Protect Your Fence for Hurricane Season

Protect Your Fence for Hurricane Season

As you are aware, Hurricane season is here, and will affect Central Florida in some manner.   The question is how bad?  The NOAA is predicting at least 6-10 named tropical storms developing into hurricanes this year, and 3-6 of those hurricanes will be category 3 or higher.  We at Paramount Fencing are encouraging you to understand that old saying, “An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure.” So now is the time to protect your investment, your fence.

Your fence was built beautifully, strongly, and according to the ASTM standard. It is time to see how it will stand up to hurricane-force winds.  Regardless, you can still do a few things that will help protect your investment. They will be the difference between the insurance company picking up the tab or the cost for repairs coming directly out of your pocket.  They are listed below:

  1. Video or take pictures of your fence before the storm.  Make sure you document all stretches both inside and out.  You should do this with your home as well.
  2. If you have a wood fence, the gates can be secured by taking a foot-long piece of  2” x 4” and securing it to the gate and latch post on both the top and bottom.   Use screws.  If you can, fold the gate open and screw it against the fence with screws.
  3. If you have a vinyl fence, remove the ¾” bolt from the outer portion of the top and bottom hinges.  Slide the gate off and store those gates in the garage.  Check your post caps.  If they are loose, take them off and place them in the garage as well.
  4. If you have an aluminum fence, simply place a bungee cord around the gate.
  5. Make sure you check the fence where it meets the house.  Make sure the fence is attached to the house.   If it is not, go buy a hurricane strap or 90-degree angle bracket and connect the fence to the house.   It will be the difference between the Insurance company viewing the fence as an attached structure or a detached structure.
  6. If you have a stretch of fence line which is standalone or not attached to the fence line as a whole, brace it.  Bracing can be accomplished by taking a 2” x 4” about two feet long and placing it at a 45-degree angle, one end buried in the ground, one end attached to the post with a screw.
  7. If you have a pool, even if it has a screen enclosure, please purchase an orange plastic safety fence from the home improvement store.  It will be hard to find after the storm.

Other ways to protect your fence during a hurricane are simple.

First, be sure to trim any tree limbs that are hanging over your fence line (and especially over your roof!) This will help limit damage due to large, old limbs falling in high winds. If the limbs are coming from a neighbor’s tree, ask them if they wouldn’t mind you trimming their tree or even hiring a professional to clean it up. However, always ask permission before cutting a neighbor’s tree!

Next, pick up any large items that are in your yard, including porch decor, outside furniture, and even hanging decorations. Anything that can be picked up by the wind can be thrown into a fence or even a window and cause damage. If you can, put everything into a garage or shed, or stack everything close to the house. As a last resort, sink your large furniture in your pool.

Last, check your fence line’s integrity. If it is older and has any loose posts, fix these before a storm. Reinforce any areas that have loose boards or panels.

When in doubt, use the resources below to monitor the current weather conditions:

 

NOAA

Any notable tropical event can be found at the National Hurricane Center. Hover your mouse cursor over the event in question and it will give basic information such as Maximum Sustained Winds, Minimum Central Pressure, Location and Direction of movement.
Current Condition of the tropics

Current Weather Systems in the US

Understand, all tropical events are carried across the Atlantic Ocean by tradewinds- but they all will curve north in some manner as they approach North America. As they draw close, they are affected by frontal boundaries.
USA Frontal Boundaries

Water Temperatures and Interactive Maps

Remember, the temperature of the water determines if a Tropical Disturbance will develop or grow.  A hurricane needs 79.9-degree water to sustain itself.  It important to look at the water temperatures and the current location of a storm to determine where it travels and the projected path. This is an interactive map.
Current Water Temps

Wind Shear

There are two things that will kill a hurricane: Water Temperature and Wind Shear.  It important to monitor Wind Shear.  This website possesses current maps and covers favorable or unfavorable conditions. Use it to closely monitor a storm when it is 7-10 days out.

