Questioning whether to repair or replace your fence? Many homeowners start out by weighing the costs. Repainting or repairing a fence is cheaper and easier than an all-out replacement—at least in the short term. Sometimes, replacing your fence is the better choice. Maybe your fence has worn out its welcome and will continue to need extensive repairs, or maybe you’d like to update the style or placement of your fence. Let’s discuss tips for evaluating your fence’s true condition.
Common wood fence problems
As a natural material, wood can be a little more environmental damage-prone than synthetic materials. The elements can take their toll, and insects, moisture, and other factors may affect your wood fence. Signs your fence need repair or replace it include discoloration, warping, or splintering. If you notice these things, you should carefully inspect your fence to determine the cause of damage to determine if you can eliminate the threat like insects or loose posts. You can patch small holes and cracks with wood filler or putty, but for warping or more severe damage, it’s best to replace the affected boards or rails.
The downside of both of these repairs is that they will be visible, at least for a while. Wood filler can be concealed if you paint your fence but will otherwise show forever. A new board will likely look different in color but may weather in time to a similar patina as your old fence.
Common vinyl fence problems
While vinyl is a pretty maintenance-free fence option, some damage can occur from sources other than Mother Nature; however, the biggest threat to vinyl is cracking.
To repair your vinyl fence, you have only one choice. If you see a crack in one of your vinyl panels, it’s best to replace the affected area. Depending on your fence, this could be an individual vinyl “picket” or might be an entire section of fence panel between posts.
Common aluminum fence problems
Aluminum fences are very durable, but parts may need occasional replacement or attention. Like with vinyl, an accident may damage your aluminum fence. Shifting soil could loosen fence posts as well.
A loose post due to soil erosion can be steadied with some backfill of either soil or gravel. To repair damage to an aluminum fence, you may need to replace a section, but some aluminum fence repairs require the skill of a welder.
If you find any of these repair options to be too daunting, you can always opt for a replacement. Often times replacing a fence makes more sense because amounts of the time, money, and effort required to repair it are too great. If your fence needs a major overhaul, here’s a good rule of thumb: if you have to replace more than 20% of the fence panels or pickets, it’s time to replace the entire fence. Damage isn’t the only reason to replace your fence. If your fence doesn’t provide enough privacy, isn’t high enough to stop your dog from escaping, or otherwise falls short of a necessary function, it’s time for a new one!
Central Fence has you covered with full inventory of wood, vinyl, and aluminum fences and a professional team of installation experts. If it’s time for a change, stop by one of our four, convenient locations or contact us today about your replacement fence!