One of the biggest destroyers of fencing is weathering. Wind, moisture, storms, sun, and the temperature can shorten the life of a fence if it isn't constructed to face the challenge. Know the type of fencing that is best suited for the type of weather challenges faced in your area.
The wind is one of the most common weather challenges fences face. High winds can blow a solid panel fence right down. To guard against wind, choose fencing with concrete anchored posts that are thick enough so they won't break. Solid panel fencing is most prone to blowing down, so opt for open-style fencing such as spaced pickets or chainlink.
Another common challenge is moisture. Periodic rain or humid days will have minimal effect, but if you live in a rainy or humid climate then the constant moisture exposure can take its toll on materials like wood pickets and posts. Opting for moisture-resistant wood, such as pressure-treated posts and cedar pickets can reduce moisture damages. Vinyl or metal fencing will provide even more moisture resistance. Posts also must be well anchored in firm postholes so wet ground movement doesn't cause a leaning fence.
Freezing alone doesn't damage a fence. The problem is in areas where there are frequent freeze and thaw cycles, as these can cause soil upheaval that leads to leaning or falling fence panels. Wood fencing works well as long as it is kept sealed against moisture incursion, as freezing internal moisture can break apart wood fibers. Metal and vinyl provide maintenance-free alternatives to wood. Posts must be installed deeply enough to penetrate the frost line to prevent heave issues.
Although made of water, hail damage is a different beast when compared to standard moisture damages. Hail can punch through some fence picket materials, such as thinner vinyl fencing panels. Metal fencing panels and pickets with larger surface areas can also suffer from hail dents. Wood fencing tends to resist hail damage better, although the finish may need to be reapplied more frequently in hail-prone areas. Chainlink fencing is another hail-resistant option.
Even areas with good weather will have some fencing concerns. Heavy sun and UV light exposures can fade certain fencing materials or cause them to dry rot. Wood tends to suffer most in sunny and warm climates, so you may prefer to use vinyl, chain, or metal fencing. Vinyl fencing may experience some fading over time, but it won't be as noticeable if you opt for a lighter color panel.
Contact a fence builder if you need to design a fence that can survive in your climate.