It is not uncommon for high winds to wreak havoc on fencing. This is especially the case for those of us living in an infamously gusty area like ours here in North Dakota.
Based out of Fargo, North Dakota, Liberty Fence & Deck Company is no stranger to crazy wind speeds, and if you live nearby, you aren’t either. In fact, as an Upper Midwest home or business owner, you are likely looking for a fencing solution that won’t keel over on the first storm of the year.
Notoriously Windy North Dakota
As a ND resident, you may not be surprised, but according to the National Weather Service, between the years 1950 and 2017, the highest recorded wind gust in North Dakota is a whopping 143 MPH!!! Somehow that is still classified as a ‘non-tornadic’ gust!
Now, if you’re going to install a fence in these infamous Upper Midwest weather conditions, you clearly want to make sure it can withstand such winds. The question is, how can you know which fencing material is the best choice for highly windy areas?
The long-time Fence Installation Team here at Liberty Fence is here with a few tips on what to consider BEFORE calling the shots on what type of fence to build in your back yard.
Wind – A Fence’s Worst Enemy
First of all, let’s take a quick look at how exactly wind affects a fence. It seems pretty self-explanatory right? Actually, evaluating wind patterns gives us more insight into the best way to build fences that can have immunity to wind generated collapse.
A scientific approach:
Many of the earth and atmosphere’s natural elements work in a similar manner. For instance, consider air and water. Wind can be compared to a river. Your fence can be compared to a beaver dam in that river. The tighter the logs and debris in a dam, the slower the water passes through it. If you contrast that with a fence, the concept is basically the same. The closer the slats in your fence, the more the wind builds up behind it and strains it. In some cases, a fence can become somewhat of a sail, causing stress to it, and consequently, you as well.
Comparing Fencing Materials for Wind Safety
Let’s go ahead and compare a couple of common fencing materials and building strategies you may already be considering.
Wood Picket Fences
One of the most commonly chosen Liberty Fence Co. styles is the wood picket fence. This popular design contributes to an aerodynamic style, in which the openings between slats allow wind to pass through the structure.
This strategy minimizes wear on the fence and makes it less likely to collapse in high winds. As mentioned previously, the wider the gaps, the more stable it will be in the wind. Unfortunately, the wider the gaps, the less private your space becomes.
There are some negative sides to a wood picket fence to consider. In many areas, high winds also bring rains. Water (either from rain, or your sprinkler) and other natural elements could result in damage to this kind of fence. If, however, you choose a wood picket fence, proper maintenance will prevent it from those natural elements.
Maintaining your wood fence will also provide protection needed to hinder your fence from eventually rotting. Depending on the wood preservative and sealant, a wood picket fence could last 10 to 15 years before needing replaced.
Ornamental Aluminum Fencing
For those not necessarily in need of privacy, why not consider Liberty Fence Company’s ornamental aluminum (also known as wrought -iron) fencing. In addition to its desirable strength, it is also stately and secure, with virtually no wind resistance!
Unlike wood, aluminum fencing won’t dry out, rot, warp, or deteriorate quickly. It is also impervious to pests. In terms of security, wrought iron fences are hard to beat, because they’re hard to break.
Though privacy lessens with wrought iron fences, the thin profile makes it an ideal choice to bring an impressive backdrop (such as a flower garden, or your beautiful home) into focus. It is elegant, classic, and can be either simple, or ornate depending on your preference. With sound durability, a wrought iron fence can stand the test of time and endure winds effortlessly.
Not completely sold on wood or iron? Liberty Fence Co.’s PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) fencing is another possibility. Here at Liberty Fence Co., 6 foot PVC fencing is our customers’ most popular fence, and one that we very much recommend.
Here’s the draw:
Many like the simplicity and effectiveness of a wood picket fence, but the thought of more upkeep causes hesitation. On the other hand, some love the strength, security and wind resistance of wrought iron, but the lack of privacy is a deal breaker for them. With PVC, it’s not impossible to have both!
In comparison to wood, PVC is about five times stronger! Besides that, its flexibility contributes to that overall strength and resilience, making it far less likely to break even in the windiest conditions. A perfect choice for windy areas!
Another bonus in comparison to wood is that PVC fences will always be untouchable by problems like termites, rotting, warping, or mold. However, like any kind of fence, it is not 100% exempt from its own downfalls. PVC fencing can easily be grass stained, but is also easily cleaned with something as simple as dish soap and a garden hose.
Weather (and Fool) Proof Fencing
If you’ve been sitting on the fence, trying to decide what kind of fence to install given harsh weather conditions, hopefully this analysis has helped you come to a decision that you can be confident with.
The great thing is, Liberty Fence Co. is ready to help you install whatever solution you decide on for your fencing. You don’t have to brave the wind storm alone.
Contact Liberty Fence Company right away and let us get started on building the perfect fence that will withstand whatever nature throws at it!