Warm weather climates can be rough – humidity, rain, drought, scorching sun, and burning temperatures. With such extreme weather conditions, you need a durable fence that can take the heat. So how do you choose the best fencing for warm climates?
For a fence to resist the effects of hot weather, it must accommodate three crucial factors:
- It should minimally expand when exposed to summer heat.
- For safety purposes, it shouldn’t become overly hot when conducting heat.
- It should be able to resist sudden summer showers.
Luckily, you don’t have to be overwhelmed with numerous fencing options. We’ve narrowed the list down to three main fencing materials that stand well in warm climates.
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In this article, we’ll cover:
- What Types of Fences Are Best for Warm Climates?
- How to Protect Your Fence from Warm Conditions
- What Can You Do if Your Fence is Damaged by the Elements?
- FAQ About the Best Fencing for Warm Climates
What Types of Fences Are Best for Warm Climates?
While it’s hard for any fence to stand up in all kinds of weather, vinyl, aluminum, and wood are your best choices if you live in the South.
You can certainly choose other high-quality materials for your new fence, but what you want is the best return on your investment. Therefore, you should choose the best fence material that can last for a long time despite the hot, humid climate.
Of the three fence types, vinyl is arguably your best option for areas with high humidity and heat. Also known as a PVC fence, it takes very high temperatures for this material to expand. Plus, you can customize it to the aesthetics you want, mimicking wood grains and stains for a rustic and homey look.
Additionally, vinyl can hold up well even when the temperature suddenly drops. So for an all-year-round fence, vinyl is the material to use. At the same time, a vinyl fence is almost maintenance-free, so you don’t have to worry about water damage like rot and rust.
Apart from being able to resist cold and hot temperatures, vinyl can also withstand heavy rains and strong winds during stormy weather. And since PVC is moisture-proof, your fence will not get infested by pests like termites and carpenter ants.
When it comes to the sturdiest type of material for fences, aluminum is one of your best bets. It can withstand high winds and will not easily get blown over, even during a storm. You won’t have to worry about an aluminum fence expanding in extreme heat.
Aluminum is impervious to moisture, so it’s a good choice for places with high humidity and heavy rain. An aluminum frame is also easy to maintain because it doesn’t rust and is not susceptible to insect infestations.
But while this low-maintenance fencing material is excellent for homes in warm climates, it still heats up in extremely hot summers. After extreme heat exposure, aluminum can get hot enough that you can cook an egg over it. And while it’s not easy to topple over, another drawback is that an aluminum fence can be dented when subjected to heavy impact.
Aluminum has one of the highest thermal conductivity. This means it can get hot really fast when constantly exposed to heat. In addition, this metal fence also undergoes thermal expansion. However, this should not be cause for alarm as aluminum will start to warp and deform only at temperatures over 400 degrees.
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Even in warm climates, wood remains a popular choice. Yes, it does require a bit more maintenance, but it can be well worth it because of its aesthetics and classic look. What’s more is that with the right choice of wood, it can perform well.
Take western red cedar, for instance. This type of wood already has natural characteristics that resist moisture and withstand extreme temperatures. Applying the right stain or paint can make it even more durable and long-lasting.
Additionally, proper maintenance and regular cleaning can help protect your fence from the elements. You should inspect it every few months to check for any sign of damage and fix the problem right away. If you notice any broken boards, replace them immediately.
However, wood is the least sturdy of the three types of fencing recommended here. So don’t expect your wooden picket fence to hold up well during tornadoes and powerful tropical storms. Also, you should be ready to call pest control every few months since wooden fences are susceptible to pest infestations. And if you don’t use treated wood, it may rot sooner than you think.
Wood is a naturally porous material, which means it easily absorbs moisture. As such, wood fibers expand when subjected to heat and humidity. However, when your wood fence gets exposed to high temperatures, it can swell up.
How to Protect Your Fence from Warm Conditions
Both vinyl and aluminum fences don’t need as much maintenance to protect them from the harsh summer sun. However, wood fences need either stain or seal or both – it all depends on the specifics of the wood material used and your priorities. For instance, if you want to give priority to aesthetic appeal, you can choose to apply just the stain.
What Can You Do if Your Fence Is Damaged by the Elements?
Regardless of material, heat can cause reactions to any fence. With fences exposed to the environment, it’s only natural for them to deteriorate over time. You can always use protective measures to avoid problems with your fence. However, having a general idea of the repairs involved can give you an overview of what to expect if something goes wrong.
Even if your state doesn’t get hit by tornadoes or storms, there’s still a chance your fence can get damaged.
Sun Damage: Sunlight, for instance, is damaging to wood fences but not to vinyl or other types. The UV from the sun can cause fading and discoloration to cedar and other types of wood. Fortunately, there’s a way to repair this by repainting, staining, and coating the wood.
On the other hand, most vinyl fences today have titanium dioxide that prevents degradation. Of course, this is not an issue with steel or aluminum types.
Water Damage: Water damage can come from rain, snow, or moisture in the air. Wood, in general, is susceptible to this and can cause it to rot. If you notice rotting in your wooden fence, you must replace the affected boards immediately.
Vinyl fences are not completely invulnerable to moisture damage, but fixing it is as simple as scrubbing away the mold and mildew with a light brush.
Pest Damage: When there’s moisture, pests will follow and thrive. You can hire a pest control company to exterminate pests like termites and ants. But if the pests have already severely damaged your fence, you will have to replace it entirely.
When it comes to repairs, you don’t always have to take matters into your own hands. Fence experts in your area can help you determine the best course of action – whether to repair or replace the fence.
FAQ About the Best Fencing for Warm Climates
Vinyl fences are designed not to succumb to extreme temperature changes, whether it be cold or heat. So if you decide to go with vinyl for your residential fencing project, you don’t have to worry about warping or swelling. Plus, the colors of vinyl fences do not fade even if exposed to the sun.
While vinyl fences seem to be the best choice in terms of resisting the effects of extreme weather, vinyl is not for everyone. Some of the drawbacks of a vinyl fence include high installation and repair costs. And for those who are going green – this material is made of plastic, so it’s not exactly environmentally friendly.
Of the three best types of fences discussed here, wood is the most susceptible to heat. It can warp or crack if left untreated or the coating is not good enough. However, a PVC fence will only start to melt at approximately 200 degrees and aluminum at more than 1,000 degrees – making it the clear winner.
How to Choose the Type of Fence That Can Take the Heat
Vinyl, aluminum, and wood fences are your best options, especially for those who live in the warm, humid, and sunny climate of the Southern United States. It’s important to pick a fence that will last for years, and one that won’t require you to do regular maintenance under the heat of the sun.
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