Wind is essential for dispersing seeds, moving sailboats and twirling those newfangled wind turbines. But wind is not a fence’s best friend. And here in the great state of Texas, we know wind all too well. Our customers in DFW contend with wind for seven months of the year, from fall into early June, with an average wind speed of 10.7 miles per hour. That beats Chicago’s 10.3, and supposedly it’s the Windy City.
If you’re wondering why Dallas is so dang windy, it’s because the flat, unobstructed land of the Great Plains stretches from North Dakota down to the Lone Star State. With nothing to block the wind, it just keeps going and going.
If you want to know about the best types of fences for windy areas and how to brace a fence against wind, read on.
Wind Resistant Fencing
Our customers who don’t yet have a fence, or who want to replace their old one with a new one, are in the perfect position to plan ahead for wind and other inevitabilities of life. They often ask us which fence should withstand the strongest wind. We’re partial to the seven-foot-wide stone wall of the average medieval castle, preferably surrounded by a moat of gators. But most HOAs forbid walls and gators, so the next best option is a fence that lets some wind pass through. Wind gets ornery when met with solid objects, and has been known to push them over. But panels with small slits in them or pickets with a little space between will fare better than the popular wooden privacy fences with vertical planks set tightly together.
Customers also ask us how to brace a vinyl fence against wind. These fences need extra support via concrete set, metal posts to keep them upright.
Chain link fences stand up best to windstorms and is why we included it in our featured customer photo for this article. The photo was installed for a Texas ranch owner with a gorgeous view. However, the wind was strong at the top of the ridge and required a chain link metal fence that could be anchored securely in rock, while allowing for wind to pass through. While many people find chain link unsightly for their homes, if you’re securing a business, industrial area or hiking trail, consider this durable material.
Whichever kind of fence you choose, it needs to be anchored right to withstand high winds. Think steel posts set in concrete footings at least 30 inches deep. After all, you don’t want a fence post moving in the wind. Your posts should stand no more than seven feet apart. Add three or four horizontal rails and you have the best fences for windy areas.
Securing Loose Objects Helps Storm Proof Fencing
Strong winds have a way of picking up loose items of all sizes, and you never know where they’re going to come down. One of the keys to storm proof fencing is securing those lawn chairs, barbecues and other large items before they slam into your fence. Treat your fence right by staying up to date with the weather channel and taking precautions when necessary. That means moving toys and planters into your house or a shed. If items are too big to move, secure them to the ground with stakes or bungee cords.
How to Keep Fence from Blowing Over: Trim Trees
Trees have a way of losing limbs when the wind comes up. Don’t put off trimming those overhanging limbs and branches. What’s a beautiful, leafy, flowering wonder now can change overnight into a heartless fence crusher. And if you have a diseased or dying tree, that’s going to do exponentially more harm than a lone branch to your fence—not to mention your car, house and family—when the wind gets to howling.
Haven’t planted trees yet? That pretty little sapling is going to be a giant in a few years, so plan ahead and find it a nice spot in the yard away from your fence and your house.
Maintain a Fence vs. Seek a Windproof Fence
Don’t wait for that hurricane or storm warning before you check for any loose boards, posts or panels. Put down that beer, turn off the TV and take a look right now. Is that post starting to wiggle out of the ground? Are bugs and little critters degrading your pickets? A poorly-maintained fence will be no match for strong winds. Remember, shipshape fencing is wind resistant fencing.
How to Brace a Fence Against Wind
Now, any self-respecting Texan knows better than moving to Florida. But did you know that Texas ranks second in hurricanes after that more accident-prone state? Yep, 64 hurricanes have hit Texas since 1851, which is apparently when folks started keeping track of this sort of thing. Of these 64 hurricanes, 19 of them were category 3 through 5. That’s a lot of ailing fences, believe you me. If a hurricane is headed toward your fence, you’ll be Googling “how to stop fence blown down in wind” in no time. The answer? Do everything listed above, pray, and perhaps secure that fence with hurricane straps for extra reinforcement. Consult the weather channel to see which direction the hurricane is coming from, and drive a few stakes into the ground and add angle braces. If you have signs on your fence, take them off so they don’t turn into flying guillotines. Secure your gates in the open position to let wind pass through. But secure it real well, so that gate doesn’t get to swinging.
Give us a Buzz
We understand that not everyone has time in this busy life to give their fences all the care and attention they need. And not to sound too full of ourselves, but not everyone has our level of experience. After all, fences are our business. If you have more questions about windproofing fencing or the best fences for windy areas, give your friends at Buzz a call today.