In the storm season fast approaching, it is important to check that your fences are secure. Fence damages amount to nearly half of all storm claims during the winter season, which is why fence care is so important at this time of year.
Damaged fences are a constant problem in Western Australia in the winter months. During the last 3 winters, fence damage has contributed to 42% of all storm damage claims between May and July. Winter storms tend to damage the structural integrity of fences and gates. Flash floods, heavy rains, high winds and hail cause damage to homes and property. If left unchecked such damage could lead to more expensive problems.
Pools of water that sit at the base of fence posts tend to soften the ground, posing a huge risk. With time, stagnant water that isn’t addressed could cause the rotting of timber posts and rusting of metal posts. Replace your fencing once you notice any rust or rot on the posts. Your best bet is to go for stainless steel or aluminum fencing as these are more durable and rust-proof.
The strong winds characteristic of Perth can sway fencing and move the earth at the base of the posts, thereby causing instability. Hardifence is the type of fence most likely to be affected by strong winds. If you live in a high wind area, you should consider switching to an alternative fence type such as Colorbond. Colorbond steel fences are available in 14 different colors to complement any landscape or building. They are strong, secure and attractive and make for a good investment to add value and appeal to your property.
It is advisable that you check for unstable bases and ensure that the earth is packed tightly around your fences. Soil height variation is a big contributor to fencing going down. If you identify soil height variation, then you should consider removing it or putting in a retaining wall. Retaining walls can be built in all sizes and shapes, with a diversity of options to suit your style preferences. These walls are highly durable ad expertly engineered to serve as a stabilizing force.
Another effective way of avoiding storm damage is by inspecting for breaks and cracks that could occur during a storm, as well as replacing any slats that are damaged. All trees, branches or shrubs near a fence should also be pruned back to prevent them from causing damage during wild weather.
Another issue is the rusting or damaged hinges and screws. Misalignments resulting from dropped hinges and screws could impact the integrity of your gates or fences, as well as their functionality. When replacing these, ensure that you go for stainless steel hinges and screws to prevent the same issues in future.
With building damage also contributing to 56% of storm damage claims, it is recommended that property owners take preventative action. While the sun is still shining, do a check on structural safety or hire a professional to inspect your property and fences so as to ensure that you don’t get any unpleasant surprises this coming winter.