Business Services

Is It Time For Fence Replacement?

Fence Company Charlotte Nc can be a great way to add privacy, deter intruders, and define your property line. However, consider replacing your fence altogether if you call for repair or if the wall is a safety hazard.

Depending on your type of fence, repairs can involve a lot of physical labor, precision, and patience. Ultimately, there comes a point where replacement makes more financial sense than continuing to repair.

  1. Loose or Missing Fasteners

Over time, nails and screws loosen due to expansion and contraction of the wood. Loose fasteners are not only an eyesore but also a safety hazard. Critters and vehicles may pull them out, causing boards to fall. A few loose fasteners are normal, but many indicate that the fence is deteriorating and needs to be replaced.

An occasional hole in your fence is common, but when holes appear in areas at eye level, privacy is lost, and it’s time to consider a replacement. If the holes are numerous and exposed, addressing the root cause, which is likely rot or decay in your posts or stringers, is also important. Dry rot is more manageable, but wet rot may require replacing the post.

Inspect your fence for rot or decay yearly and repair or replace it as needed. It is possible to treat individual posts with a product like Postsaver, which is a heat-shrinkable sleeve that wraps around the base of the post and helps protect it from moisture that can cause it to rot or deteriorate over time.

Cracked or split boards indicate that the wood is rotting and needs to be replaced, especially if the cracks are wide enough to expose the board’s interior. Sometimes, you can patch the cracks by cleaning them thoroughly and applying a wood filler. After the wood filler dries, sand it to ensure a smooth finish and repaint or stain as necessary to match the rest of your fence.

The freeze and thaw cycle, sun exposure, and wind can all cause wood to split over time. Replacing a single section of your fence is doable, but when multiple sections are damaged to the point that they’re leaning, it’s time to start considering a new fence.

The best way to prevent a fence from becoming loose or leaning is to perform regular maintenance on it. Inspect your fence for loose or missing fasteners every year, including the gates, and replace them as needed. If the gates are on hinges, oiling them regularly is a good idea to keep them functioning properly.

  1. Cracked or Split Boards

When wooden fence boards crack or split, they don’t just look bad—they weaken the structure of the whole fence and make it more susceptible to rot and other problems. Cracks and splits are usually caused by the weather, especially the freeze-thaw cycle. Even the best quality wood eventually deteriorates and begins to crack under pressure. One or two broken or split boards are a minor problem that can often be fixed, but when many appear, it’s time for a new fence.

The most common cause of cracked or split boards is a need for proper installation, but even the best-installed fences can sometimes experience this problem. It’s important to use the right type of wood and to install it correctly to help prevent this problem, and it’s also a good idea to apply a protective sealant to all exposed surfaces.

Another common reason for cracks is improper nail or screw placement. It’s always better to use screws instead of nails, but if you have to use nails, make sure they are blunted and not pointed and that you pre-drill the holes. Pointed nails are more likely to crack wood than blunted ones, and nailing too close to the edge of a board can also cause it to crack.

Lastly, a lack of stain or paint can also lead to cracks in fence boards. Staining protects the wood from the elements, and it helps keep your fence looking beautiful as well. Choose an exterior semitransparent oil stain that will protect the wood and preserve its color while allowing natural grain and color variations to show. The stain should also contain ultraviolet inhibitors to slow the bleaching effects of sunlight and mildewcide to slow fungus growth. A quick coat of stain can revive a tired-looking fence, and it’s a lot easier than replacing it!

  1. Leaning

A leaning fence isn’t just unsightly; it can pose a safety risk for children and pets who might fall through. It’s also a sign that the structure is deteriorating, possibly leading to further damage and instability. The good news is that a fencing professional can help you determine what’s causing the leak and find a solution. The cost of a leaning fence repair will vary depending on the cause and extent of the damage. Metal repairs are typically more expensive than wood repair jobs, for example, as they require special tools and welding expertise to work with.

One way to prevent a leaning fence is by regularly inspecting your property and addressing any issues as they arise. This helps to ensure that the structure remains stable and can provide security, privacy, and control over your landscape or home. Another option is to install a new fence. Some homeowners prefer to do this if they want a different look, want to increase their privacy, or need to accommodate a growing family.

Many homeowners are concerned about how much maintenance they require when it comes to wood fences. Spruce, pine, cedar, and redwood must be restained or painted periodically to protect them from moisture and decay. However, it’s also important to remember that these coatings are purely cosmetic and don’t protect the wood from the elements or insects like termites.

Repainting or staining your fence can be costly and time-consuming, so some homeowners skip this step altogether. Instead, they might opt for a vinyl or composite wall, which is more resilient to moisture and insects, meaning it won’t need resealing or restaining.

Of course, it’s also possible that your current fence doesn’t meet your needs anymore. For instance, if your family has grown, you may need a higher or wider fence to contain your pets and kids. It’s worth discussing your options with a fencing expert to determine the best solution for your household. They’ll be able to explain the pros and cons of each choice to help you make the right decision.

  1. Encroaching on City Property

If you’re replacing a fence, following local building regulations is important. This includes getting a permit, if required, and checking for underground utilities. It’s also a good idea to consult with zoning officials before starting if you have any questions. This can save you a lot of hassle and time in the long run.

Another consideration when deciding whether to repair or replace is if the old fence encroaches on city property. This could be something as simple as a few inches of an old wall zigzagging across your property line to your neighbor’s, or it could be as serious as your neighbor having their septic drain field in your backyard. This type of encroachment can cause major problems for both property owners and may lead to expensive lawsuits.

There are two types of encroachment: structural and non-structural. Structural encroachment involves someone intentionally building or extending structures on land they don’t own. Non-structural encroachment is less obvious and usually results from a garage or shed that overhangs on your property. In either case, it’s generally better to solve a problem with the neighbor than to bring legal action against them.

While some encroachment issues can be resolved by having a quick conversation with your neighbor, others may require legal assistance. For example, if your neighbor’s fence encroaches on your property line by several feet, they may claim adverse possession, arguing that they put it up so long ago that it’s theirs. If you’re in this situation, your lawyer can help you develop a solution for everyone involved.

Finding where your property lines are can save you many headaches in the future, especially if you have neighbors who could be more conscientious about their boundaries. If you find a property line issue, it’s best to address it quickly before it worsens. This is especially true if you’re considering selling your home in the future, as any prospective buyer will want to know exactly where the boundary lines are.