If you live in a rural area where snowfall is heavy and drifts can make your driveway inaccessible, then installing a simple snow fence can make a big difference in keeping the path free and clear. Below is how you can construct a low-cost snow fence that will effectively protect your driveway:
What you will need
- 4-foot high polypropylene construction fencing (available in safety orange and green)
- 6-foot fence T-shaped posts
- Measuring tape
- Brightly colored spray paint
- 12-inch cable ties
- Small sledge hammer
- Stepladder or stepstool
1. Plan the location of your snow fence—Despite what some may think, snow fences do not work by trapping snow as it falls. Instead, a properly installed snow fence works by disturbing air currents as they blow toward your driveway. By doing so, the slower, turbulent wind is no longer able to carry snow aloft, and the snow drops well before it reaches the driveway. As a result, snow drifts will build up beyond the snow fence on the downwind side.
To make sure your snow fence is effective, it will need to be installed a distance equal to 35 times the fence height away from your driveway. For example, if you are installing a 4-foot tall snow fence, which is a typical size and recommended for this project, then the snow fence line should be built 140 feet away. Make sure the fence line is roughly parallel to and built upwind from the driveway. Then, use brightly colored spray paint to mark the fence line; spray X's every eight feet apart to determine where the posts will be driven.
2. Install the fence posts—After marking the fence line and post locations, align the posts so the flat side of the "T" faces toward the prevailing wind. Next, use a level to adjust the vertical orientation of the posts and hold them in position as someone else drives them into place with a small sledge hammer. The posts should be driven approximately 18 inches into the ground. Check one last time to be sure the post is level before moving on to the next one.
3. Attach the fencing—Once the fence posts are driven into place, begin at one end of the fence line and attach the fence roll to the first post. Hold the bottom of the fence material from the ground approximately 6 inches, as you do not want there to be an obstruction at the bottom of the fence to catch snow. While holding the fence roll in position, attach it to the fence post using 12-inch cable ties; each post should be attached with a minimum of four cable ties. Be careful not to pinch the fence material too tightly when fastening it, or it may tear the plastic. Keep moving from post-to-post and ensure the fencing material is being pulled taut at each post.
4. Install bracing if necessary—Should you reside in an area where snowfall is extremely heavy and regularly piles up in feet, rather than inches, consider installing bracing every second or third post along the fence line. To install a brace, simply drive another fence post into the ground at a 30-degree angle from the leeward side of the existing fence post, then attach the posts together at the top using a couple of cable ties. This will provide additional reinforcement against possible fence breakdowns.
These instruction swill help you prepare for heavy snowfall. However, if you need help, you're not alone. Contact local resources that know how to put up construction through resources like http://rent-a-fence.com/ for help with materials and to better understand the process.