How Cold Temperatures Affect Your Fence

Winter is a beautiful time in Central Florida. The weather cools down but isn’t too cold, and the cities light up with holiday lights and beautiful waterfront displays. Residents in Florida often appreciate the break from the sweltering heat, enjoying more time outdoors with the family.

While winter can be a fun time in Florida, it’s important to keep up with outdoor maintenance. Even though we don’t have a dramatic change in foliage, the cooler temperatures will affect your fence. Look out for these changes to your fence to prevent damage that surfaces in the spring:

Contractions

In the cold winters, the vinyl will contract and slightly change the properties of the vinyl fence, especially the joints. This can cause mild strain on them but typically won’t cause damage. Over time, these contractions can weaken the structure of your fence, so make sure to periodically check your vinyl to ensure it hasn’t shifted or that joints aren’t loose in the winter 

Wood Rot

The rain from the fall and potential ice (though rare in Hillsborough County) can cause water to seep into the wood and cause rot. While this isn’t as likely as it is in the summertime in Florida, it is still something you should account for when planning winter maintenance. If you notice cracks in the wood, seal them with wood putty and a coat of paint or stain, and be vigilant to remove ice if it does occur. 

Soil shifting

In Florida, the temperatures in the winter can go from a warm 70 degrees one week to a chilling 32 the next. This causes the soil to expand and contract just like the fence, which can weaken the foundation of your aluminum fence. Aluminum is lightweight and can occasionally move a few degrees in the winter as the soil changes. While it may not make a visual distance, it can cause your fence to slowly shift over the year. Be sure to pack soil and check for visual signs of leaning each winter. 

Fencing in Florida is easy to maintain if you watch out for signs of damage and address them proactively. To learn more about year-round fencing maintenance for your home or business, visit our resource center.

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