Any help we can get when stretching a fence is appreciated--here, precautions are taken when working on a grade.
Any help we can get when stretching a fence is appreciated--here, precautions are taken when working on a grade.
Frost heaves are caused by water that is drawn up through deep unfrozen soil to varying depths of frozen soil beneath ground level. A horizontal ice lens grows particularly in clay type soil, collects below the frozen soil and creates what is known as an ice lens that then expands as it freezes and slowly pushes soil, as well as rocks and debris, upwards.
Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Your Fence and What Lurks Below
Certain types of soils are not a concern. Gravel and sandy soil are not susceptible to the exchange of moisture that create frost heaves. Very thick clay soil is also immune. Also, where frost only penetrates the soil an inch or two there is no need to be concerned about frost heaves, such as on the west coast and the southernmost parts of the U.S.
However, where freezing goes deeply into the soil, your fence posts (and the footings of your deck) are subject to this upward pressure. The concrete in the fence post's base is an excellent conductor of heat and attracts moisture which can form an ice lens around the concrete base, rendering it susceptible to movement. A pressure-treated wooden post is not a good conductor of heat, particularly when wrapped with plastic or coated with tar; this helps prevent the up and down movement of the post.
Some General Guidelines
Most likely, setting a post a couple of feet, and up to 5 feet, is required to offset this issue. Your local town building inspector probably has guidelines for the best depths for fence posts in your particular area. If you dig a hole that's wider at the top in a V shape, you'll have a problem. The smaller bottom of the hole will provide little resistance for the upward pressure of the moisture and what follows it. A hole dug in the shape of a bell (wider at the bottom) is better, filled with concrete, gravel, or gravel with masonry sand for good compaction, and then tamped down every six inches. Bring the concrete or fill within a few inches of ground level and fill the rest of the way up with tamped-down dirt. Concrete footers are the best bet for offsetting the pressure that works on the fence above the frost line. Some experts recommend an insulating pad of Styrofoam about 2 inches thick beneath the footer. A chat with a trusted local building contractor may be helpful as circumstances vary so much according to soil types and the depths of freeze in a given area. However, when all is said and done, setting your posts at least 2 feet underground is the safe bet.
Frost heaves can also push up plants and expose roots to damaging wind and cold, not to mention poorly prepared roads and sidewalks.
Here's a thorough going-over of the process with a variety of scenarios:
Do you have expertise in your area on the subject of frost heaves? Please share your insights or recommendations below.
Some neighbors might ignore you quite satisfactorily, other neighbors are kind or conversational in passing, while some offer more exchange, even the possibility of becoming true friends. And then there are those neighbors that consider your mere presence an insult, the sight of you and your domain an anathema. This grumbling soul can for the most part be ignored by you, you imagine that there must be good reasons, and as you are not in charge of this curmudgeon's emotional state, it is best to simply go on about your business, keeping the glaring eyes in your periphery. Seething anger is unpleasant all the way to being scary and best not to jostle a hornet's nest. Until the day when it goes up--the eyesore, that pure symbol of animosity, a monument to meanness: an ugly fence. A spite fence. An intentionally unappealing fence that:
Litigation and Ordinances
Perhaps the phenomenon of "spite fences" is a new concept; generally, it's when a neighbor builds a fence to purposefully antagonize one's neighbors. If the fence is unattractive, the eyesore may elicit a response from the neighborhood as a whole or in part. If not already, the neighbors may become cut off from the contentious builder of the fence or from other neighbors as frustration builds and sides are taken. Litigation that involves such disputes is difficult to measure, as the offense for the most part is psychological with varying circumstances.
In the U.S., the blocking of light and air is not considered a recognized offense (as it can be in other countries.) If the issue is the height of a fence, local codes may be consulted and the law may have your back; however, merely blocking the view of a neighboring yard is not a cause for official complaint. A major directive on fence building is that it not cause injury to others. Some states have adopted ordinances regarding spite fences and guidelines have been created. Generally, it must be established that the fence is solely built to antagonize and has no practical or seemly purpose. It is up to the defendant to prove that the fence has a function other than to perturb those living nearby.
At the outset, it may be important to consider that you're not the one to approach the offender. One of your other neighbors may have a better relationship with with the problematic fence owner and may be able smooth the way. If you've collected other complaining neighbors, it may be best to put your objections in writing rather than showing up at the door en masse. On your own time, venting and gossiping about your neighbor may seem unifying with others, but it may be fueling the fire and raising your blood pressure. If at all possible, depending on the willingness of the various parties involved in a fence dispute, a mediator might be able to assist in a standoff. A trained mediator enables a discussion with both parties in the aim of establishing a dialogue, exploring the fence's (and the neighbor's) purpose and the potential dismantling of the fence.
