How to Protect Your Wood Fence in the Winter

The brisk of the cold weather is slowly creeping back into the present. The shock from extreme conditions of last year still haunts every Toronto and GTA resident as we keep our fingers crossed for a much milder winter season. Unfortunately, predictions have been publicized, most notably by the Farmers’ Almanac, which has suggested this winter will be equally as harsh as the freeze of last year.

For homeowners, that means preparation becomes essential to getting through another brutal winter. You need to ensure that your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is up-to-date and working properly inside your home so your family is warm for the duration of the winter. But you also need to take care of the outside of your home, and for clients of Total Fence Inc., the leading provider of custom decks in Toronto, that means taking care of your wood fence.

Tips to Protect Your Wood Fence in Winter

The biggest tip when looking for how to preserve a wooden fence is to be proactive. Waiting until spring to start doing maintenance will dramatically increase the likelihood of costly damage and repairs and will create an unsightly mess in the interim. Protecting a wood fence from the weather is not a laborious undertaking and only requires that you keep up on some routine maintenance and care.

Be Mindful of Moisture

The big reason why you need to protect a wood fence from winter is moisture. Snow is still water, after all, and even if it appears locked up and frozen to the naked eye, small bits are constantly melting into the surrounding area. Any snow that lies against your fence, therefore, will be a constant source of moisture infiltration and poses the expected risks of mould, mildew, and rot.

One of the best ways to protect from moisture damage is to stain your fence ahead of the winter season, ideally with an oil-based stain. Even with a proper coating, however, you will need to do proper maintenance. The space between the slats of the fence should be kept clear and inspected on a weekly basis or after a major snowfall. In addition to clearing out snow, leaves and debris will also need to be taken care of since these can also trap excess moisture.

Before even thinking of maintaining your wood fencing in Toronto, it’s crucial to pick the right type of wood to build the fence in the first place. The wrong wood can form knotholes when it expands and contracts, which can be a breeding ground for pests. Visit our web site for woods that work well in the winter and are difficult for knotholes to form within.

Wood fencing, in Toronto specifically, needs to be specially cared for. That’s because the excess moisture from the snow accumulates on the fence without any warm days in-between to dry itself off, which can lead to mould and rot. To fight against this and properly protect your wood fencing in Toronto, you need to find a strong oil-based stain prior to the cold season setting in; this will make a major difference in fighting off excess moisture. It is also a good practice to clean the spaces in-between your fences, as unattended leaves and a buildup of snow can trap in moisture and weaken the base of your wood fencing.

Deepen the Posts

Protecting a wood fence from winter means tackling not just the snow but the ice as well. Frost can form along the fence posts and threaten the structure’s stability by causing undesired shifts in position. If your fence posts are less than three feet underground, you may wish to replant them. Alternatively cement holders can be installed to keep the posts firmly in place. Much like with the fence slats, you will want to keep the cement clear of snow and debris during winter.

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to do either of these steps once winter is already underway. In this situation, the only way to preserve a wooden fence is by keeping an eye on the posts. Give the fence a check over at least once every two weeks or after any large fluctuation in temperature. If a post is uneven and the ground has warmed enough, you may be able to adjust it yourself. Otherwise, the only recourse is to wait until spring.

The next preventative method is something you need not worry about if you hire Total Fence Inc. to do your wood fencing in Toronto for you. Soil shifts when it thaws after the cold season is over and unless your poles are dug deep enough past the frost line, they can shift and loosen your fence; that means additional repair or unnecessary maintenance work, which will cost you more money. Get it right the first time by letting us at Total Fence Inc. do the fence installation for you.

The last thing to keep in mind that you may not realize as a homeowner is that tree branches can actually break and damage your wood fence. So save yourself some hassle and break those branches before the winter starts; it shouldn’t take long and will save you from having to perform damage control once spring rolls around.

But as much as you try, nothing is foolproof. If any damage does occur or if you need a new fence installed, we are here to help you any way we can. Visit Total Fence Inc.’s web site for details on styles of fences and how we can adjust any fence to accommodate whatever look and function you need for your home.

Look for a Fence Maintenance Company Near You

Fencing contractors tend not to get a lot of install orders during the winter, but that doesn’t mean they just sit idly by. Your local fence maintenance company can provide the expertise and diligence needed to protect a wooden fence from the weather and keep it in shape throughout the winter months.

Get Professional Wooden Fence Maintenance This Winter

Total Fence Inc. has the knowledge, expertise, and talented fencing contractors to help you repair and care for and any wooden fencing this winter season. Contact us at 416-239-5362 to speak with a consultant and learn more.


“4 Tips on How to Protect a Wood Fence in Winter,” A-1 Fence Company web site, December 5, 2012;