Nothing lasts forever, and that applies equally to wooden fences. Under optimal conditions a wooden fence can last for ten years, but it will eventually degrade and rot. Wooden fences must regularly be stained and painted, and they should be inspected for signs of trouble such as those listed below.
Loose or Missing Fasteners
Wooden fences are put together with nails, screws and other fasteners that keep panels in place. However, over time, these can fall out due to the elements. When inspecting a wooden fence, check to ensure that all screws and nails are in place and that there are no missing fasteners.
While some areas are known for the dry climate, there are still chances for rot to become a factor. Winter can bring cold, wet weather that works its way into wood pores, rotting the fence from the inside. Once wood begins to rot, there’s no way to save it, even with moisture repellent and sealant.
Cracked and Broken Boards
Cracking is a common occurrence in old fences, particularly when boards have been damaged by heat or moisture. With unprotected wood, moisture can get into pores, causing warping and swelling. Because fasteners hold the wood together, it can’t expand laterally. Rather, it bends, causing permanent damage. Cracked boards can splinter, break and cause security risks.
Too Costly to Repair
When isolated, many of these issues can be solved by installing new panels. However, if there’s extensive damage, it may be more cost-effective to replace the entire fence. Customers should get quotes from several local companies to determine the cost of repair vs. replacement. If the prices are close, replacement may be the better option. Repaired fences may still require extensive maintenance, where a new fence will last longer.
If a homeowner plans to get new fencing, there is no reason to limit the options to wood only. These issues will happen again, no matter how well a wooden fence is maintained. By comparison, fences made from materials such as vinyl will not decay or lose structural integrity. Consult Florida Fence for more information or to schedule an estimate.