What Is a Snow Fence & Why Should You Install One?

what is a snow fence

Winter can be an outstanding season, and snow can offer a fantastic landscape. However, snow can also be dangerous, mainly when it accumulates in places you don’t want it to. Many strategies are used to combat these snow hazards, and snow fences are an amazingly effective solution.

But what exactly is a snow fence, and why should you consider installing one? In this article, we will delve into the world of snow fences. We will talk about their purpose, benefits, and practical applications. Designed to be educational and engaging, we’ll explore snow fences’ what, how, and why. This knowledge should empower you to make informed decisions about snow management on your property. 

snow management on your property

What Is a Snow Fence & What Is It Used For?

A snow fence is like a shield against too much snow. It’s made of wooden slats or plastic mesh; its job is to change how the snow piles up. It breaks up wind streams, forcing them to accumulate snow in certain areas. Its height differs depending on the amount of snow in the place where it is installed. If you live in a snowy climate, you must’ve seen them between November and March.

Initially, they were simple structures made from wood and other readily available materials. Over time, their design and use have evolved. The new snow fences incorporate more durable materials and efficient designs to maximize effectiveness and minimize maintenance. A snow fence can be your greatest friend in harsh weather if professionally installed.

What Is a Snow Fence Used For?

Their usage is also extensive. You can see snow fences in multiple places like residential areas, commercial and public spaces, or even ski resorts. For example, snow fences in ski resorts increase snow depth in certain areas. However, their use can also be efficient in rural areas and home settings. They can help ensure snow does not accumulate in front of your door or roadway.

Types of Snow Fences

There are different types of snow fences. Some of the most usual ones are:

  • Wooden Snow Fences: The classic choice, known for durability and effectiveness.
  • Plastic Snow Fences: Lighter and easier to install. Plastic snow fences are becoming increasingly popular and widespread nowadays.
  • Living Snow Fences: A natural barrier created by using trees and shrubs. These fences offer environmental benefits and are also aesthetically appealing.

The Benefits of Snow Fences

Prevention of Snow Accumulation

One of the primary benefits of installing a snow fence is preventing snow accumulation in critical areas. This can benefit properties with long driveways, access roads, or pathways used for daily activities. By controlling where snow accumulates, snow fences play a vital role in enhancing safety during winter months. 

They are particularly beneficial near roadways, reducing the likelihood of snow drifts that can cause hazardous driving conditions. This not only improves safety but also reduces the need for excessive snowplowing,

Protection for Buildings & Landscapes

Snow fences also offer protection to buildings and landscapes from harsh winter conditions. Significant damage to homes can come as a result of heavy snowfall. Controlling snow drifts helps reduce the risk of snow damage to buildings and landscapes. This is particularly important for homes in rural areas or exposed outdoor areas.

Environmental Benefits & Cost Savings

Beyond the other benefits, snow fences can also have a positive environmental impact. If snow fences are installed and practical, the need for chemical deicers, which can be damaging to the environment, can be reduced. Also, when snow removal is not frequently needed, there can be a lot of cost savings regarding labor and equipment. 

Practical Applications for Snow Fences

What Is the Use of a Snow Fence in Residential Areas?

In residential areas, snow fences can be a game-changer, especially in regions prone to heavy snowfall. They protect homes, gardens, and pathways from being buried under snow. This makes winter maintenance easier and ensures safer and more accessible outdoor spaces during the snowy months.

Application in Agricultural Settings

For farms and agricultural lands, snow fences serve a dual purpose. They prevent snow drifts from blocking access roads and damaging crops. Additionally, the accumulated snow, when melted, provides much-needed moisture for the fields. Through that, it aids in soil conservation and preparation for spring planting.

Relevance for Commercial & Public Spaces

Commercial properties and public spaces like schools, hospitals, and shopping centers can also benefit significantly from installing snow fences. By managing snow accumulation, these fences will ensure uninterrupted access and safety for all patrons, students, and employees. They also reduce the need for extensive snow removal operations, saving time and resources.

What to Consider when Installing a Snow Fence?

To install the most efficient snow fence, you should consider many factors. Choosing the right type of snow fence and its correct placement is crucial for its effectiveness. When you know what a snow fence is used for, you can factor in your need for it and its possible placements. When choosing the correct placement for a snow fence, you should understand the wind patterns for efficiency. 

The goal is to install the fence to make snow accumulate where it is least disruptive. Often, the placement of the fences needs to be corrected. There should be a 35:1 ratio when deciding the location of your fence, and other factors should be considered. Every foot of height should be a 35-foot distance from where the wall is meant to protect. It is often advisable to consult with experts or conduct a wind and snow study to determine the best location for your needs.

Furthermore, while snow fences require minimal maintenance, some upkeep is necessary to ensure their effectiveness. This includes checking for damages, ensuring stability, and making other adjustments. These adjustments can be made depending on seasonal changes and weather forecasts. If you have chosen a living snow fence, regular pruning and care are essential for it to be effective and healthy.

However, to ensure that your snow fence is installed correctly, you can hire a professional fence installer to do the job for you and ensure maximum efficiency.

Install a Snow Fence Today!

Installing a snow fence is not only a measure against winter’s challenges but a strategic decision that brings numerous benefits. 

From safeguarding residential driveways to protecting agricultural lands, the utility of a snow fence is undeniable. They not only protect you from the hazards of harsh snow in winter but also contribute to the environment and ensure cost savings.

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