When planning for fence installations, you account for the look, cost, height, and your property’s footprint. But these aren’t the only factors worth considering! Especially in communities like Livingston, Bozeman, Great Falls, and Big Timber, you want to consider the best fence design for wind.
Montana is one of the windiest states in the country (the 4th windiest, in fact). The state’s record high windspeed was in February of 2002 when the wind gusted to 143 mph. That’s nearly twice as fast as “hurricane force” intensity. Montana’s the place we love to call home, but to do so, we must give the weather its due respect. Building codes protect your house, but what protects your fence? How do you choose the best fence for high wind areas?
The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of money on a new fence and have it blow down during the next bout of strong wind. Below we’ll explore the best fence for high wind areas so you can maximize your fencing investment.
Best Fence for High Wind Areas: Montana Edition
Why Not Just Get Fencing from a Box Store?
We get this question a lot, so we want to address this first. Not all fences are created equal, especially when you get down to the materials. Fence products sold in big box stores, such as premade wood or vinyl panels, may be sufficient for some states, but they won’t cut it here in Montana.
Those materials are not designed to withstand the high wind speeds and pressures found in Big Sky Country. They tend to be much thinner and more susceptible to breaking or cracking under pressure. A few seasons of wear and tear or one big weather event can be enough to take out your multi-thousand-dollar fence investment. That risk increases if the fence is designed for decorative, not functional, use.
What Fencing is Best for High Wind Areas?
Fortunately, there are sturdier fencing materials available that stand up to the elements. At Montana Fence, we recommend metal, chain link, and cast iron fencing for high wind areas. These materials are generally more long-lasting, in that their materials are not only more durable but allow for air to flow through the fencing.
If you are set on wanting a wood fence for your property, we recommend an option that has spaces between the pickets. This could include options like semi-privacy or shadowbox.. These allow for air to pass through the fence rather than press against it and weaken the materials.
How to Plan for a Fencing Project in High Wind Areas
1. Consider Its Purpose
Planning for a fence means looking at all the purposes your fence might serve, like the following:
- Protecting your home
- Enclosing your yard
- Keeping children and pets safe
- Designating your property line
- Adding decoration
2. Account for Wind Levels and Other Weather Factors
Wind may not be the only extreme weather you face in your hometown. You may need your fence to withstand heavy snowfall, block direct sunlight, or resist rainy downpours. But does it also work with the weather? Whether you want to block, deflect, or let through the wind and snow will determine how you sort through the options for the best fence in wind areas to find what works best for your property.
3. Speak to a Local Fence Building Professional
Local fence builders know the local landscape and can be one of your greatest assets. They’re uniquely qualified to help you choose not only fence materials but also the design and orientation of your fence.
For example, in Montana, the combination of wind and snow often creates long, deep drifts called “windbreaks.” These tedious piles of snow can cause roadblocks for you, your family, and even your livestock if you have windbreaks in pastures. If your property tends to drift in areas, or regularly faces strong winds, you may need to orient a fence to account for these snow-bearing winds.
This is where working with fence contractors will be of particular importance. A fencing professional can assess your needs and the local weather conditions and make recommendations for the best fencing materials and fence orientation for your situation. This could include determining whether you want a resistance material (fencing that withstands the weather) or a resistance design (a fencing style with more surface area to block the wind). A licensed fencing professional can help find the perfect balance of fence surface area, strength, function, and placement to create the fence that best suits your needs.
At Montana Fence, we provide free fence estimates where we walk you through all the factors of look, function, cost, and natural features of the landscape so you can make informed decisions about your fence installation.
Whether you have an existing fence that needs repair from high wind or weather damage, Montana Fence is here to help. Our team of fencing installers can replace sections with like materials, visually integrating the repair work with the rest of your fenceline to help extend the life of your fence. If you’d prefer to save a little time and money, we recommend getting the material and doing it yourself! We are always happy to help you find what you need. We also do our best to price match, ensuring you get the most value possible for your new fence or fencing repair.
Get a Free Fence Estimate
Getting ready to build a fence in a high wind area or need repairs after a strong bout of wind? Contact us today to schedule your free fencing estimate. No matter where in Montana you call home, we can help protect your property and lifestyle by installing fencing built to withstand high winds. Click here for your free fence estimate.