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Flood-Resistant Fencing: Comparing the Pros and Cons of Different Materials 

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Stock and Noble Premium Steel Post and Rail Fencing, Black, 4 Rail-17

Living in areas prone to flooding can pose challenges when it comes to choosing the right type of fencing. The force of rushing water, debris impact, and prolonged exposure to moisture can all have a significant impact on the durability and stability of different fencing materials. 


At Stock & Noble, with our extensive experience in providing top-notch fencing solutions across Australia and New Zealand, we understand the impact weather can have on your fencing project. We are here to guide you through the process and help you select fencing options that may offer some advantages when it comes to dealing with flooding and hopefully help you tackle the issue of flooding and fencing…as they typically don’t mix well at all.


In this blog, we will evaluate various types of fencing, including Wire Fencing, Cattle Rail, Premium Steel Post and Rail fencing system, Timber post and rail, Horserail and Mesh Fencing, to determine their performance in extreme weather conditions such as flooding.  


By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each fencing option, you can make an informed decision to protect your property against the destructive forces of flooding. 


Wire Fencing: A Sturdy Choice 

Wire fencing, when attached to timber posts or star pickets, offers a resilient option against flooding. There are different types of wire fencing available. At Stock & Noble, we offer horse sighter wire called Border Line, Legacy Line and Horserail Hotcote.  

Here are some of the reasons why Wire Fencing could be a suitable choice for flood-prone areas: 


Water Permeability: Wire fencing allows water to pass through easily compared to say a large rail of a post and rail fence. The open design of a wire fence allows floodwaters to flow through the fence rather than exert pressure against it. This reduces the risk of structural damage, or the fence being swept away by the force of the water. It can collect debris on the individual strands which is recommended to clean after water has receded. 

Please bear in mind, that if you live in an area where a lot of debris comes with the flood then the wire fence will very soon block up and become like a dam wall in effect eventually being pushed over by the force of the water. 


Minimal Friction and Resistance: Wire fencing, especially when attached to timber posts or star pickets, has a relatively small footprint if the flood waters are relatively clean. Thus resulting in less friction against the floodwaters. The reduced contact area means there is less force pushing against the fence, making it more resistant to the impact of water. On the contrary, being a small footprint, wire fence can have the opposite outcome when large debris makes contact, the fence posts can be dislodged. 


Durability: Sighter wire fencing is typically made from materials such as nylon coated hightensiled galvanized steel or 100% extruded nylon which offers excellent durability and corrosion resistance. This makes wire fences capable of withstanding prolonged exposure to moisture and floodwaters without significant degradation or rotting. 


Cattle Rail: Strong Rails but Posts Might Lean 

Cattle rail is a good strong option that will work if the flood waters are clean but won’t work if there is debris in the flood water.  

The welded rails can be secured to deep concreted posts and make for a good flood fence. However, they will rust more quickly than normal and may lean over if the ground is soddened, and the flood waters are strong. 


Premium Steel Post and Rail Fencing (Buckley): A Mixed Performance 

Premium Steel Post and Rail fencing (Buckley) is an engineered fencing system with an architectural grade powder coat, added protection against rust and the design of rails that bend, buckle and release under pressure. 

The longer post length of Buckley fencing, usually 1 meter into the ground, offers increased stability and makes it more challenging for water to affect the integrity of the fence. The deep post installation provides stability and resistance against soil erosion caused by floodwaters. This ensures that the fence is more likely to remain securely anchored and maintains its integrity even in areas with soft or waterlogged soil conditions. 

Additionally, the Premium Metal Fence is versatile and can be easily worked with. In the event of flooding often there is some pre-warning and if time permits the rails could be easily removed to allow flood waters to pass without damaging the rails and putting undue pressure on the posts. Once water recedes rails can go back in. 

This is one of the most important features of this fence that makes Buckley a good choice for flood-prone areas.


Flexible Plastic Rail Fencing: Reliable and Removable 

When it comes to flood performance, flexible plastic rail or Horserail systems prove to be reliable, durable and removable.  

Designed to withstand the challenges presented by flood conditions, these fencing solutions offer resilience. Unlike traditional materials that may warp, rot, or become compromised by water exposure, flexible plastic rails or Horserails remain unaffected. Their unique composition allows them to maintain their shape and structural integrity even in the face of flooding. This means that when the waters recede, you can trust that your fencing will remain intact.  

If there’s an adequate time before flood warning, this fencing can also be easily removed and kept rolled up before the water hits. Thus saving you money and any potential damage to the rails. 

This factor is key to flood management. It is often quicker and easier to remove the rails before the flood and replace them after than it is to leave them there and then have to clean, repair or replace them.


Timber Post and Rail Fencing: Strong but vulnerable 

Timber post and rail fencing, while aesthetically pleasing, is not the best solution either. Unlike wire fencing water won’t be able to pass through the fence as easily, putting immense pressure on the whole fence. This could lead to the collapse of the whole fence structure. 

The water absorption and retention characteristics of timber can lead to swelling, warping, decay, and faster deterioration of the fencing. 

Soil erosion and the potential for rotting and decay further compromise the fence’s strength and durability. Regular maintenance is required to mitigate water damage, making it less ideal for flood-prone areas compared to other materials like steel or wire. 


Mesh fencing: Collects Debris and might Collapse  

Mesh fencing poses challenges in flood-prone areas due to debris getting stuck and potentially collapsing the fence. 

The sieve-like structure of mesh fencing allows water to rush through, but it can also trap debris, leading to a compromised fence. During floods, large debris such as branches, logs, and other floating objects are often carried by the rushing water.  

Mesh fencing with its small openings can easily catch and trap debris, leading to blockage and further increasing water pressure against the fence. The accumulation of debris can compromise the structural integrity of the fence and result in damage or collapse. 

Additionally, cleaning and restoring mesh fencing after a flood can often be close to impossible leading to complete replacement of the fence.  


Which fencing should I choose for my property in a flood-frequented area? 

You wanted to find out which fencing would be best for your property and can take the impact of flooding if it ever occurs. Now you know choosing the right fencing type to withstand flooding requires careful consideration of factors such as water flow, debris impact, and overall durability. 


  • Wire fencing attached to timber posts or star pickets can work in clean floodwaters, however, we all know it is not a safe fence for the majority of the time as a horse fence.
  • Premium Steel Post and Rail fencing can withstand flooding, with longer posts providing added stability and if time permits the option to easily remove the rails.
  • Timber post and rail fences are more vulnerable to water damage and rot, while mesh fencing will likely need replacement after each flood. Both these options are not likely to be a good choice. 
  • Horserail, with its patented designs and tagline of ‘just buckle it up’ seems to be a practical option to remove and re-install before and after the flood. 

To conclude, Horserail and Premium steel post and rail fencing, offer better resistance to flooding compared to cattle rail, timber post and rail, or mesh fencing. 


By evaluating these factors, you can select a fencing option that best suits your property in a flood-prone area, ensuring long-lasting protection and peace of mind. 


Some other tips can help you reduce the impact of wet weather on your property. While we cannot control the weather, we can share the strategies and insights to tackle floods which might prove helpful. 


If you want to know further about different types of fencing solutions and choose the one that’s most suitable for your property based on cost, installation and safety reach out to one of our fencing experts. We will help you every step of the way to create a beautiful property just the way you imagined. 

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