can shift your soil.

Since your fence posts are in the ground, this can also shift your posts – especially if they aren’t installed deep enough. Here at Artistic Fence, we install our fence posts far enough in the ground ground to prevent shifting during the winter months.

If your posts do shift, it is difficult but possible to fix. 

5. Check For Damage

Just as you would check your home, be sure to check your fence for damage after a blizzard rolls through and at the end of the winter.

If a fallen tree limb knocks down a section or wind blows out a picket, you’ll want to fix that as soon as possible. Call a local fence professional, like Artistic Fence, to give you a free estimate on fixing your winter fencing problem.

We’ve been helping home and business owners in the northern New Jersey area since 1983 and work all year long. You can give us a call at (973) 779-4540 or email us at info@artisticfencenj.com.


BONUS: 3 Tips For Protecting Wood Fences From Winter Weather

As we mentioned at the beginning of this post, winter weather can do a wider variety of damage to wood fences than other types, like PVC.

snow stuck to a wood picket fence and gate

At Artistic Fence, we build all our wood fences from cedar wood and offer protective staining services to help them last. Beyond installation, though, wood fences do require a bit more maintenance, especially in the winter. This is because while wood fences are beautiful, they are a natural and flexible material with pores. Moisture and cold temperatures can wreak havoc on wood fences if you don’t prepare them properly.

Here are some things you can do before Old Man Winter arrives to prolong the life of your wood fence.

1. Pressure Wash

One of the best ways to clean your wooden fences are to clear away mold and mildew with pressure washing. Even if you don’t see the mold or mildew, it could be there.

bottom of wood fence with mold and mildew

You can either hire a professional or pressure wash the fencing yourself. If you do it yourself, just make sure you use the proper detergent, pressure rating, and nozzle for the job. Otherwise, you might damage your fence.

2. Seal Crack and Gaps

After some time, wood fences will start to show some small cracks and gaps. Like we said before, wood is a natural material and these wear and tear issues are normal. However, they also make your fence more susceptible to moisture.

You can seal these cracks and gaps before they become a winter headache with a caulking gun and some wood filler. Be sure to fully fill all the gaps and let the material dry before coating the surface with paint, stain, or sealant.

3. Weatherproof Your Wood Fence

Besides washing and sealing, you can also weatherproof your wood fence to protect it during the harsh winter months. You can use stain or paint, but we recommend using one that also has some level of UV protection.

If you’re not sure what to use, you can call your fence installer or your local painter for advice.


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