Wooden fences are a classic, but at a certain point even a classic is in need of an update. Here are a few signs it may be time to replace that trusty, old wooden fence with a new one.
The most obvious sign its time to replace is when that strong fence that once stood tall, protecting your yard and home, is now leaning in, barely holding on for dear life. This typically means the posts holding your fence up are weak or rotting. You can replace the posts where it’s leaning and concrete them into the ground for strength, but typically this will only delay the inevitable. Fences that have been leaning are a hazard of falling again. Fences that have become warped from leaning will become too weak and lead to further issues down the road.
Missing boards are another clear issue that needs fixing. This is another relatively simple fix and repair. The problem becomes that the more boards that are replaced on a fence, the weaker the structure will inherently become. Like chinks in your armor. You can repair it to a point, but once the majority of the base structure has been changed out, it’s better and would have been cheaper in the long run to just replace the entire fence all along.
Now you may not have boards that are completely gone yet, but if they are splitting or splintering you still have an issue. A split or splinter in a few boards is something you can just replace. If there are quite a few boards like this however, it is most likely time to replace the whole fence. Even the best quality of wood will begin to split over time with the elements constantly beating down on it from sun, to rain, to snow and all the cycles between them. Splintering may not seem like that big of a deal, but it is just the first sign of the split to come and a sign that your wood has begun to lose the war against the elements.
Finally, the biggest fear that sneaks up on a wooden fence is rot. A lot of times rot happening at the ground or just below is what leads to a fences leaning. Just because your fence isn’t leaning yet does not mean there isn’t a rotting problem. If you see discoloration in the wood, particularly yellow and grey stains, this means you have a rotting fence. In this case, a replacement is unfortunately your only option. Make sure that you go for pressure treated wood on your next fence or possibly upgrade to a vinyl fence for a similar look with far less upkeep and damage potential.
Wood fences are great and with proper installation and maintenance can last for quite awhile, but wood will inevitably deteriorate over time. Save yourself the hassle and money of trying to fix a fence that is too far gone. Although it may seem like way more money to replace the entire fence, if these signs are showing it is likely to cost more with constant repairs to try and keep your older fence still standing in its weakened state.