Fence Damaged In The Storm

Thunderstorm season has hit the Midwest. With the recent large storm that moved through our area and left my neighbors wood fence blown down. Several of the panels and post were blown over and flattened where shear winds made their path. The rest of the fence panels were down but several post remained. My neighbor asked me several days later after cleaning up his yard and cutting the post off if we would be interested in installing a new fence.  After I looked at his yard, I realized he cut the post flush to the ground. I could not tell him that by cutting the post off flush to the ground has significantly increased the installation cost of replacing his damaged fence. This is why I decided to write the to help you out and share some storm damage fence advise.


  • Don’t cut off existing remaining posts.  Let  our fence professionals assess your existing posts and damage.   Pine posts that are treated are extremely resilient and often can be reused in your new fence.  The long vertical cracks in these posts are not the result of storm damage, but of the natural maturation process of the posts.  Cracks have no impact on your post  structural  performance.
  • Don’t cut off existing remaining posts regardless what you think needs done.  Even if it has been determined that the posts must be replaced do to damage, do not cut these posts off.  The post is a point to grab-on to and pull it and the footing out in one piece.  When there is no post and just the remaining footing, it is very  difficult and very time consuming to remove the remaining footing without the post.  It results in a great deal of labor by hand digging around the footing until it can be broken-up and pulled-out piece by piece.
  • Check your fence warranty, and not your neighbor’s fence.  If your recently installed fence was damaged during the storm, your fence might be covered under warranty.  Most fencing does not fall under any local or national building codes since it does not relate to a habitable structure.  However, it can be reasonable understood to withstand typical storms with much lower windspeeds.  On the other hand, shear winds and severe gust can be very misleading.  Your fence may be the only fence damaged on your block or neighborhood.  Not because it was improperly constructed when installed, but because shear winds were able to wind through your neighborhood.
  •   Please  be patient?  After damaging storms sweeps through your community or acreage, fence contractors are inundated with phone calls to repair and replace fencing. Most times, these contractors will estimate repairs with overtime wages and higher margins as they know they will have to ramp-up to meet customer demands by bringing on more staff.  If you can wait to repair or replace your fence, consider giving contractors several weeks to get caught-up.  The best time for an estimate on your fence is late fall or first thing in the spring as contractors are aggressively needing and looking for work to keep everyone working and employed.
  • Is your vinyl fence damaged?  After strong storms sweeps through your community or neighborhood, you will see an over abundance of vinyl fencing damaged versus wood or chain link.   Bottom line, even well-constructed vinyl fencing is going  to see damage in severe storms with high wind speeds like our recent storm.  It is very typical to see all the pickets and rails blown down with the posts remaining.  Don’t be misled?  Often times, these posts cannot be reused.  These posts may appear fine but look closer for small cracks or crimps at the base of each posts.  Once these posts are  slightly crimped; these posts you can be assured to fail during the next storm.
  • Coincidence or consideration?  After storms blow through a neighborhood, you will typically see a handful of fences that are blown over or damaged some way.  Rarely do you see all the neighbors’ fencing blown over.  This is usually the result of shear winds finding that path between homes and other structures.  If your fence is one of those fences that was blown over in our current storm; you should give consideration to your next type of replacement fence.  Instead of going with another privacy wood or vinyl fence, you might want to consider a more open design that allows for wind flow through the pickets.  It is no coincidence your fence was blown over last week.  High winds will once again find your fence in their line of sight, unfortunately only mother nature knows when that will be.

American Fence Company has been replacing and repairing  storm damaged fence for over fifty years.  We recognize we not only build fences but relationships.  We want to work with you to make this a positive experience for you.


Posted in Uncategorized |

Construction Site Thefts Are Up

Construction site thefts over the last two years are rising. American Fence Rental has installed a large amount of construction site security fence as well over the last two years. Contractors are doing their best in providing site security. These thieves are still able to find their way into the secured site. Although providing site security, contractors can make some critical mistakes that could have made a difference between theft free or several site break-ins. American Fence Rental provides suggestions that would promote a better secured system at little to no additional investment. Based on recent reports on theft at construction sites, we are adding a How-To for site security fence installations to help prevent thefts.

