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Finding the Right Stability Solution

Monday July 16th, 2018

Why Do You Need a Stability Solution?

Your perimeter fence is what keeps your site safe and secure. It is your last line of defense against intruders. That’s why it is vital for you to ensure the stability of your fence line at all times. Of course, Modu-Loc fence is strong – but Mother Nature can be even stronger. According to the Government of Canada website, when a wind warning is issued, you should expect inland winds to blow steadily at 60-65 km/h or more, or have gusting winds up to 90km/h or more. These high winds can impact the safety and condition of your site. In conditions like this, it is necessary to take extra steps to ensure site safety.

As well, we strongly recommend employing a stability solution if you’re planning to hang anything from the fence. The installation of additional materials or screening to any temporary structure will increase the structural and environmental loads. Things like privacy screening and banners will negatively affect the stability of the fence, making it more prone to being blown over in high winds. When hanging anything from temporary fence, reinforcing the fence line to counteract these effects is crucial.

Unstable fence is not only dangerous, but it can be costly, too. It puts the safety of your workers and the public at risk, opening you up to liability. Our fence panels are heavy, and falling fence can cause serious (and expensive) damage to nearby property. Finally, most rental companies will charge you for damaged fence panels.

Why take the chance? There are accessories available that can help mitigate some of these risks. Modu-Loc has several different solutions to help you improve the stability of your temporary fence:

Sandbags

Sandbags are one of the most popular solutions for fence stability, since they are inexpensive and easy to implement. They are portable and can easily be moved throughout the site as needed. This option does not require locates (the process of locating and mapping underground utilities), which are needed for any stability solutions that penetrate the ground. However, since they do not secure the fence to the ground, sandbags do not provide enough stability to be suitable for extreme winds. Though there are more stable and durable options out there, sandbags are perfect for short-term jobs or when you need to be able to move the fence line around.

Sandbags help weigh down temporary fence bases

Spikes/Anchors

Another common solution includes securing the fence bases to the ground using spikes and anchors. These are both inexpensive and easy to install, making them great options for further stabilizing your temporary fence. Spikes and anchors are ideal in situations where you don’t have enough room for concrete blocks, v-bracing or wind braces. This method would require locates, as we are drilling into the ground. Anchors are suitable for most terrain, with the exception of soft ground (such as grass). If your site is situated on soft ground, then t-bars may be your best bet.

T-Bars

T-bars are highly recommended for added stability, especially when hanging privacy screening or banners from the fence. Screening increases the load on the fence and negatively impacts stability. If you cannot use regular fence bases due to the characteristics of your site (for instance, if the fence needs to hug a curb or a hill), then t-bars are a great option. However, t-bars require relatively soft ground, such as grass, for installation. If you require installation in the winter when the ground is frozen, there may be an added labour charge as special equipment is needed.

Wind Braces

This solution involves the fence being secured to the ground with wind braces. The wind braces attach to the top of the fence panels and are drilled into the ground along the fence line. Wind braces can withstand moderately high winds. The stability of this solution depends somewhat on the stability of the ground it is drilled into, so wind braces are not ideal for soft terrain. We recommend wind braces if anything is being hung on the fence, such as banners or screening.

Wind braces secure temporary fence panels to the ground

Fence on Jersey Barriers

Modu-Loc’s fence on concrete barrier system is a strong visual and physical breach deterrent. This system reduces installation time and costs over other mounted barrier systems due to the saddle installation, and is also more visually appealing than other stability solutions. The fence panels are secured to the concrete jersey barrier, so they cannot be moved or adjusted. This system is great for projects along busy roadways or parking lots, and is also ideal for high-security scenarios. It is safest for the public and maximizes the security of your site.

Fence is installed on concrete barriers using a proprietary system

V-Bracing or Triangle Bracing

Long, straight lines of fence can be unstable, particularly in high winds. V-bracing or triangle bracing can be used to stabilize long lines of fence. Triangle bracing is the more stable of the two techniques, and is recommended on uneven terrain or in high winds. As a best practice, we use v-bracing or triangle bracing at 100 foot intervals along straight lines of fence. To learn more, read about our best practices for temporary fence installation.

Concrete Block Ballast System

The concrete block ballast system is comprised of heavy concrete blocks and wind braces spaced at 20’ intervals along the fence line. This system prevents the fence from being knocked over, and is built to resist wind loads adopted by the Structural Engineering Institute/American Society for Civil engineers building code. We can tailor the size and spacing of the concrete blocks to suit your specific requirements. Due to their weight, the concrete blocks require a forklift and added time/labour to set up. This system is definitely worth the added cost and labour, as this is among the strongest of all the stability solutions Modu-Loc offers.

Concrete blocks and wind braces help stabilize temporary fence

Finding the Best Solution

Modu-Loc Fence Rentals offers superior installation systems that adapt to the most demanding conditions. By providing you with some basic information about available stability solutions, we hope this guide will help you decide what is right for your site. However, it is always best to consult the professionals if you have any concerns about the stability of your rental fence. Modu-Loc’s Fence Guys are trained to assess areas of concern and make recommendations for the right accessories for every site, ensuring optimal support and stability. To find out more about any of our stability solutions, please contact us.

We’re here to answer any questions you may have.

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