Cyclones - Spaghetti Models

Spaghetti Models are just as they sound:  A bunch of lines. But what each line represents is what counts.  Each line is the project path of a tropical disturbance based on different scientific models and organizations.  They are taking into account factor such as existing weather patterns.  They are predictions, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
Long Term Project Path of A Storm.

3-7 Day Frontal Forecast

NOAA essential 3-7 day tracking photos of USA Frontal Boundaries.  It will help you understand what can make a hurricane change direction or shift paths.
3-7 Day Frontal Boundary Forecast NOAA

Wind Patterns

Wind pattern can steer a hurricane.  It also lets us know if we are going receive moisture.
Wind Flow and Directions

Humidity Patterns

Hurricanes do not like dry air. They will try to avoid it. Darker black shades on the map indicate dryer air. Use this map to track humidity patterns over the oceans.
Water Vapors
Click Here:

Keep yourself and your home safe this hurricane season. This post has been brought to you by Paramount Fencing and Florida Living Outdoor.

Extend Your Fence Post’s Life Up To 20 Years With PostSavers!

Extend Your Fence Post’s Life Up To 20 Years With PostSavers!

Fence posts are the main source of strength for any fence structure. Most issues that arise with a fencing system will stem from a weakened or damaged fence post. Paramount Fencing understands the importance of protecting and caring for fence posts. Our best advice is to install the posts correctly the first time to help avoid having to go back and remove fence sections to replace a damaged post.

But how does a landowner protect their fence posts?

Beginning in the mid-1800s, fence posts, wood light posts, and railroad tracks were dipped into creosote tar and then installed in or near the ground. However, in recent years, the EPA has issued many warnings of creosote posing cancer, health, and environmental risks. Many states now have laws prohibiting burying posts or poles treated with creosote.

This shift away from creosote helped develop the current pressure treatments used on lumber today, but no pressure treatment is perfect.

A pressure-treated pine fence post installed directly into the ground has a 5-8 year lifespan before environmental conditions begin to take their toll.

Ground rot is the biggest risk to wooden posts. Moisture held in the soil, combined with decaying leaves, grass clippings, and shade creates the ideal biome for wood-destroying microorganisms. Because of the posts’ natural position in the ground, the rot will take the worst effect at the base of the fence, causing strength and structural issues. As more damage takes place, posts are at risk of rotting away or snapping off.

To prevent this, Paramount Fencing recommends using PostSavers.

PostSavers are heat-shrinkable sleeves lined with a meltable bituminous liner. The sleeves are heat-applied to wooden posts to create an airtight and watertight seal around the ground contact line of the post. The dual-layer barrier keeps the preservative in and the moisture and microorganisms out.

By preventing rot before it can start, properly installed PostSavers are guaranteed to extend your fence posts for up to 20 years.

 

PostSavers can be used in many applications:

Fence Posts: Postsavers can be used on residential and commercial fence installations, as well as agricultural. Postsavers can be used on farm fencing, field fencing, horse fencing, yard fencing, garden fencing, and any other wooden fence installation.

Gate Posts: Postsavers used on gate posts protect the largest posts from rot. Gate posts are a fundamental piece of any fencing project and provide strength and stability. A gate with a damaged or weak gate post is subject to damage itself or will not function properly.

Wooden Decking: Postsavers applied to wooden deck posts protect against rot and help deck posts remain strong and standing. Rotting posts can make decks non-secure and unsafe. Post replacements on decks are strenuous and expensive, as decks need to be unassembled to access and replace rotting posts.

Trees: Postsavers can be applied to saplings or young trees to protect against trunk rot. Many young trees are susceptible to truck damage caused by the naturally occurring bacteria and fungi in the soil. Postsavers protect trees from these microorganisms, minimizing the amount of trunk breakage. Postsavers protect in any weather conditions.

Utility Poles: Polesavers are also available to protect wooden utility poles from rot. In many areas, including Florida, wooden utility poles are still used. Many of these utility poles can be seen down after hurricanes or even Florida’s afternoon storms, causing damages to property and power outages. Utility poles equipped with Polesavers are protected from rot and are less likely to topple during inclement weather.