  1. Your employee parking should be fenced in. This helps remove anywhere  logical for thieves to park. Make these thieves park where the street is lighted and away from the site. They will think twice before attempting a break in, and will move on to a better construction site to target.
  2. Use wind screen or shade screen  on fences where the site is highly visible. Or if you site is up against a street where everyone can see you installing items of high value to a thief. Shade screen will help block there view. Remember, out of site is out of mind.
  3. Debris and weeds need to be removed. If weeds are allowed to grow, this gives a hidden path in and out of your site. Keep your site clean.
  4. Temporary construction site fence should be kept tight to the ground. Even the smallest gap under your fence is an invitation to break in. A general contractor who was building a large box store noticed a considerable amount of construction material placed against his fence. After doing a check on the fence, he noticed the fence was installed with a large gap at the bottom of the fence. Workers were piling materials next to the fence to be stolen when the site was not occupied. Ask yourself, how much material left this site before the issue with the gap under the fence was fixed? My guess $1,000 of dollars worth of material or more.
  5. Do not allow other trades or employees remove salvaged materials from your site. Especially if it is not part of there scope of work. Once you allow someone to take salvage like old electrical fittings. Next, this leads to the copper wiring, and even new material. Don’t create a s slippery slope by giving others an excuse to remove material from your site. If you must allow salvage, place this material in the parking lot separated from everything else.

American Fence Rental is the largest provide of construction temporary fencing and barricading. As the Midwest’s largest provider of temporary fencing. We have over eight locations with thousands of temporary fence panels, wire, stands, and sandbags. Please visit one of these locations or our site for more information or a free quote.http://www.fencerentalcompany.com/



Posted in Uncategorized |

Gate locks are your first line of defense

We all know that thieves don’t want to make a scene at your front door. Most break-ins happen in the back of your house, through your gate and into the patio door or basement. By the time these thieves reach the back door; they are committed to the break-in. At this point they know they have crossed the threshold of no return and  may not attempt to forcible enter your home.

When do think these thieves realized there was no return? It was the moment when they went from simply being nosey to actually taking actions to open your gate your back yard. Now what do you think the thieves would have thought if your gate was locked? they would have looked for an easier target. Almost all privacy fence gates are not locked, and the ones that are locked normally use a simple padlock that the thieves could cut with bolt cutters.

Most home owners have not thought about the above scenarios in their minds; thinking that I only wanted a privacy fence to keep our kids and pets in the backyard. What they might not know is there is a wide variety of options to lock and secure your gate. At American Fence Company we recommend several inexpensive options to lock your gate

  • Lokklatch offers a wide variety of two side keyed locks that can be installed by your fence professional.  These offer  great option considering access from both sides of your gate and a keyed entry.
  • Simplex offers a touchpad combination lock that is also accessible from both sides or your gate.  When you do not want one more key to carry with you; you will appreciate this series of gate locks these are amazing locks.
  • Lockey offers a very inexpensive single sided combination lock for your gate.  This is a great lock when you do not require access from both sides, these are normally put on low access gates.
  • D & D Technologies offers a magnetic pool latch that is accessible from both sides and elevates the lock latch out of the reach of small children. Another great option.

These lock manufactures offer a variety of user friendly gate locking devices for all applications. Most important is that you now know the importance of a good gate lock and latch. So before selecting a lock, think about home defense when not securing your gate but also your home. Please visit our America’s Gate company website at http://www.americasgatecompany.com.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Automated gate operators are a great idea

When the situation fits, consider an automated gate operator. Although there are situations where maybe and automated gate is not the best gate for you.

American Fence Company sells hundreds of gate operators along with access control systems every year. Both our residential and commercial sales and installs these systems. We love the idea of our customers automating gates. This represents more of convenience and improved security. Our customers’ best intentions are always our first priority when coming together on your projects. With that said, there are times when  and automated gate may not be the best choice. To help you decide to go automated or not to go automated, below are some of those situations.

– If you have several small children who like to play and climb on everything, or if their play area is in the proximity of the gate install. On one install, our salesman visited with the customer at her home to discuss an automated gate. This gate was to keep the children in the front yard as someone could not always be present to watch them. Through UL325 and ASTM2200 have attempted to keep all automated gates safe as possible. These standards are not full-proof. Small children can very easily and not knowing the harms maneuver around these devices and gates. We did provide this customer with a nice ornamental slide gate but no access control systems were installed.

