• Keeping Your Home Safe: Our Tips & Tricks

    Living in any neighborhood today means protecting your property from intruders. There are many ways to accomplish this and help keep your property and its residents safe and sound. This post contains some simple tips and tricks to burglar-proof your home.

    Change Your Habits

    Burglars may watch your home over several days, making note of when you leave and return home so that they know the best times to strike. Unfortunately, certain habits may make it easier for break-ins to occur. For example, you may enjoy posting on social media about an upcoming vacation, but should this information get into the hands of a burglar, they can use it to their advantage.

    Instead of providing all of the details of your vacation online, consider leaving them out or simply don’t post anything about your vacation online until you’ve returned.

    Keeping Your Home Safe

    Make It Difficult for Burglars

    Another way to keep your home safe is to make it a difficult home to break into. You can do this in many ways. Motion-sensitive lighting installed in your yard will deter burglars by washing them in a beam of light when they trespass on your property. Interior light timers will make it look as though someone is home all the time by turning lights on and off randomly.

    The presence of a guard dog can also be a great burglar deterrent, as many burglars would rather leave a property than risk being caught because of a barking dog. Finally, most burglars will check for the installation of a quality alarm system before attempting to break into a home, so this may also be a wise investment for you to make.

    Lock Up Outbuildings

    Burglars will find your unlocked sheds or outbuildings appealing because this is often where expensive tools are stored. That being said, it’s important to invest in quality locks and ensure they are in place when not using these buildings.

    Home security tips

    Fencing Can Secure Your Home

    Installing security fencing around your property can stop burglars before they even set foot on your property. To do this, you’ll need to hire qualified fence contractors. They will be able to match your needs with the right security fencing options for your budget. Security fencing offers a very efficient means of protecting your property and family, while at the same time adding curb appeal.

    Properly Fencing a Property

    Many homeowners wonder whether they need to fence off their entire property. This depends on how much of an issue security is in your location. It may be that only a part of your property requires fencing, such as where pets or children play. However, if you live in an area where the crime rate is higher, then fencing your entire property may be more feasible.

    Whether you choose to install fencing on your entire property or not, one of the benefits of doing so is that it only requires a one-time investment. Barrier Fence offers a wide range of options for security fencing. To learn more, contact us at (512) 709-8467.

  • Know Your History: What Were the Texas Fence Cutting Wars?

    Due to the scarcity of rocks and lumber, Texas’s landscape in the Old West was vast and uninterrupted by fencing of any kind. However, in 1883, a clash between stockmen occurred that came to be known as the Texas Fence Cutting Wars. It was this conflict that led to the many types of modern privacy fence seen in Texas today.

    Fence cutting wars

    Barbed Wire

    Barbed wire had been available in Texas since the 1870s, but it wasn’t considered to be a durable form of fencing by stockmen, who considered barbed wire to be as useless as the smooth wire fencing which failed to hold their stock.

    However, other stockmen realized that this new product could give them the ability to prevent the stock from landless cowmen from wandering in to graze on their property. Knowing this, they purchased grass and water-rich land and placed barbed wire around these plots to protect them.

    Stockmen who couldn’t afford money for barbed wire or better grazing land were forced to send herds to graze on the state-owned open range. Because of the increasing number of fenced-in properties, these smaller stock owners often found it difficult to feed and water their herds.

    Barbed wire fencing would also cause stock to become injured. These unattended injuries would lead to screwworm infestations, which led to the death of many cattle and lost revenue for stockmen.

    Texas Fence Cutting Wars

    How the Wars Began

    A severe drought in 1883 was especially hard on stock owners. Not only did several creeks, rivers, and watering holes dry up almost completely in the summer and fall of that year, but grass was withering all over the open range. This gave landless stock owners no choice but to move west. Unfortunately, when they did so, they were only faced with more fences.

    However, they also met homesteaders, who also disliked the fences because they crossed public roads and prevented travel. Together, they began to protest against the growing number of barbed wire fences. Soon, their protests would reach the Texas Greenback Party, which would also lend its voice to the outcry.

    After several unsuccessful meetings, protests, and unanswered letters, landless stock owners decided that the only option left was to cut the fences. Well-organized groups were formed, and the cutting began. As the drought worsened, even legally-installed fencing was cut. Pastures were set on fire, and landowners were threatened.

    Lobbying and Mabel Doss Day

    The most influential anti-nipping protester was widowed and debt-ridden Mabel Doss Day, whose protests led to the passing of legislation which would punish the act of fence cutting and pasture burning by up to five years in state prison. Unfortunately, the fence-cutting wars would continue until 1889, when Texas Rangers were called to assist.

    Effect on Modern Fencing

    Today, fencing is everywhere, in several different forms, and stock owners are no longer battling as they used to over land ownership. However, fencing remains one of the most effective means to assert property rights and boundaries. Barrier Fence offers a wide range of products for your agricultural fencing needs; call (512) 709-8467 today to discover your Austin fencing options.

  • Keep Your Fence Looking Perfect with These 5 Easy Maintenance Tips

    A privacy fence around your yard is ideal, not only for privacy but also for staying safe and adding style to your home. However, fences do require regular maintenance; without it, they’ll rot and wither away until they need to be replaced. Luckily, regular maintenance isn’t just possible, it’s ridiculously easy if you have the right knowledge and tools. These 5 easy maintenance tips will ensure your fence lasts for years to come.

    Fence Looking Perfect

    1. Apply a Wood Preservative

    Wood posts are stuck into the ground, and that makes them susceptible to both moisture and bugs. The part of the posts that stays above the ground can also become worn from moisture, exposure to the elements, wind, rain, and sun. Apply a wood preservative to keep the wood in the best condition possible when you first install your new fence. Doing so will avoid the typical daily wear and damage, ensuring that your new installation stays protected from elemental damage at all times.

    2. Remove Bushes and Vines

    It may seem harmless to let bushes and vines grow around your fence, but it can cause a great deal of damage—often more than people realize. These elements pull in extra moisture from the ground, making your posts rot faster and causing the wood to split. They can also scratch at the surface of your fence, removing the protectant and exposing the underlying wood. Remove any bushes and vines as soon as you see them growing.

    3. Clean the Fence Regularly

    No matter what type of fence you have, it is always wise to clean it regularly. Even with the protectant spread on thickly, you will still experience damage if the fence is layered in dirt. Never use harsh cleansers; they’ll strip off the coating. Instead, use a mild household detergent and a scrub brush to remove dirt and stains.

    Fencing Austin Texas

    4. Add a Support Rail

    Most fences will start to loosen and become unstable over time. Rather than having to replace entire posts, simply add a support rail. Nail the rail into the center, going across the other posts to provide the best support. Deck screws are especially well-suited for this task.

    5.Clear Snow in the Winter

    While some cities don’t see as much snowfall, many still get a bit of precipitation in the winter. Any amount of snow, or even cold rain, can cause damage to a fence, making it essential to clear off whatever sticks right away. Brush the snow off the fence and make sure there is no snow around the base, either. It will only bring in more moisture, causing the fence to rot away faster.

    Keep your privacy fence looking perfect with these five easy-peasy maintenance tips. It doesn’t take much to ensure your fence stays in pristine condition and continues to do its job! Need a new fence installed, or want to explore new options? Contact Barrier Fence today.