CertainTeed Fence Products

CertainTeed Fence Products

With the prices of lumber and vinyl sky-rocketing thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, many homeowners find themselves placing their fencing projects on hold. Contractors are feeling the pinch as well as material prices and lead times increase with each day. The wood fence is the most popular fence type in the United States. Wood fencing is a classic, timeless fence type, as well as being the most affordable. But in todays climate, many homeowners find themselves looking into alternate fencing materials.
Vinyl has been another very popular fencing choice in the more recent years, but many find the limited colors and textures available to be lackluster. That’s where CertainTeed comes in.

CertainTeed Fence Products

CertainTeed is an innovative vinyl fence system, available in many colors as well as textures. The Sherwood blend looks and feels like wood fence while coming with the added protection of being a vinyl polymer. CertainTeed fencing products are virtually maintenance-free; they never require staining, sealing, or painting. They are created to Miami-Dade specifications for hurricane-force winds up to 115mph, won’t warp or rot in temperatures from -40-140 degrees Fahrenheit, and is ASTM certified.

CertainTeed vinyl is a high-quality product and a wonderful investment for homeowners. A high-quality fence can add to the value of a home, as well as protect loved ones such as children and pets.

Vinyl manufacturers are feeling the pinch from COVID as well, price increases and long lead times have plagued the industry this year. 2020 is nearing its end, but its effects will be felt long into 2021. The manufacturing industries will take a while to bounce back. Homeowners who are in need of home improvement projects are urged to complete the projects before prices raise higher.

Call today for a free consultation.

Inclement Weather

Inclement Weather

Inclement Weather

Florida has two main weather seasons, a “dry” season and a “wet” season.

The wet season lasts about 5 months and stretches from late May to mid-October. During these months, it’s common to see a storm daily. 61% of Florida’s annual rainfall takes place during this period.

These heavy rainfalls can often delay fence projects- much to the customer and company’s dismay. These delays are caused mainly by 2 circumstances- heavy rainfall and lightning.
During the wet season, it is not uncommon for yards to flood. If the ground conditions are too wet to dig, installations may be delayed.

Lightning is a pretty common cause of fence damage- and damage to the home as well. A lightning strike to a fence can travel to the house. In some cases, homeowner's insurance will pay to cover the damage of a fence. This is why it's important to be sure that your fence is attached to your home. if it's not, pick up an L-bracket from your local hardware store and affix it. Homeowner's insurance will not cover a detached structure.

Florida is the number 1 lightning capital of the United States, accounting for 16% of annual lightning fatalities. Thunderstorms always include lightning, so any time you hear thunder, the installers cannot be working.

While a person outside during a thunderstorm may not be directly struck with lightning, there are many ways they can be struck:
1. Side Flash: Lightning strikes a taller item near the victim and a portion of the strike jumps to the victim
2. Ground Current: Lightning strike travels from the object originally struck through the ground. This method often kills livestock.
3. Conduction: Metal does not necessarily “attract” lighting, but it does provide it a path to follow. Lighting can travel extremely far after a strike. During a thunderstorm, do not touch anything metal, including metal wiring. The CDC has also confirmed that lightning can travel through plumbing, so do not shower, wash your hands, or do dishes during a thunderstorm.

Employees work to OSHA standards, which state that if there is any lighting present, employees need to take shelter. In our case, our installers will get in their cars and wait until 30 minutes past the last clap of thunder heard. Our installers will contact the office in the event of a storm for further instruction. Depending on the radar, they may be instructed to leave for the day.

We at Paramount Fencing understand the frustration of having a fence project delayed- we don’t like it either. But the bottom line is our employee’s safety. No Paramount Fencing employee will be put in a dangerous working condition just to meet a deadline- that is not the type of company we are.

So, we will apologize in advance for any delays as we move forward. Just know that we will work diligently to install your project promptly. We appreciate your patience in this matter.

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Fencing Industry

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Fencing Industry

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Fencing Industry

2020 has seen many industries impacted by COVID-19, and the fencing industry is no exception. As a family owned and operated company, we have had to make difficult choices. We have been fortunate enough to be included in the essential worker category to continue providing security and protection for our customers. The fencing industry has taken many hits during this pandemic such as tariffs on materials, port closings causing delay of materials, and banning travel on some of our vendors causing delay on deliveries.

