When fencing your property, you’d want to ensure that the fence you erect is strong enough to stand the test of time. Weather elements, like wind, rain, and snow, abound, and they can quickly destroy your fence if it’s feeble. A sturdy fence also effectively serves its purpose of keeping off burglars and other intruders and preventing your kids, pets, and farm animals from straying out of your yard. That said, here are seven practical tips for creating a strong fence around your property.
Use An Impenetrable Barrier
The barrier material you choose should be able to effectively block the particular intruder you’re concerned about. For instance, if your primary concern is preventing stray dogs from accessing your yard, it’d be unwise to use barbed wire, as dogs can easily squeeze through the openings. You’d be better off with other fencing materials, like metal mesh.
These are a perfect choice because they come with differently-sized openings. You can choose openings as small as you wish. Additionally, they offer adequate visibility across the fence line. That’s critical for a property line, as no animal or ill-intentioned human can hide behind the fence.
Aside from that, wire mesh is advantageous in the following ways:
- It’s easy to clean and maintain
- It’s budget-friendly
- It allows air and sound to pass through unobstructed, resulting in better ventilation and acoustics in your property
- Whether welded or woven, it retains its structural integrity for dozens of years
Use Strong Posts
A high-quality fencing material will do you no good if the posts aren’t robust enough. If you’re using wooden posts, you’d rather stick to cedar, locust, white oak, or whitewoods. These make the best fencing posts. For square posts, the cross-section should be 6 inches by 6 inches. The 4 by 4 ones may not always be strong enough to support the dead weight of the fencing material plus the live wind loads. For round posts, a minimum diameter of 6 inches would also be advisable.
Steel and plastic posts are also a worthwhile alternative, provided you use good quality and strong ones.
Drive The Posts Deep Enough
You’d also want to anchor the posts deep enough into the ground. The recommended minimum is about 3 feet below the ground level. This way, no external force can easily uproot them from the ground. If you have only 1 foot of the post below the ground level, even animals can knock the fence down and access your property.
Use Concrete For Firm Anchorage
While some property owners use soil for anchoring fence posts, you’d want to consider better alternatives, especially if the soil in your site is poor. Some soils, such as clay, are usually unstable. During the rainy season, they absorb moisture and swell, meaning they can exert undue pressure on the posts and perhaps bend, crack, or cause them to fail by shear.
During the dry season, clay breaks into loose dust particles, which may not be strong enough to support the posts. That’s also the case with sand. The best alternative is to pour concrete around the posts for firm anchorage. Once it properly sets, concrete is rigid enough and makes it difficult to uproot the posts by whatever external force.
Space The Posts Appropriately
As much as you’d wish to save on materials costs, don’t go overboard to the point of leaving overly generous spaces between the fence posts. An excessively long span may render some fencing materials weak. The ideal spacing depends on the specific fencing material you’re using. So, make a point of consulting the user manual or your manufacturer to get the spacing right.
Use Galvanized Fencing Staples
Staples are used to attaching the fencing material to the posts. If they’re not of good quality, they can quickly give way a few months down the road and leave the wire mesh or barbed wire unattached. Given that they’re usually exposed to water, fencing staples are particularly susceptible to rust. Thus, going with the galvanized variety ensures they stay intact for decades without rusting and getting corroded.
Treat The Posts Against Termite Attack And Corrosion
Wood cellulose is tasty food for termites. They’ll eat any wooden component of your fence and compromise its structural integrity. That’s the reason you must treat wooden posts and planks with an effective pesticide to prevent the termites from eating them. You can also paint the wooden parts using an oil-based primer or termite-resistant paint. And if you have steel posts, make sure to paint them time after time to prevent rusting and corrosion.
Creating a strong fence around your property is possible through wise material choice and proper installation. First, select sturdy wooden, steel, or plastic posts that can bear the weight of the fencing material and other external forces like the wind. Treat them appropriately, drive them deep enough into the ground, and stabilize them with concrete. Then, use a rigid fencing material, such as metal mesh, and anchor them firmly to the posts using galvanized fencing staples. The resulting fence will protect your property for years and keep it safe against unwarranted intrusion.