– If you do not know who will be entering and exiting your gate and it is primarily unattended for long periods of time. We automated a gate at a local unsupervised camp site. After installing, we repeatedly received call to fix the gate operator as several campers quickly figured out that if they covered the photo-eye; they could keep the gate open at all times. We recommended a camera as an alternative to help stop the campers from manipulating the gate to stay open.

-If you do not want to install the necessary pedestrian safety devices or vehicle obstructions. A private remote hunting lodge wanted to install an automated slide gate. They elected  not to install the reversing and safety devised as this would provide trespassers unlimited access.

-IF automating the gate creates a potentially dangerous situation for you. A gated community decided to install  a estate double drive swing gate that they wanted to open out due to some severe elevation changes. This gate was only 30′ off a super busy thoroughfare. We would not install gate operators on the this gate. After installing the gate, the customer hired a contractor to install gate operators and full access controls. After installing a guest of one of the residence pulled up to the gates, called the resident friend to open the gate, the gate started to open the guest panicked as the gates were opening towards her. She then put her car in reverse and backed up fast to avoid the gates hitting her car. What she didn’t realize she was backing into traffic where she was struck by an oncoming vehicle. This Double drive gate was replaced shortly afterwards by a slide gate.

I hope the above situations help you make a decision to automate your gate or install an access control system. Either option we have you covered. Please contact your local American Fence Company for assistance. Our sales staff work with several of the nation’s top manufacturers like GTO Linear OSCO, Liftmaster Chamberlain, Door King,  Hy-security, and Tymetal. Teaming with these manufactures we will help you through the process to installing a fully functional and dependable automated access control system.



Posted in Uncategorized |

PalmSHIELD…..Don’t Sweat Your Copper.

Louvered PalmShield helps to secure HVAC equipment enclosures. We all know copper prices have increased over 60% since 2007. And you know what that means, “theft”. These thieves are averaging $100.00 of copper tubing stolen from residential ac units. The local Huston news has reported several commercial HVAC units dropped several stories from roof tops at shopping malls. Thieves pull the copper from these units that value hundred of dollars. Who pays? the mall owners spend tens of thousands of dollars every year replacing these units. As commercial property and home owners move quickly to protect equipment, those of you who have not are now the target of these Thieves.

PalmSHIELD provides a wide arrange of security measures to protect your ac and HVAC equipment. Security guards, security cameras, and even lighting are an immediate solution that will help deter and catch thieves. This equipment will not stop persistent thieves who are willing to do what it takes to get your equipment, and copper. Under these circumstances, only a tough insurmountable enclosure is going to stop thieves and protect your property.

PalmSHIELD;s louvered secure HVAC and ac equipment enclosures will be your perfect solution. We can even provide a lockable lid for smaller enclosures. With non removable hinges and a lock that is not accessible to be cut. We offer height of up to twelve feet for larger ac equipment enclosures. These taller free standing systems use a large structural columns to support your PalmSHIELD panels. The panels are framed with structural  aluminum extrusions designed for your project. All of the PalmSHIELD louvered panels are designed to allow air flow to accommodate your needs. The architectural panels are secured with Stainless steel screws to the post. These screws are not accessible from the outside of the louvered system. We use a Gorilla hinge paired with PalmSHIELDS  internal locking device is also not accessible to any thieves. On double door installations, we use internal lockable drop rods to secure your enclosure.

For smaller PalmSHIELD ac enclosures offers a light weight solution to rooftop installations. These panels can be assembled by anyone if minutes. PalmSHIELD ac enclosures are pre-engineered, tested to assure that all points of attachments align perfectly. Thus eliminating any onsite drilling or fabrication. Roof top installations the corner column supports have large plate to help with installation. Site conditions can be challenging, we recognize this and our equipment should not add to those challenges.

There are allot of security enclosures on the market for ac and HVAC units. Many provide security but are often tested by thieves before moving on leaving a damaged or compromised unit that needs repaired. PalmSHIELD is formidable. Would-be thieves think twice before trying to break down our PalmSHIED enclosures. With large four inch square columns and thick three inch thick panel framework,  this system PalmSHIELD  presents a big challenge to all thieves.

