Victoria has a long history when it comes to bushfires, and as a new resident of this state, you should already have educated yourself about what to do when a bushfire threatens you. However, after a bushfire has passed, many parts of your property are going to need your attention. If you have pets, children or livestock, one of the priority fixes will be fencing. Fencing is needed to contain all three of these groups, but the fencing that was exposed to the bushfire will likely need to be replaced. Here's what you need to know before you head out to examine the damage.
Is The Fencing Permanently Damaged?
When it comes to determining which parts of the fence are permanently damaged, there are two very important factors you need to keep in mind when examining fences that have been exposed to a bushfire.
- The temperature inside a bushfire is difficult to determine, but a log fire as an example burns at around 600 C. It is not recommended that galvanised steel products be used in areas with a temperature of over 200 C, which means your galvanised steel fencing wire is going to be damaged. While it may not physically look unusable, you will need to replace it before it perishes and falls apart.
- The wood posts that hold your fence upright may look slightly scorched above ground, but they could be badly damaged below ground, as the fire can travel down the center of each post and damage it where it cannot be seen. This means your fence posts are weakened and can be easily pushed over with a little force from your livestock or pets.
If you need further advice about the long-term structure of your fences, seek the advice of an experienced fence contractor. It is better to be 100% sure rather than relying on a damaged product that could let you down.
Consider Fence Restructure
The other point to consider before you or your fencing contractor replace the fence line is that now is the perfect time to make fencing layout changes. Just because the fences have been arranged a certain way in the past does not mean you have to replace them exactly the same way.
Bear in mind you will suffer some soil erosion in grass areas that were badly damaged by the fire, so you may want to consider smaller containment areas for your livestock or pets while you allow these areas to regrow.
The sooner you turn your mind to your fencing needs after a bushfire, the faster you can keep your stock, pets and children safe from wandering. Keep these points in mind while doing your fence examination so you can be confident it will stand up to the rigours of the job.