You may thrive in hot weather. Soaking up the sun gives you a healthy glow. Enjoying the warmth makes your mood go from bah humbug to let’s party!
Your fence likely feels a little differently about the sun and hot temperatures. Of course, if you choose the best fence material, you can set your fence up to thrive just like you do in the heat of the sun.
Curious what material works best for the fence that needs to survive the heat? Read our guide before you buy and you’ll have a fence that like you, is ready for anything!
Is Your Fence Under the Weather?
If you’re like other homeowners, you likely take your fence for granted. That is, until you notice a section or two buckling, warping, or leaning to one side. Those are all symptoms of a wood fence dealing with the brutal effects of a hot climate.
You love the sun because you can escape back to the cool conditioned air of your home or office. A fence isn’t so lucky. Hot temperatures can have a significant negative impact on a fence.
For example, a fence exposed to the elements can suffer all of the above but also may deteriorate quickly. Wood fences are especially vulnerable to heat because they expand.
It isn’t only wood fences that bear the burden of the sun and heat. Any fence made of a non-weatherproof material can suffer when left unprotected and under the weather.
Requirements for a Weatherproof Fence
If you’re installing a fence in a hot, sunny climate and expect it to thrive, look for these three factors when shopping for fence material:
- Doesn’t Expand
You don’t want a fence that gets so hot you or your kids can’t touch it without getting burned. Also, look for a material that doesn’t absorb water when it rains. Finally, you don’t want a fence made of a material that expands when it gets hot.
As you’ll see later in this post, wood may not be the ideal choice for a fence because it doesn’t pass any of these three tests.
Your Fence and the Heat of the Sun
A fence constructed from a material like wood that expands in hot temperatures, may wear out faster and suffer damage. Heat can also cause warping, which may separate the boards from the fasteners.
We already know how much you enjoy basking in the sun a beautiful summer day. Your fence, however, can degrade or lose its color when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays.
When shopping for a new fence, look for materials made to withstand the heat of the sun. A popular fence material for warm climates is vinyl. Stick with us and we’ll talk about why.
Vinyl Isn’t Only for Records
Vinyl is a sturdy material for record albums, but did you know it’s also great for fences?
Today’s vinyl fence material often contains titanium dioxide (TIO2). TIO2 protects a fence from degrading due to UV ray exposure.
Generally, vinyl resists changes in temperature. This is great if you live in a hot climate because vinyl won’t expand much on a hot day. It also doesn’t contract when the temperatures drop—great for homeowners living further away from the equator.
Vinyl also isn’t a good heat conductor. Even on scorching hot days, a vinyl fence won’t feel hot to the touch. Perfect for backyards where children play (and sometimes try to climb the fence).
If those benefits aren’t enough, vinyl fencing is cost-effective, long-lasting, and beautiful to look at.
The Missing Link
Vinyl is a fantastic fence material, but if you’re looking for another option, have you considered chain link?
Chain link is certainly an acceptable alternative material for homeowners looking for a weather-resistant fence. It doesn’t expand under the heat of the sun, or contract when cooler weather arrives. The disadvantage is that chain link can get hot after sitting in the sun all day.
That said, if you should touch a hot chain link fence, you won’t leave your hand on it for too long. While you won’t suffer a serious burn, it can feel uncomfortable. Hint: A chain link fence painted black absorbs more of the sun’s heat.
Chain link is a metal, meaning it will rust relatively fast. Rust causes deterioration. Look for a manufacturer that uses special coating to prevent rust.
Learn more about the similarities and differences between vinyl and chain link fence materials. Either makes a great choice for a fence, especially if you live in one of the warmer parts of the country.
Wood Takes a Beating and Keeps on Heating
There’s no question, a wood fence is aesthetically pleasing. And if made from the right quality and correct grade, a wood fence can give you many years of enjoyment.
Because it’s a natural product, wood suffers from certain issues that can cause early deterioration. For example, wood expands and contracts when the temperature changes. The reason we’re concerned about expansion and contraction is when it happens, it puts pressure on the footings and posts.
After sitting under pressure long enough, the foots and posts can crack. This allows water into the material and sets up the fence for further damage.
You can have your wood fence if that’s your dream! Just be aware of what types of wood make the better fencing materials for your area of the country. Also, be prepared for more maintenance if you install a wood fence.
Confident You’re Ready to Choose the Best Fence Material?
Hopefully, we’ve given you some food for thought. Living in a hot climate means you should take care when selecting the material for your fence.
It doesn’t mean you can’t have a durable, cost-effective, long-lasting, and attractive fence in your yard. Now it’s time to choose the best fence material, grab the right tools (and your best friends), and start digging those post holes.
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