PalmSHIED is built to fit your installation, be it a small ac rooftop unit to a large 12′ tall commercial project each PalmSHIELD is unique to our customers. We provide a complete layout or drawing of your installation for your approval for any project you have. We recognize no installation is typical.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Vertical Pivot Gates

Are you in need of an ultimate solution in removing any gaps at the bottom of your gate? If you don’t have the storage space for a swing gate, cantilever or rolling gate? Your in luck, your solution may be a vertical pivot gate.

These vertical pivot gates are an extremely light weight gate that operate on a pivot point. This pivot point is on the side of the opening. To accomplish this, you will need an operator. Operators are specific to the gate and for the designed to work together to provide a vertical lift. these operators use a high tensioned spring and hydraulic cylinder to operate the gate. When power is supplied, the spring pulls the gate back and up. the hydraulic cylinder controls all the motion in the gate.  When closed these cylinders push up and forward putting tension on the spring.

Vertical pivot gates practically lift straight up, therefor the gates can be customized to meet the terrain of the ground. Vertical gates are very popular with installations that require one hundred percent closure with no gaps. These gates are popular with military bases and airports. Vertical lift gates have become frequent on railroad installations. Tracks for a railroad are placed on a thick base of ballast. This creates a convex or irregular contour throughout the gate opening. These gates have been built and fabricated to not only mirror the ballast but to work in and over the tracks, leaving a gap of 4 inch’s or less.

Vertical pivot gates require less than a ten foot storage space along the gate opening. This is usually less than half of the actual gate opening. A cantilever gate requires almost one and half times the opening to store the gate. Vertical pivot gates are a gate of choice for tight down town parking lots.

In parts of the country that have severe weather, and in very remote area’s Vertical gates are very popular. Farms and ranches, these gates are by far the best choice when place d on a solar power as these gates require very little electrical power. And Vertical gates pivot so snow will not affect the open or closing unless severe.

The only downside to a vertical gate is the considerable footing required to support the gate operator. This footing is the anchoring system the presents a great deal of stability. There is a much greater cost when installing a vertical pivot gate. The operators are very large, and the components are more significant than your standard slide gate operator.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Happy customer letter

Bill, I want to thank you again for the excellent work American Fence did on fabricating a new deck post for me. Dustin was fearless and jumped in to recreate an existing post design. His work was better than the original and now I’m thinking about having him redo all of them. Many thanks to you Bill and your creative team. I look forward to doing business with you again. Regards, Todd R.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Overhead Track Gates

Overhead track slide gates make allot of good sense when you have a high use facility entrance and need a highly reliable gate, the slide gate would be your best choice. These gates do not need a counter balance like cantilever gates do; these gates place far less stress on all the gate hardware and the gate operators. they use heavy duty hardware that is designed for continuous daily duty with little to now wear and tear. Slide gates have a track that extends above and through the opening; this gives the gate more rigidity under winds and severe weather conditions.

Slide gates use a large 6″ or 8″ I-Bean, this beam spans the opening and travels long enough to support the slide gate in the full opening. This I-beam is a gate track. It borrows a trolley design from the material handling industry to support the gate along the length of the I-beam track. Trolleys are often rated for up to several thousands of pounds, they use high quality sealed bearings.  Some slide gates depending on the opening my require two to three trolleys. The I-beam track is placed at a height to accommodate trucking which is limited to 14′ clearance, unless the trucking company is shipping over-height loads.

The frames may be of aluminum or steel. Gate panels ar typically the same height as the adjoining fence line. It will be extended to the height of the track with vertical uprights and will be attached to the trolleys. If you are going to make your slide gate automated, the rear of the gate must be slightly extended. This extension will be used to attach the operator chain to the tail of the gate. Large overhead slide gates are a great choice for high speed automation needed in secure facilities and airports. with a large rigid track extended above and through the opening this prevents any bouncing of the gate up or down due to the torque of the gate operator.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Canitlever Gates-No sweeping concerns

Cantilever gates are the most popular automated gates of choice. These catilever gates are suspended above the ground. There is no concerns regarding different terrain, road, or weather conditions. the guide wheels both lower and upper, guide the gate through the opening. unlike swing gates. Cantilever gates slide back and for the. Therefor eliminating concerns over moderate levels of snow.