 

Lumber:

There is a severe shortage of pressure treated lumber across the United States. This is causing issues for the construction and fencing industries. The shortage is largely due to the spike in DIY home improvement projects and working conditions in factories due to COVID-19.

Most pressure treated wood comes from Brazil. Exports have slowed down due to shipping ports being closed. American umber mills have also been closed or are working with reduced staff. The demand has been higher than the supply, and it’s estimated that it will be like this for a while.

Pressure treated wood prices have skyrocketed between the months of June and July due to the lack of supply, and prices are expected to continue climbing.

 

Vinyl:

Vinyl product manufacturers are facing the same issue: working at reduced capacity. Our vinyl manufacturer is 32,000 panels backordered, putting vinyl shipments out 6-8 weeks from their ordered dates.

There have also been PVC shortages. PVC is a plastic polymer that can be used for many applications. Many manufacturers began using PVC to make PPE for frontline workers during the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. PVC is being used to make face masks and face shields.

Prices on European PVC exports have risen 8.5%, Indian PVC export prices have increased as well. Plant closures across the US has greatly slowed down vinyl production and distribution. The shortage of available vinyl products is causing prices to raise across the board, imported or domestic.

 

Aluminum:

The construction and automotive industries have been heavily hit by COVID-19. American made metal manufacturers are affected by the virus, as well as external factors, such as the Asian metal market. China is already the world leader for steel, and in 2017 they produced more than half of the world’s aluminum.

The construction and automotive industries are facing tariffs on imported materials, as well as long waiting periods to receive supplies.

 

We at Paramount Fencing remain open, and in the attempt to keep everyone safe and healthy, we have implemented social distancing during our estimates, not to take away our number one goal of educating and assisting each homeowner to help make a well-informed decision. While more businesses are re-opening their operations, we will continue to push through our daily processing of obtaining fence permits and ordering of materials to complete your installation. As of now, most of the local county administrative buildings are still closed to the public and taking longer than normal to approve the fence permits. We appreciate your patience in this matter. We will work diligently to advance with the installation of your fence as we obtain permitting, HOA approvals and materials.

Read Next

Hurricane Preparation for Individuals with Autism

Hurricane Preparation for Individuals with Autism

Hurricane Preparation for Individuals with Autism

With hurricane season quickly approaching, and the increase of more and more summer storms, Paramount Fencing is teaming up with Autism Society of Greater Orlando once again to help better prepare those of us with a loved one with Autism in the event of a large storm.

  1. Begin preparing for a possible hurricane now. Add comfort items to your emergency kit. Be sure to include batteries/rechargeable blocks to the kit for recharging electronics. Get an extra pair of soundproof headphones just in case.
  2. Explain to your loved one what is going on. Tell them everything you can about the situation. Use personal stories if applicable. Allow the individual with Autism to ask questions, and answer them. Validate their concerns.
  3. Keep as many routines as possible, but explain to your loved one that there may be some unexpected changes such as loss of electricity, or a change in diet due to lack of access to preferred foods. Make sure to prepare them for any possibility.
  4. If evacuating, expect bad traffic and try to take a frequent break. If you can, try evacuating to a familiar friend or family member's house. If this is not possible, be sure to pre-register for a spot at a special needs shelter in your county. Service animals will be allowed at the shelters, just be sure that you have updated vaccine/license records available. Don't forget to pack at least a 3 week supply of food/water/medicine for service animals.

To pre-register for a special needs shelter near you, follow the links below:

Orange County Special Needs Registry

Seminole County Special Needs Registry

Lake County Special Needs Registry

Polk County Special Needs Registry

Volusia County Special Needs Registry

 

Note: It is very rare for home insurance policies to cover damages caused by either flooding or hurricanes without specific add-ons. After the above preparations have been made, review your homeowner's insurance policy to ensure you are covered prior to any severe weather indications.

