How to Ready a Wood or PVC Fence for Ottawa’s Cold Weather
There’s no use denying it any longer: it’s not yet freezing, but the warm, balmy weather is gone and winter is coming fast on its heels. The good news is that we’re due for the warmest winter in 18 years, if meteorologists are on the mark. The catch is that in eastern Ontario and western Quebec—i.e. the Ottawa region—there are predictions of ice storms as a consequence. If you have a fence in Ottawa, you’re going to need to prepare it for the winter weather so that it can continue serving you for years to come.
Keeping Debris Away
For the most part, the leaves have done their falling—but have you cleared them away from the borders of your yard? While dead leaves may not seem that dangerous, it’s important to realize that they are decaying organic matter as well as moisture traps. By allowing a buildup of leaves around a wood fence, you’re inviting mold, rot, and decay into your boards. Even a PVC fence in Ottawa is not entirely safe, since the increase in moisture can cause algae growth. These effects can be compounded by allowing snow to settle over the leaves, so be sure to clear them away—along with twigs, branches, and other organic matter—before the snow starts piling up.
Inspect Your Fence
If it’s not corrected before the snow comes, you may have to wait until spring to fix any damage to your fence. In Ottawa, that could mean as late as May, giving things plenty of chances to get worse. If your fence is wood, inspect it for signs of rot, loose boards or posts, warping, cracking, or sagging, and repair or replace what you can. If your Ottawa home has a PVC fence, there will be less risk of damage, but you should still inspect it for cracks. The cold weather will make the vinyl less flexible, making it more vulnerable to heavy impacts, so make sure it’s structurally sound now.
This is also a great opportunity to check the water-proofing of your wood fence. Splash some water at it—if the water beads up, the waterproofing is still intact. If it soaks into the wood, or if you get inconsistent results across the board, then it’s time for a new coat of sealant. If you’re going to an Ottawa fence store for new sealant, be sure not to cheap out—quality matters when it comes to home care.
It’s important to keep on top of your maintenance as much as you can all winter long. This means not allowing excessive amounts of snow and ice to build up, whether you have a wood fence or a PVC fence in Ottawa. Stay vigilant, and your fence should make it through intact!