Best Fencing for Cold Climates: How to Choose the Right Material

best fencing for cold climates

As a trustworthy fence company in St. Pete, our experienced team is usually surprised to receive inquiries about the best fencing for cold climates. However, trespassers are not the only worry when selecting the right fencing material for a home in St. Petersburg, Florida. Snowfall might be limited to further north of the area, but this part of the world still receives plenty of heavy rain and high winds that wreak havoc on fencing materials, especially those vulnerable to moisture. 

How can a fence survive the unpredictable Florida weather? Below, the experts at Gulf to Bay Fence explore the most durable, stylish fencing options that still offer privacy and years of great service.

The Effects of Cold and Wet Weather on Premium Fencing

Weather significantly impacts a fence’s longevity and appearance. When the temperature drops, some materials become incredibly brittle or less flexible, whereas other materials are more susceptible to moisture. Any form of precipitation from snow, rain, or ice will be detrimental to a porous material, and the absorption quickly leads to mildew, mold, or rotting in Florida’s humidity.

The area certainly needs a robust fencing material that can withstand high winds. Sturdy, water-resistant material is always a great choice in a subtropical climate. However, colder areas will need to consider a few additional ways that the temperature could affect fencing, including soil effects, corrosion, and warping.

Shifting Soil

Rain and snow quickly result in soil movement, which can be disastrous for fences planted directly into the ground. Once the soil starts shifting underneath the fence, it can cause permanent damage to the fence posts and other fixtures. Gusts of wind, flurries of snow, and hard rain will easily knock over the fence if the soil compromises its structural integrity in this way.

Rust and corrosion

Moisture also leads to rust and corrosion in many fencing materials, which is why a protective coating on iron fences is so vital. The coating does wear down due to friction and salt accumulation, leaving it vulnerable to rust spots; reapplying the layer every few years will prevent this issue. The best fencing for cold climates takes these corrosive effects into account and uses extra protective layers where necessary.


The final issue in cold weather is warping, a significant concern for fences made from wood. When the temperature dips, the moisture in wood fences shifts between liquid and solid form, expanding when frozen. Severe warping problems require a fence replacement, so take this into consideration when choosing the original fencing material. 

What is the Best Type of Fence Material for Cold Climates?

The best fencing for cold climates is one that can repel or absorb water with little effect. The professionals at Gulf to Bay Fence list a few suitable options below:

A Wooden Fence with Metal Posts

There is nothing quite like the look of a traditional wood fence, but it is an excellent idea to include metal posts in colder climates. Wood pickets are susceptible to water damage, but the metal posts provide a supportive foundation to make them more durable during a particularly harsh winter. Wood fence varieties like slats, including cedar and white oak, have a higher tolerance to moisture.

Bear in mind that keeping wood in good condition takes some effort. For example, you may need to stain it or apply a reliable water sealant to prevent rot and mold growth. A wood fence with metal posts endures a few winters, but it may not last decades.


Unsurprisingly, vinyl fencing outperforms wood fencing in cold weather areas. Slatted vinyl fences handle significant amounts of snow and ice without needing treatment or preparation for the winter. When installing vinyl fences, it is important to bury the posts deep enough underground, a highly effective method for keeping the fence from blowing over. 

The Gulf to Bay Fence team also recommends using anti-impact inhibitors to strengthen the vinyl fence against the elements. Vinyl fences are maintenance-free, and they do not peel, fade, or chip. In fact, this type of fence can last thirty years or more and remains a top choice for the best fencing for cold climates.

Metal Fence

If repelling moisture is the goal, metal represents an excellent fence material for cold climates. It is a durable resource that can easily handle snowdrifts and freezing temperatures. The two main types are chain-link and aluminum fences.

Chain-link Fence

A chain-link fence is cheaper and easier to install and repair. Chain-link fences also last up to twenty years, doing an excellent job of keeping pets and children safe in the yard. Yet, this type of fencing does not offer much privacy, and more trend-conscious homeowners do not like the aesthetic.

Aluminum Fence

The second option is aluminum, one of the sturdiest fencing materials on the market. The material is highly versatile, available for shaping into all sorts of aesthetically-pleasing designs. Like vinyl, aluminum fences are virtually maintenance-free; no sanding or painting required.

The average lifespan of an aluminum fence is about fifty years, another great benefit. Our professionals are available anytime if you would like to learn more about aluminum fences or request a quote.

Coated Steel Fences

The final cold-weather option for fencing is steel, a robust material that will withstand winter after winter. Steel with a powder coating is the best fencing for cold climates by far, an ideal choice for those who do not have time to worry about climate-related expansion and contraction issues. 

When it comes to high winds, steel fences typically feature a spaced-picket design that allows any airflow to pass through them. However, steel fences do not absorb water, so it is important to take measures to prevent water collecting in joints and around fittings. Our team would be happy to tell you more. 

The Gulf to Bay Fence team understands how to choose, install, and maintain a fence that will look amazing for years to come. Our experts bring over fifteen years of high-quality fence installations to the table. Call Gulf to Bay Fence at 727-543-3434 today for the best fencing for cold climates or more suitable local choices in balmy St. Petersburg, Florida. 

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