Prepare for Autumn: How to protect wooden fences from changing weather

Prepare for Autumn: How to protect wooden fences from changing weather

Autumn in Ottawa is known for its ever changing weather. Temperature can change drastically within the hours. You might be able to layer up or down, but what about your wooden fence? Don’t fret, we got some tips and tricks to help you maintain your wooden fence for the nasty autumn weather in Ottawa.

Take caution while snowplowing

This seems like a no-brainer but it tend to be overlooked. Bumping your snowplow into the fence might seem like not a big deal but by bumping into the fence, you are dislodging the foundation at which the fence sits.


Cut overhang branches

As snow overloads tree limbs they can break, snap, and fall. If they hit your fence they can do structural damage. The best defense against this is to trim your branches back before the winter ever starts.


Prevent fence mishaps

Another problem caused by the rapid changes in temperature is the possible bending and twisting of fences. How does the two correlate? Thermal expansion and contraction. When temperature drops, things tend to contract, while when temperature increases, things tend to expand. Without proper care this phenomenon will create holes in your fence where a knot has fallen out called “knotholes”. Google them and you will find that they are not attractive and they will weaken your fence. So how do you prevent this from happening? One, use a strong base, a.k.a. strong wood. Using high quality, strong wooden posts decreases the thermal movement of the wood. Second, use a strong stain. With a strong stain, it will be a layer of reinforcement that will hold your fences together.

thermal contraction and expansion


Prevent fence movement

Relating to the previous point, the expansion and contraction phenomenon also applies to the soil. This movement will typically move your fence. Check if the fence posts are installed deep enough, below the frost line. If not, get it re-installed.

depth of soil

Prevent rot, mildew, mold

As the days get shorter, less sun is available to dry off the excess moisture in your wooden fence. To prevent rot, mildew and mold due to excess moisture, apply an oil-based stain. Why oil? The basic chemistry behind this tip is that oil repels water. By applying an oil-based stain, it prevent excess water from seeping into the wooden crevices.

oil in water