A Message to Our Customers – COVID-19

A Message to Our Customers – COVID-19

A Message to Our Customers – COVID-19

The Florida sun blesses us for another beautiful summer while we continue to face strange times in 2020. Due to COVID19 related issues, unexpected casualties in the business industry have affected many. Whether it’s distribution, production, or the employees themselves, businesses/ companies have to work around the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rules and regulations that are causing slight delays and inefficiencies in the workforce. For example, aluminum and vinyl fencing distribution have slowed down due to employees following the social distancing rules. Most distribution warehouse workforces are at half the capacity to align with the COVID19 guidelines and keep productivity going while cautious. The six feet rule is in play, meaning less people power to make more distance at the workplace.

About 88% of the United States' wood distribution comes from South America, specifically Brazil. The best quality of trees used for wood products come from Brazil due to the fact that the forests near the equator and the ocean are healthy and full of rare dye woods. With round 2 of COVID19 on the loose, product distribution has been tricky the last couple months... To stay productive in distribution, companies have to follow a safer process that takes longer to distribute without endangering employees. Distribution shipping ports are either shut down or working at 50% as well causing some slowdown in productivity. Aluminum and vinyl material distribution varies case by case but the new CDC safety rules still apply. The longer process of doing anything is not everyone’s 1st pick of choice but it is the safest and that’s what matters the most at this time.

As Paramount Fencing adjusts to the CDC guidelines, one of our goals is to let our customers know that we will continue to provide during the trials and tribulations. All adjustments made to the company manual are for safety purposes and to keep our customers and employees cautious during this period. Paramount Fencing employees/installers are obligated to wear masks on job sites and to keep social distancing from customers and fellow employees while on the clock. We are aware that it’s tedious work to enforce these new sets of rules on the customer and ourselves but to continue providing quality service it is necessary to abide by the temporarily normal.

The Aesthetic of Vinyl Fencing

The Aesthetic of Vinyl Fencing

The Aesthetic of Vinyl Fencing

For a modern residential look that compliments a home’s aesthetic, homeowners are seeking out vinyl fencing. Vinyl fencing is durable, built for privacy, and is long-lasting. It is an eco-friendly material that requires less energy to create and has a lower release of emissions into the environment. The vinyl fence is favored by environmentalists because of the few resources used to produce it. Most people don’t know that vinyl is the “greenest” material to use for fencing projects. It is a recyclable, synthetic, man-made substance combined from ethylene and chlorine creating polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Vinyl fencing has a longer lifespan than the average fence, also it requires minimal repair and does not rot or decompose. When installed correctly, a vinyl fence can add to the natural aesthetic of its landscape.

Installed properly, posts are installed four feet into the ground and set with concrete to ensure they are upright, level, and linear. PVC fence posts cannot be forced (driven) into the ground due to critical damage or breakage of the post. When the posts are set in the ground for the gate, aluminum metal inserts are used to keep the posts anchored in to avoid damage due to high wind conditions. The inserts are more water-resistant and use galvanized steel for the gate applications. If the vinyl fence has a gate attached, it is a simple process for the gate to be detached and removed from the fence to avoid critical damage during a storm.

At Paramount Fencing, we provide superior vinyl fences when requested by our beloved customers. Our fence installers work diligently on installing vinyl fencing correctly while also respecting our customer’s residence. There’s nothing more pain aching than cleaning up stomped on expensive plants, that is why we do everything we can to avoid that. We make sure your vinyl fence is leveled, centered, and straightened to its utmost. Our vinyl fences keep your property private and secure while blending in beautifully with the environment. Paramount Fencing’s goals are to provide the best service and to educate our customers on our products and to keep people informed.

Hurricane Preparation 2020

Hurricane Preparation 2020

Hurricane Preparation 2020

Just as we think that 2020 cannot get any crazier, Florida enters Hurricane Season. This year is expected to have an active season, with an estimated 13-19 named tropical storms. NOAA has predicted that 6-10 will become a hurricane, while 3-6 will become major hurricanes (category 3 or above)

This year’s active season could be escalated due to weather conditions in the Pacific. We do not have an El Nino this year, which is warm sea surfaces in the Pacific that helps suppress tropical storms. There is also a possibility that a La Nina will form, causing the waters to cool and react more severely with the warm atmospheric air.