If Lacking a Resolution
You must question yourself and realize that the conflict may never go away and that you must acknowledge your part in the dispute, working on the triggers the fence brings up in you.
Not feeding the antagonism may assist in a resolution. Adjust your perspective and try to find a bigger picture to help diffuse the tension. Taking a step back, and waiting to respond when conflict arises is always a good plan. It never hurts to retreat, reflect, allow your blood pressure to lower, and then return to the fray, if indeed necessary.
While we're on the subject of neighbors and boundaries, have a look at our blog, "Does a Good Fence Make a Good Neighbor?"
Buying fencing without seeing it can be difficult but we are here to help you. We have pulled together our top 4 key considerations to help you choose the best fence for your needs.
For example, vinyl-coated and stainless steel fences offer maximum durability, making them ideal choices for harsh environments and applications where longevity is a must.
We provide four unique types of welded wire to address any durability and budget needs:
Galvanized Before Weld (GBW)
GBW mesh is made from strands of galvanized wire welded together. During the welding process, the rust preventing galvanizing is burned off at the weld points where the wires intersect. These meshes are economical but have a limited lifetime. A general purpose mesh, ideal for low-cost fencing, kennels, cages, and a variety of other uses.
Galvanized After Weld (GAW)
GAW mesh is made by dipping previously welded mesh into a bath of molten zinc. The entire mesh, including the welded areas, is thoroughly sealed and protected against rust. This wire is particularly useful for animal enclosures or other applications where rust prevention and long life is desired. Ideally suited for use as ground wire for bird enclosures and animal enclosures. (ZA (zinc aluminum for agricultural fences (one step between GAW & Vinyl Coated).
Vinyl Coated (VC)
VC mesh is made by coating either galvanized before or galvanized after welded mesh with a thick layer of black or green PVC fused to the wire by a heat process, creating an attractive, tough, long-lasting, weather and chemical-resistant mesh. Vinyl coated meshes have the longest lifetime in any application. The 1-1/2" x 1-1/2", 12-1/2" gauge mesh makes a particularly excellent floor for dog kennels.
SS welded wire mesh, strong and long-lasting, needs no additional finish to protect it. The wire itself is extremely resistant to rust, corrosion, and harsh chemicals. Use stainless mesh or fence in areas with prolonged exposure to salt and other corrosives.
Smaller mesh opening is important for fencing in or out smaller animals, which could slip through a larger opening. Smaller openings also make for more rigid panels, making durability a secondary consideration.
Mesh opening is a very important factor to consider based on what you’re planning to fence in or out.
Quite simply, taller fencing is required to fence in and out larger animals, and animals that can jump high. Fence height is very important factor based on what you’re planning to fence in or out. Simply put, taller fencing is required to fence in and out larger animals, as well as animals that can jump high. For example, shorter fences are ideal for uses like chicken enclosures, rabbit cages, and puppy kennels. A taller fence is required for enclosing large farm animals like cows and goats and fencing out deer.
Fence Safety and Your Peace of Mind
Are you getting a swimming pool? Don't forget about the swimming pool fence required to keep the pool and pool area safe - especially for young children who may be drawn to the water to check it out.
You have probably planned the pool and its installation very carefully - putting into place all your thoughts and ideas for creating the perfect pool for you and an attractively landscaped pool area.
Installing the Fence
If you are installing the fence yourself, remember that you need to check with the local building inspector in your town to determine what is acceptable for pool fence and all the other requirements - such as self-closing gates. If a child forgets to close the gate when passing through, the gate will automatically close itself. While this is an added safeguard, never rely solely on this technology for protection. Having your eyes on kids is a must. Even very young children are unpredictable and clever; a swimming pool is a powerful incentive for beating the best system in place.
If you are having the fence installed by a reputable fence company any questions you may have can be answered by them.
For peace of mind and everyone's safety remember to install or have installed the proper fence around your dream pool so that it doesn't become a nightmare. Do as much planning for the fence as you would for planning and designing the pool.
Design and Options
There are many different types of swimming pool fences available that will meet code requirements. Which type best fits your design requirements?
We carry pool fencing made in the U.S.A, Italy and China. Our product options fit various budgets and project specifications. We also offer free quotes.