Anyone know about snow fences?

 
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keegs
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Post by keegs » Sat. Nov. 16, 2019 7:38 am

Hi all,

I've been having a snow drift problem for years. The drifting in one particular area is so severe that it blocks access to my house if I'm not vigilant with keeping it clear.

This year I finally got around to putting up a snow fence. I wasn't sure how to approach it so I went on the cheap and cut the posts from live trees and used construction fencing. It's holding up in very strong winds, well so far at least. I set the fence approx. 125 feet from the driveway (rough use of the 4' x 35' rule ) which runs north and south. Prevailing winds are from the west. There's an open field (approx 25 acres) to the west of the driveway. The elevation slopes down from the west and north to the driveway in the area where I'm experiencing the drifting.

We've had some snow here, maybe 6" or so followed by a wintery mix that left a crust. Yesterday we had some additional accumulation...maybe an inch or two. Last night we had thunder storms with extremely strong winds. This morning I observed the forming of a snow drift in the usual area.

Any assistance in explaining what's going on would be most appreciated. Thanks!

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driveway facing south

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standing next to the drift facing west

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facing north, driveway elevation rises

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snow fence runs 200' approx. north to south

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Post by wilder11354 » Sat. Nov. 16, 2019 7:46 am

theroy behind snow fences, they slow down wind, causing snow suspended in wind to drop as wind is slowed down. They work, not all snow is dropped. Could put another fence ten feet away on drive way side, slow slowed down wind more drop some more snow. Where i grew up they put snow fence in fields about 35 feet from road edge in high drift area. By end of winter snow was almost as high of fence on downwind side. My 2 cents. Bill

 
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Post by Toddburn » Sat. Nov. 16, 2019 7:55 am

Keegs I work for the local road dept. not sure about the 4 by 35 rule. We have put snow fence up over the years on some trouble spots. However we place it about 8 or so feet from the sides of the road. It’s does help some but by no means is it a cure all.

 
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Post by Toddburn » Sat. Nov. 16, 2019 7:56 am

One more thing fence looks good that’s the same fence we use!

 
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Post by keegs » Sat. Nov. 16, 2019 8:48 am

Thanks Gents, I didn't measure but t's actually more like 100' from the driveway where that trouble spot is but at this point it looks like it "may" be set back too far. Not sure what to expect out of it and it's likely to soon to draw any conclusions. I don't plan to set the posts so any adjustments can be made next fall.

 
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Post by freetown fred » Sat. Nov. 16, 2019 10:05 am

Yep it is K---WAY to far. Ya got the right idea though. :)

 
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Post by keegs » Sat. Nov. 16, 2019 11:02 am

freetown fred wrote:
Sat. Nov. 16, 2019 10:05 am
Yep it is K---WAY to far. Ya got the right idea though. :)
Fred, When I was researching it and found the "35 x the height of the fence" rule I thought "dang that's a long way to be positioning the fence" But my understanding is it puts the snow on the leeward side (down wind side) of the fence and the idea is to leave enough space to store the snow without it piling up on the driveway. I've had the snow in that area of the driveway top the roof of the truck so it do get high. The blower can manage snow up to about 30" so I have some wiggle room.

If you look at the images, there's hardly any difference in the snow level either side of the fence at this point so I'm not drawing any conclusions just yet. I'll see how it fairs this winter and make any adjustments next year.


 
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Post by freetown fred » Sat. Nov. 16, 2019 11:15 am

There ya go--nothing ventured, nothing gained!! :)

 
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Post by warminmn » Sat. Nov. 16, 2019 11:22 am

Leave that fence where its at and put another between it and your driveway. But if i understand your pics and description your driveway is on the downhill side of a hill so snow is going to stop there no matter what you do.

In the spring watch for sales on wood snow fences. They will last a decade. I could never get 3 years out of a plastic one. Deer and coyotes will go right through them on a run, either one, and the wood ones are easier to patch too.

I usually just pound steel posts, wait for it to freeze decent, then put up the fence. About every 3rd one, pound a post in at an angle, maybe 45 degrees, and wire it to one of the posts standing straight up for support. I dont use fence anymore or I'd have a picture of what I mean. I left a fence up for 3 years once after doing that and it didnt get blown over and the wind never stops here.

 
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Post by CapeCoaler » Sat. Nov. 16, 2019 3:05 pm

It is blowing under the fence...
Once you get the bottom edge covered it will start to work...
A second fence between fence and drive will help a bit...
You need the distance for stacking the snow...
You could double the fence when snow gets to the top of that one...
Plow the snow off to the down hill side...
Plow it back 10 feet for stacking...

 
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Post by GinoMaid » Mon. Nov. 18, 2019 4:09 am

Snow fences are nothing but snow drift that minimizes the amount of snow drift on roadways or railways. Snow fences have been reported to save lives and reduce maintenance costs.

 
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Post by keegs » Wed. Nov. 27, 2019 11:48 am

warminmn wrote:
Sat. Nov. 16, 2019 11:22 am
Leave that fence where its at and put another between it and your driveway. But if i understand your pics and description your driveway is on the downhill side of a hill so snow is going to stop there no matter what you do.

In the spring watch for sales on wood snow fences. They will last a decade. I could never get 3 years out of a plastic one. Deer and coyotes will go right through them on a run, either one, and the wood ones are easier to patch too.

I usually just pound steel posts, wait for it to freeze decent, then put up the fence. About every 3rd one, pound a post in at an angle, maybe 45 degrees, and wire it to one of the posts standing straight up for support. I dont use fence anymore or I'd have a picture of what I mean. I left a fence up for 3 years once after doing that and it didnt get blown over and the wind never stops here.
I've got a buck fifty or so into this plastic fencing so I'll probably keep it until it's NG. I learned somewhat the hard way that it's best to hang the fence after the ground is firm. We had a pretty go storm and many of the post holes got reamed out by the wind.

So I had one more idea about the fence placement. What say you about putting another section to the east (right side facing the house) 10 feet or so from the edge of the drive ? I'm attaching a picture from last year.

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Post by Sunny Boy » Wed. Nov. 27, 2019 12:29 pm

Not sure how the 35 ft rule is supposed to work when it's long been know that it's only about 7 to 1 ratio for evergreen trees sheltering what's downwind of them. Lots of old farm houses around here with rows of evergreens that are typically no more than 100 feet upwind of the house.

Snow fence is used a lot around here and it's always a lot closer to driveways and roads. When I lived on Long Island many of the beaches use the redwood and wire snow fences to reduce wind-blown sand erosion. After a couple of years, you can see the sand built up on the fence and the sand slope downwind of the fence is about the same 7 to 1.

Paul

 
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Post by keegs » Wed. Nov. 27, 2019 1:52 pm

Paul... is that 7 feet of run to every foot of rise? I thought about planting conifers but not sure. It's one of the reasons I went with the fence. Maybe a row of privet or something like that on the left side would work.

 
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Post by warminmn » Wed. Nov. 27, 2019 4:27 pm

I dont know anything about the 7 to 1 thing, but to me 10 feet is way too close to a driveway. It likely isnt as windy where you are than it is here though. Just guessing but I was probably 50 feet. if i put a fence 10 feet from mine the snow would be as high as the snow fence across my driveway.


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