“Should I repair or replace my fence?” This is one of the most common questions we hear when showing up at someone’s place of residence.
Fences don’t last forever. Time, age, weather and the occasional collision with toys, mowers, pets or livestock can damage the fence structure around the property. This issue can lead to unsafe conditions where the fence can let in wildlife or trespassers. A damaged fence may also allow people to spy into your property, or be unstable where it could possibly collapse on someone. When it comes time to fix the damage, you are left wondering whether it would be better to just repair fence rails that are broken, or replace the fence entirely.
When you ask us, “Should I repair or replace my fence,” here are some of the things a professional fence contractor will look for before they answer your question.
Repair or Replace My Fence Posts and Rails
Repairing is usually the best option when you are dealing with small fixes in only a few areas. Popped nails, discolored boards, splintered panels or warped rails will usually only require minimum maintenance on your part and a free few hours on the weekend depending on the type of fence that you have.
Let’s check out some of the problems you may experience with certain materials.
Warped Boards or Rails
Warping can happen to wood, vinyl and aluminum fencing. It usually occurs when some type of weight, such as snow or an object, is pushed into the board or rail with enough force or for long periods of time to the point where it bows outward. Normally, you can just replace the individual vinyl or wooden board. For metal fences, it will require a professional welder to remove the warped rail and weld a new piece on.
Don’t forget to remedy the issue so the problem does not happen again. Move objects away from the fence and clear out snow in the winter so it doesn’t get compacted against the fence.
Splintered and Cracked Fences
Wooden fence boards can splinter or crack due to the weather, insects or moisture. While you can remove the board, you may also be able to repair it using putty or wood filler. Keep in mind that if your fence has its natural color, you will see where the filler was placed. You can cover over this imperfection by either staining or painting the boards.
Vinyl fences may also experience cracking caused by the weather. Unlike wooden fences, you normally have to remove and replace the individual board or that section of the fence and erect a new one.
Loose Fence Posts
Loose fence posts can be caused by eroded soil or shifted gravel. Vinyl, wood and aluminum posts are often cemented into the ground. To make repairs, you have to backfill gravel or soil around the cement to fill in the gaps, and then tap it down to keep the post stablized.
Replace Fence Posts and Rails
While it seems that most problems can lead to minor repairs of the boards or replacement of a few panels or rails, there are times when it is in your best interest to just replace the entire structure. Here are instances where it is best to replace the whole fence.
Repair or Replace My Fence after Massive Fence Damage
If most of your vinyl or wood fence boards and posts are damaged, or your aluminum fence is corroded, then replacement of the fence may be the cheaper alternative. Constantly sinking money into repairs could lead to higher than normal costs over a long period of time. Keep this simple piece of advice in mind: if more than 20% of your fence is damaged, then replace it.
Multiple Fence Post Problems
It is fine to just fix one fence post when it is loose, splintered or warped. Yet if multiple fence posts need to be removed, it is probably a good idea to just replace the entire thing. The reason is that most posts are cemented into the ground. The costs of digging out the soil and gravel, hoisting up the fence post and cement, or breaking up the cement enough to remove the post, can be a costly job. By the time you have all the damaged fence posts removed, it might just be the right time to replace the rails also.
Parts and Materials Are No Longer Available
You might experience this problem with aluminum or wrought iron decorative fences. If you have a fence section that is damaged, you may not be able to get the same decorative style for the panel that matches the rest of your fence. Also, the manufacturer where you previously obtained the decorative fence may no longer be in business. When parts are no longer available, you should simply replace the entire fence.
Lack of Functionality
Besides damage, another time to replace the fence is when the old one doesn’t offer the functionality you need. The fence may not be tall enough to offer the privacy you are looking for so your family can enjoy the yard. You may also decide to replace it if you want to add elements, such as gates and fence doors.
You can cut down on most fence replacement and repair costs by performing the proper maintenance. Periodic inspections for problems will allow you to repair the fence immediately before the issue gets worse. You should also clean the vinyl, wood and metal fences to remove dirt and grime, as well as reseal and repaint them when necessary.
Here at Fence OKC, we help property owners have a beautiful and functional fence that will last for years. Contact us today so we can help you decide whether it is better to repair or replace your old fence.
Fence OKC Estimates Are Always Free
If you’ve asked yourself, “should I repair or replace my fence?” Contact the professional fence installers at Fence OKC. We would be honored to serve you by coming to your place of residence and providing you with a free consultation. We can repair your fence or install custom and pre-made fences for your property as well as for ranch and farm areas. Call us today for a free estimate and let us provide you with a beautiful fence that can offer you security and additional value to your home.
If you still have questions on what type of fence you should install. We would love to talk to you about your project. Please feel free to reach out to us online. Or better yet give us a call at 405-778-1545 for a free consultation and estimate.
If you’re in the Oklahoma City area, please come by and check out our new indoor/outdoor showroom “OUTDOOR LIVING” located at 8302 NW 39th Expressway Bethany, Oklahoma 73008.