Your Fence and Illinois Weather
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Illinois Weather in Mundelein
When it comes to Illinois weather, it doesn’t come easy. We are constantly hit with tornadoes, hail storms with the size of golf balls, winds that reach over 25 mph, and freezing winter storms that can be over 5 feet deep. But with any exterior, you want to know what to look for so you can keep up on your seasonally check lists or if you are looking for the right type of fence that can withstand the ever changing climate.
Heat & Cold
Usually when the temperature drops for wintertime, some fences become brittle and less flexible. When this fragility is combined with pressure, the fence may crack or break. This is where you normally see broken fences behind snow drifts. In addition, some fences expand in hot temperatures, which can lead to damage if the fence isn’t flexible enough to allow for some expansion and contraction. It can also cause the fence to warp, which can pull the boards off the fasteners. After both extreme heat and cold weather, inspect your fence for cracks in the boards or for posts that aren’t straight which can be due to warping.
With fences being away from the house, it gets the most sun as there is typically no shade to protect the fence. We love to bask in the sun on summer days, but some fences can become discolored or degraded when subjected to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Take wood fences for example, they are most commonly known for fading due to sunlight causing for constant staining and sealing. You should look for fences that are built to withstand strong sunlight. For example, most modern vinyl fences contain titanium dioxide (TIO2), which prevents UV degradation, and some stains and finishes provide protection from UV rays.
With any permeable material, it can create mold, mildew, or rot. Untreated wood fences are particularly susceptible to moisture damage. A fence that is soft to the touch or a post that can be pulled off a fasteners can be an indication of rot (which will need to be replaced), and any small empty nail holes or cracks from splitting should be patched with putty. Look for fences with waterproof treatments or choose an impenetrable material like vinyl or aluminum.
Snow & Ice
While snow can be really nice to look at when falling, it has the same drawbacks as rain, sleet, and other forms of moisture. Of course when the snow melts, mold, mildew, and rot are a possibility. But, snow and ice can put a lot of pressure on a fence when accumulated at the top. For thin aluminum fences, this likely isn’t that much of a big deal unlike thick wide fences that have flat surfaces or large post caps. The weight of accumulated snow or ice build up can cause sagging, warping, or cracking. Be sure to choose a sturdy strong fence and have it properly installed to avoid winter weather damage. In addition, try to brush off large amounts of snow if it begins to pile up on your fence.
Illinois is graced with some dramatic hail storms that produce golf ball or even softball-sized hail, so you know how destructive it can be. In addition to your roof and cars, fences are also a target from hail causing unsightly marks or even holes. Wood fences are again, quite susceptible to damage. If hail is of concern to you, consider aluminum fencing as it is not so easily defaced.
While wind is not much of a problem for Illinois, storms can still produce winds that blow over equipment or trees, putting your fence in danger. Look for a fence that is structurally sound and composed of a sturdy material. Also, the construction must be matched with proper installation if you want your fence to withstand the wind. Some fence posts may need to be cemented into the ground to comply with code, but this also adds more stability to the fence itself.
Any weather has significant impact to anything that is in the way. Fences are supposed to keep things from either entering or leaving your yard. But when it comes to weather, the elements can get hard to deal with, although some materials are stronger than others with it comes to durability. So when comparing fencing options, take weatherability into account.
- How will your fence fair basking in the strong sun on summer days?
- Will your fence crack under the pressure of extreme temperatures?
- Is it durable to withstand gusts of wind?
Low maintenance fencing like vinyl and aluminum can generally withstand strong weather conditions. They are engineered to resist a variety of damage including corrosion, fading, rot, mildew, mold, sagging, peeling, chipping, rusting, and discoloration.
Note that most warranties do not cover damage caused by the weather. However, homeowners insurance policies often do cover fencing damage. Unless your policy states otherwise, your insurance likely covers your fence. But always remember to contact your agency just to be sure. In most cases, the cost to repair a fence isn’t much more than the insurance deductible. If this is the case, evaluate if its in best interest to file a claim or not.
If you are interested in purchasing a new fence, Durabilt Fence is here to help. Only here at Durabilt will you find the highest quality fencing products that are both virtually maintenance-free but also durable in Illinois weather conditions. No fencing project or repair is too big or too small for our professional staff. To learn more about our fencing systems, give us a call at 847-868-3150. We would be happy to help you select a fencing system that fits your needs and abates your concerns regarding the impact of weather on fencing.