Can snow damage wooden fencing panels in winter?

To be honest, there’s a long answer and a short answer to this question. The short answer is technically yes, but it’s very unlikely to apply to us here in the UK. We’d have to see massive amounts of snow before it got to the stage where it started affecting our garden fence panels – and let’s be honest, by that stage most of us have more pressing concerns anyway. (And yes, it might be pretty galling to see this much snowfall in March, but the point still stands!)

A far more likely case scenario is that the relatively mild amounts of snow we’ll actually see during a standard British winter isn’t going to be anywhere near enough to affect your wooden fencing panels. Rain is a slightly more pressing concern, but again it has to be bucketing down for a sustained period – if your fence wilted at the first sign of mild rain then it wouldn’t be terribly well-suited to a life spent in the Great British outdoors!

snowy fence panels

Even when the weather does start to get more intense, there are plenty of small things you can do to protect and preserve it. We’ve detailed a few of these below! But first things first…

How can garden fence panels be affected by snow?

Theoretically, after very heavy snowfall, if a snowdrift is left pressing up against the panels, then it could potentially cause the wood to warp, crack or break. However, as we’ve discussed above, that’s very unlikely to happen here in the UK – it’s mostly a concern for homeowners in much colder countries.

To be honest, there’s not a lot you’d be able to do about heavy snow, even in the rare instance that it did become an issue. Instead, the main issue facing UK homeowners is exceptionally heavy rain. If lots of moisture is able to penetrate the wood then it can begin to rot, which will start to affect its integrity.

Now, if you want some extra peace of mind, it might be a good idea to wait for a clearer day, and apply a sealant to your fence. (Make sure it has plenty of time to dry!) That’s one good tip which you can use as part of a general winter maintenance schedule for your fence – here are just a couple of others!

A quick cold-weather maintenance guide for your fence

The best thing to start off with is a visual inspection. Initially, just take a quick wander round and take note to see if there’s anything that needs fixing, replacing, or tidying. That way, you can prioritise from there. Personally, we’d recommend the following…

Rake away any debris (and shovel away any snow)

Rotting leaves and similar detritus are some of the worst culprits for rotting fences. Damp materials like these can gather at the foot of your fence posts or panels and transfer moisture to your fence, which can eventually lead to rotting, and ultimately affecting the appearance, stability and security of your fence. For that reason alone, it’s always best to have a rake handy so that you can keep your fence clear of debris – and shovel away any snow if it builds up particularly heavily.

(We’ve talked about how to fix a leaning fence in a previous post, so that’s worth consulting if your fence has already started to tip one way or another!)

Prune shrubbery and climbing plants

If you have any trellises attached to your garden fence panels, now’s the time to inspect any plant life climbing up them, and give them a quick prune if necessary. If they grow unchecked for long enough, they can ultimately result in a surprisingly significant amount of extra weight for your fence to support, so removing parts of them will lighten the strain on it.

It’s also worth taking the opportunity to get rid of any dead foliage or overgrown shoots surrounding your fence, as enough of them can again start to transfer moisture into the wood of your fence, increasing its susceptibility to rot.

Finally, make sure to get rid of any overhanging branches that might be in danger of falling and damaging your fence (or your family!). Before you get started on this one though, it may be worth checking in with your neighbours, as the offending branches may well cross over into – or originate from – their own gardens.

Replace any broken or worn garden fence panels

This one probably goes without saying, but it’s worth reiterating simply because it’s a job that’s often a bit easier when you do it promptly, rather than putting it off for a few weeks. And of course, getting it sorted in good time means that it preserves the overall integrity of your fence, which can make it more resilient in general to the trials it’ll face from harsh winter weather!

Speaking of which, it’s always worth taking a look at our post on how to fix a storm damaged fence – and if you ever decide you need any replacements, that’s exactly where we can help here at Welch Fencing.

We’ve got a great range of replacement fence panels and concrete fence posts for you to browse right here on our site. As an experienced UK manufacturer of concrete fence posts and garden fence panels, we have our very own fleet of delivery vehicles at our disposal, allowing us to get your products right to your door.

If you have any questions about any of our products, or you need any more detailed information, feel free to contact us on 01772 336 476, or fire us a quick email on