Mixed with COVID, this could make for a very interesting storm season. The CDC is recommending adding hand sanitizers, hand soaps, cleaning supplies, medicine, and face masks to normal hurricane supplies in case of emergencies. Floridians are urged to begin preparing for storms now.

While many of us have lived in Florida through many hurricane seasons, and know how to protect ourselves, how can we better protect our homes from inclement weather? Paramount Fencing recommends the following:

 

  1. Board up windows with plywood or use storm shutters. Entry points such as windows and doors are the weakest points of a home.
  2. Protect against flooding by using sand bags. If you cannot get sand bags, fill heavy-duty garbage bags 1/3 with water and place them side by side to create a makeshift wall to protect your home. Park vehicles on higher ground if possible.
  3. Secure loose objects outside of homes such as patio furniture, play grounds, etc. Remove anything attached to your fence, such as art, plants, or equipment.
  4. Buy surge protectors to protect home appliances against electrical surges.
  5. “Inventory” your home. This will help with insurance claims if needed. Take pictures of your ceilings, porches, fences, and the serial numbers of electronics.
  6. Trim your trees. Most fence and roof damage comes from falling branches.
  7. Remove gates from fences and place them in the garage. Understand the gate areas are the weakest part of any fence line. They can be easily removed by removing the hinges attached to the gate itself. Simply remove the screws. Do not remove the screws attached to the fence itself.

 

Hurricane season spans from June 1st – November 30th in Central Florida.  In the event you are impacted by a Hurricane or tropical storm and suffer any damage, let us know immediately. Understand, the previous customers will always have priority over new customers. If you are not a previous customer, make sure you take the opportunity reserve pre-Hurricane estimate. We promise we will work diligently to fix your fence once the hurricane passes.

Our team will be here to help in any way possible. Even if you need assistance in cutting downed trees and removing debris, we are here to help.  We have tractors and chainsaws.

Call us today to schedule a free estimate

407.341.2720

Firework Safety & The 4th

Firework Safety & The 4th

Firework Safety & The 4th

In the blink of an eye, July is upon us, and The 4th is right around the corner. Millions of Americans are looking forward to a day filled with fun- but sometimes fun can be dangerous. Keep reading for some 4th of July facts:

Fun Facts
1. Americans will enjoy 150 million hotdogs on the 4th!
2. Fireworks are an American tradition, dating all the way back to 1777.
3. Americans spend more than $1 billion on fireworks each year. Of that $1 billion, only 10% are set off professionally.

Not-So-Fun Facts
1. 2017 reported 8 direct firework-related deaths
2. There are an estimated 12,900 firework-related ER visits each year.
3. Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires each year.
4. Fireworks are common causes of roof and fence fires. A fence fire can spread quickly to a house.
5. Every year, thousands of homeowners have to call fence companies to repair or replace vinyl fences that have melted/wood fences that have caught fire due to firework damage.

How can homeowners enjoy fireworks, but protect themselves and their property?
1. Check that fireworks are legal in your area before purchasing.
2. Never hold fireworks in your hands when igniting. Always shoot fireworks off from a flat, cleared off, non-flammable surface.
3. Light fireworks one at a time, away from people, homes, fence lines, trees, vehicles, or any other flammable structure.
4. Keep a fire extinguisher and a bucket of water close by in case of emergencies. Dunk used fireworks into water before throwing away.
5. Children should NEVER handle fireworks- this includes sparklers. Sparklers are the leading cause of firework-related injuries in children under the age of 5.
6. Only purchase fireworks from reliable and licensed sources.
7. Never use your fence to shoot fireworks. Fences are often made of flammable material (wood) or are susceptible to damage due to high amounts of heat (vinyl)

The Paramount Team would like to wish everyone a fun, safe 4th of July! If your fence experiences any damage this holiday weekend, give us a call. We look forward if given the opportunity, to making you another happy fence customer.
407.341.2720