Your Guide to Silt Fencing

Northwest Fence And Iron
Your Guide to Silt Fencing

Silt fencing is an essential part of most construction projects. If you are amid a construction project near any waterways or are looking to avoid soil and mud plugging up your drains and spilling onto the roads, then a silt fence is exactly what you need. Here is a breakdown of silt fencing.

What Is a Silt Fence?

silt fence, often referred to as a filter fence, is used to control soil runoff during construction projects. They are temporary structures of permeable geotextile fabric and wooden or metal stakes placed at regular intervals.
When it rains, the fabric allows the excess water to drain away while keeping any silt, soil, and other sediment in its place. You avoid erosion and contaminating waterways. Silt fences are very durable and are able to withstand extreme weather, even lasting for more than six months if they’re well-maintained. An added bonus is that they are quite affordable, so they are perfect for your big or small projects.

Why You Need a Silt Fence

Soil can become loose during construction and contaminate nearby streams and other waterways. This may be especially damaging if the soil contains fertilizers or other hazardous chemicals. Therefore, installing a temporary silt fence is a crucial step towards maintaining water quality in nearby waterways. This simple step goes a long way in protecting the surrounding areas and the environment.

“Silt fences are very durable and are able to withstand extreme weather, even lasting for more than six months.”

Which Fence Is Best for You?

The type of fencing you will require depends on various factors. Your local building inspections department should be able to point you in the right direction to find the correct one for your specific needs. There are quite a few different types of silt fencing in Austin. However, the following three are the most common in construction.

  • Type A: This type of temporary fence is usually used for projects with a duration of six months or more. They are widely used in construction. The fabric is about 36 inches in width.
  • Type B: This fence is often used for smaller projects of six months or fewer. This fence is very similar to type A fences. The main difference is the size. This fence uses 22-inch wide fabric.
  • Type C: This type of filter fence can withstand up to three times the runoff as types A or B. This is due to the 36-inch fabric being reinforced with wire and the fact that 40-inch steel or metal posts are used, as opposed to 4-inch wooden posts.

Concerned about the environmental effects of a silt fence? There’s good news. Silt fencing in Austin is so resistant to the weather that the materials can be repurposed. Thankfully, these temporary fences have minimal negative effects on the environment and they can even be completely eco-friendly by using wood, geotextiles, and fasteners that are 100% biodegradable.

Maintaining Your Silt Fence

Make sure to inspect your fence periodically. The stakes should still be sturdy, and the fabric should not show signs of straining. After heavy rains, remove any large or sharp pieces of debris in order to maintain the integrity of your silt fence. Clear any buildup of sediment along the entire perimeter of the fence.
Keep an eye out for any tears, broken pieces or gaps—this may allow soil to get through.

Leave It to the Professionals

Installing a silt fence may be tempting for any do-it-yourself aficionado, but unless you have experience in landscaping or construction, it might not be as straightforward as it seems.

When installing a silt fence, there are important steps that novices tend to forget. The poles in these fences must be buried quite deep, but this depth also depends on the incline of the land. Many amateurs forget that they must also bury the fabric. Otherwise, the fence is useless.

It’s clear that this is a job for professionals. This is especially the case considering that you have to dig a trench around the perimeter of your construction site that is at least 8 inches deep. All of that digging is light work for a mechanical excavator but heavy work for one person.

There are other important aspects like avoiding crossing any streams or creeks and preventing U-shaped formations in order to keep any runoff from pooling and destroying your fence.

In short, you could technically install a temporary fence by yourself if you are very knowledgeable in erosion control or landscaping. But if you’re a complete beginner, the stakes are far too high. A simple mistake can turn into hefty fines and permanent damage to your environment.

Selecting, installing, and maintaining your fencing in Austin does not have to be a daunting task. Contact the professionals at Northwest Fence & Iron to install your silt fence, so you can have the job done right!

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