Snow Fences - Fencing to Control Snow Drifts

Snow fence is installed to prevent snow from drifting in inconvenient or dangerous areas. The fence acts as a wind barrier, and when the wind is slowed, the snow that was being carried by the wind is deposited on the ground in snowdrifts.

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Interestingly, a snow fence creates the snowdrifts on the downwind side of the fence.

As the wind approaches the fence and goes over the top, an eddy is created on the lee side.

The wind in this eddy is slower, and deposits the snow there. Also, part of the action of the eddy causes the wind over it to move slightly faster. This faster air following the curve of the eddy causes the area just beyond the fence to be blown clear of snow. The snow fence holds the snow back in the right place.

Traditional snow fence consists of wood pickets, stained a reddish brown, and held together with galvanized wire. It is generally four to five feet high. More recent fence styles include a plastic mesh, often colored orange, which is lighter, stronger and more easily installed. Both of these fences are usually temporary, being installed prior to the winter months, and rolled up and stored away in spring.

Snow Fence

This type of snow fence has begun to find other uses under the term "utility fence" or "barrier fence. You can find it in gardens, along fields, surrounding new construction, as crowd control structures for large events, and along ocean beaches. The beachfront use of snow fencing serves the same purpose as for snow – it helps drift the sand, keeping it on the beach.

There are specialized versions of snow fencing. Agricultural cooperative programs promote the use of plantings as "living" snow fence, and large-scale fencing ten feet or higher can be used to control snow accumulation in high mountain regions.

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