How to Know If You Should Repair or Replace Your Fence

Last updated on March 13, 2023

Follow these telltale signs to tell if you need to repair your fence or replace it entirely. Read on!

Fences have many functions. They can be a security barrier for your home, keeping strangers and wild animals from entering your property.

Additionally, they can promote privacy by preventing unwelcome views, especially if your neighbor likes throwing parties on the weekend.  

However, as years pass, even the sturdiest fence can be affected by weather conditions and constant use, resulting in deterioration of quality and damage.

Well, routine fence repair can do some magic to ensure your fence remains in great condition for many years, but eventually, age will catch up, and you’ll have to replace it.

Does your fence have annoying stains, holes, or other issues that require repair? Does it need upgrading or a complete replacement to match your modern-looking lawn or your property’s exterior? How will you know if you should repair or replace your fence?

Read on to know more.

When Should You Repair Your Fence?

old fence

Here are some of the signs that fence repair is calling:

Damaged Planks

If the planks already have cracks or holes, or some are missing, this is a sign that your fence needs repairs. Apart from looking bad, such issues may affect your fence’s stability, resulting in complete replacement.

After a carpenter has determined the scope of the damage, they might replace a few planks. The next step is to paint or stain them to resemble the original planks’ color. A sealant may also be applied to prevent liquids from flowing or leaking into the wood.

Sagging or Leaning Sections

You may notice that some poles are starting to lean, mostly due to natural breakage, or if the supporting structure has started to disintegrate or the ground beneath has moved. If these poles aren’t secured back firmly, it can cause the whole fence to break down.

If sections of your fence are leaning or sagging in a particular direction, chances are that they need to be straightened, but don’t make the mistake of doing the task yourself, especially if you don’t have the required skills and equipment. It’s advisable to seek the services of experts in such cases. This is a rather cheap move compared to putting up a new fence if your repair efforts weren’t successful.

Wobbly Poles

Standard wooden poles support many wooden fences. However, as years pass, they begin to slump, sag, stoop, and become unsteady. If you notice such signs, you should act quickly since your fence is at risk of collapsing. Please note that a pole isn’t supposed to wobble; otherwise, it’s time for repairs.

Poles are normally held by a concrete base, which is also susceptible to breaking, causing the poles to shake. If the issue is the concrete base, you must apply new concrete to steady the poles.

Once you’ve spotted these issues, you must call your trusted contractor right away so the necessary repairs can be done.

When Should You Replace Your Fence?

broken fence

A fence that’s maintained properly could last for several decades. However, if your fence has reached the end of its useful life, it’s probably better to install a new one. Here are situations or signs that you might need to replace your fence:

Damage Due to Insect Infestation

One common issue with wooden fences is that wood is susceptible to insect infestation. Insects can weaken the wood, affecting the planks’ quality and longevity. Termites are notorious for this, as they can easily make your wooden fence their home. The primary sign will be powdery wood particles to establish that such insects have overrun your fence. They eat through wood, weakening the fence’s structural integrity and causing it to bend or sag.  

Other signs of insect infestation include small holes or nibbles on the planks.

Such signs indicate that it’s time to rectify your fence immediately. When replacing the boards, ensure you pick good-quality materials. Also, seek the services of an insect expert after replacement.

Destruction from an Accident or Weather Disturbances

Replacing your entire fence is inevitable, especially if the cause of damage is a serious accident or severe weather conditions. Events such as hailstorms, tumbling trees, or car accidents can result in major structural damage to the extent that repairs can’t suffice. Replacing your fence can be much cheaper than repairing it because structural damage affects its stability, which means it is at risk of collapsing.

The Entire Fence Is Decaying 

Many wooden fences are treated with chemical substances to slow down the rotting or decay of wood. But, as years go by, your fence will hit the end of its natural life, and no amount of preservatives can stop the decay process. You’ll notice large sections of your fence rotting—common places will be at the base, where the poles brush with wet grass, leaves, and wet soil.

First, a decaying fence looks bad, and second, it weakens the entire structure. In case of strong winds, chances are that your fence might collapse.

The first solution that might come to mind is replacing the decayed sections. But how long will the rest of the sections last? If you wait, you might wake up one morning and find your entire fence in a heap. So, it’s time to install a new fence in these circumstances. 

Repeated and Costly Repairs

fence repair

If you’re constantly incurring costly repairs for your fence, then it’s a sign that it’s time to bring down the entire fence and install a new one. Repairs might be more appealing with the expectation that your fence will last longer. Still, replacing your fence is more feasible than incurring huge expenses, especially if you’ll seek the services of a handyman.

Installing a new fence will save you cash, and longer natural life is guaranteed.

The Takeaway

The worst mistake you can make as a property owner is failing to act when you realize your fence needs repairs or replacement. 

Immediately after noticing that your fence has cracks, its poles are damaged or shaking, or if it’s leaning or bending, it’s time for repairs.

On the one hand, if you see signs of decay or insect infestation, or if it’s badly damaged by natural calamities or an accident, it’s high time for a new fence. Remember that recurrent expensive repairs will just eat into your savings. 

The sooner you act, the fewer resources you’ll need to shell out in the long run.


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