Cantilever gates’ Achille’s heel is changing elevations. The cantilever gate is supported by two support post, both these post support the gate on the storage side of the opening. These support posts support the rollers or trucks that support the gate. The posts are spaced approximately half the distance of the opening apart from one another. On a 20ft. opening, the post are 10ft. apart. These post must be set at the highest elevation along the entire travel of the gate. Whether manual or automated, cantilevers must be installed level to prevent gate from closing on its own. these gates if not installed level could possibly harm vehicles, or worse yourself. Level gates are the best practice and in accordance with UL 325 and ASTM 2200. Cantilever gates cannot be adjusted to changing elevations. If the elevation falls through the opening; there may be a considerable gap under the gate. If elevation falls along the travel of the gate rises higher than at the support post’ elevation; It could bottom-out while traveling.

Cantilevers are an excellent choice of gate for storage issues. the gate takes-up little space as it stores up against an adjoining fence line. Swing Gates on the hand, you have to keep the entire area clear where the gate opens.. A cantilever gate has a very small foot print. Cantilever gates usually are one and a half the distance of the opening. So, with a 20ft. opening; your gates 30ft. overall. Make sue you account for this space along the fence line where the gate stores.

There are two types of cantilever gates. Steel gates that use an all steel frame. These gates are pinched between two bottom and top rollers. Roller covers must be installed to protect others in accordance with UL325 and ASTM 2200. Aluminum cantilever gates use an all aluminum frame with an extruded track at the top of the gate. Trucks or trolleys are installed, these run inside this track to support the gate from the support post. Guide wheels are used at the bottom, these wheels keep the gate plumb and centered. Steel gates are the most economic and most reliable. Aluminum cantilever gates are lighter and a great platform for an ornamental looking gate. These gates with the enclosed track system has a smoother operation during snow and ice storms.

 America’s Gate manufactures hundreds of both styles of cantilever gates each year. Most of these are automated gates. In today’s high security environments, there are automated systems that will move from 2′ to 11′ per second. Imagine closing a 30′ gate in under three seconds. Most automated cantilevers move at 1′ per second. This is a much safer speed. Cantilever gates are a perfect choice for manufacturing facilities, estate entrances, and any high security applications.





Posted in Uncategorized |

Engineering & Anchoring PalmSHIELD. Anchors Away

PalmShield is engineered to meet category one 90 mph wing load requirements for architectural louvered screen systems. Though we do not provide generalized engineered stamped drawings; we do however review our  engineering to assure that our design will meet designed load requirements and overall design and selection of materials.

Ultimately, it is up to you, our customer, to select the type of anchoring system for anchoring our PalmSHIELD plated post design. We have worked with engineers across United States attaching our PalmSHIELD to different structural steel and rooftop installations. With the vast majority of our PalmSHIELD product installations being mounted to the top of concrete surfaces.

PalmSHIELD uses a wide 3/4″ base plate design that is gusseted to the post and welded in accordance to AWS D1.2 certifications and requirements. This is to allow customers of PalmSHIELD to use a wide variety of anchoring systems. With this large 3/4″ plate, it allow the anchor holes to be around 7 inches apart. This prevents overlapping of tension placed on the concrete by each anchor.

When installed, concrete anchors place tension against the adjoining concrete under a load. The tension begins to dimension the farther away you get from the center of the anchor.  Assuming you have adequate concrete of at least 4000 psi, the load can be predicted by the anchor manufacture relative to the area of concrete impacted by this tension.  If concrete anchors are installed too close to one another, this loading is overlapped and increased exponentially thus potentially causing the concrete to fail or sprawl.  Consideration should also be given to how far the anchor is installed relative to the edge of the concrete.  If there is not enough concrete from the center of the anchor to the edge of the concrete to absorb the tension of the anchor under a load, the concrete may fail.

PalmSHIELD is not recommending any anchor, anchor spacing, depth or edge spacing. We are simply offering some solid advise to our customers that these are important considerations that should be properly engineered.  If notified at time of quote request and provided with the site specific engineering requirements, PalmSHIELD can provide you with engineering that will determine your specific anchoring requirements during the submittal process.  On a site specific basis, PalmSHIELD can offer jurisdiction specific engineering working with engineers who are certified in that jurisdiction.  As our PalmSHIELD product has been stamped for approval in multiple installations, we work seamlessly with engineers to meet your requirements.

To learn more about PalmSHIELD, please visit our website at http://www.palmshieldlouvers.com/

Posted in Uncategorized |