Your fence can serve a variety of functions in your yard all at once, from acting as a barrier to keep your pets in your yard to serving as a privacy and security screen to keep intruders (and the view of your neighbors) out of your yard. However, no matter what purpose your fence fulfills in your yard, it is subjected to a wide variety of stresses due to weather exposure. This can cause physical damage to your fence over time, which can cause the entire structure to begin to fall apart. Understanding what some of the most common signs of fencing damage are can help you catch problems early so that you can have them repaired before they grow to be more serious.
One of the earliest signs that your fence needs to have new posts installed (sometimes even replacing an entire section of your fence), is if you notice that your fence has begun to lean to one side. This can be caused by damage to the fencing posts themselves, either due to rotting, pest damage, or physical trauma, but sometimes can also be caused by shifting soil that can occur in areas of heavy rainfall. While individual posts can be easily and inexpensively replaced, changes in the soil under the fence can require new post holes to be dug, usually in a nearby but new location.
Most fencing materials, even metal fencing panels, are resistant to rust—either naturally or because of treatments that they receive before installation. However, the fasteners that are used to hold fences together (such as nails, screws, nuts, and bolts) may not be, especially if they are of lower quality. This is of particular concern for fences with gates, as hinges and locks can begin to rust and degrade over time due to water exposure. Rusting fasteners and hinges should be replaced as soon as possible to prevent sagging and pulling, which can cause structural damage to individual fence boards and posts. If this occurs, those boards and posts will need to be replaced, a much more expensive and complicated process.
Finally, the clearest indicator that you should contact a contractor about repairing your fence is if you notice that individual boards have been broken (or in the case of chain link fencing, sections have been torn or ripped). While such damage is only likely to spread in wooden fences, as the middle of fencing boards are not usually treated to make them rot and insect resistant, this is more than a simple aesthetic concern. Broken fencing sections can allow intruders both animal and human into your yard, and can allow small children and pets a way out.
For more information, contact a local expert that can provide fencing estimates.
I love my dog, but my dog loves my neighbor's yard. My adopted Labrador needs hours of playtime each day to stay fit, but she used to be a master of escaping no matter how close of an eye I kept on her. After a few too many holes dug in flower beds, I splurged on a tall chain link fence and finally ended her romps on other properties. Now my neighbors smile and wave when we meet in our shared driveway instead of giving me a wary look. Sharing my new found love for fences is just one way I hope to give back to others.