Featured Image Caption: Boundary Fence Wooden Lapped and Capped Style
A well-built boundary fence can give a home much more boundary definitions. Homeowners install them to enclose their property and provide privacy and protection to them, and even more, for decoration. However, like any other structure exposed to the elements all day and night, fences can develop problems as a result of poor installation, low-quality materials and sheer deterioration from the elements.
When these problems occur, the aesthetic appeal and value of the fences are compromised, leading to costly repairs or replacements. A leaning, rusty metal fence, or a stained, termite-infested timber fence, or damaged fences can make a property look unkempt and uncared for. There are some issues that can be avoided altogether, and others that are unavoidable but the progress of their advancement can be slowed.
Let’s explore some ways to avoid these problems and ensure your fence stays strong and sturdy for years.
Common Problems with Residential Fences
Here are the six common problems with residential fences and how to avoid them:
Sagging or Leaning Fences
Due to soil type, erosion and weather patterns, fence posts may weaken over time, leading to a sagging or leaning fence. The posts are the pillars of structural support, they are the part of the fence that provides stability and resilience to wet soil and strong winds. To avoid a leaning fence, installers must ensure the grounds are dug deep and the fence posts are properly installed and anchored with concrete or gravel. If you already have a sagging fence, you can address this issue by removing the posts and inserting them again with the appropriate depth and cement at the base. If your posts are rotted out and that is the reason they are leaning, you definitely need to replace the posts.
Rot or Decay
Wooden fences are susceptible to rot and decay as wood is a natural material. Treated timber with protective coatings to prevent moisture penetration will slow the process of timber decay. Using high quality, treated timber is the best way to avoid this, as well as on going maintenance including removal of nearby trees and plants that may add moisture to the timber. Dry rot and wet rot are the result of a fungus, both can be prevented from spreading by taking care of the timber itself and preventing the protective coatings from deteriorating and leaving the timber vulnerable. Another obvious option is to opt for a different fencing material such as alumiunium or steel fencing as these materials are not susceptible to rot.
If you already have a wooden fence in your home or cannot afford the more expensive and durable alternatives, you can seal the wooden fences regularly and keep them clear of plants.
Damage from Pests or Animals
Pests such as termites and animals such as rodents can cause structural damage to the fence or create holes or gaps in the face, destroying the aesthetics. To avoid this, use pest-resistant materials such as metal or vinyl for your fence. Timber is an option if you have access to termite-resistant coatings, which some timber yards will treat their timber with.
Staining and Discolouration
Fences can become discoloured or fade over time due to constant sun exposure and other environmental factors. To avoid this common problem, you can regularly clean your fence using detergent and a soft brush to remove dirt. Alternatively, apply a sealant or paint to protect the fence and maintain its appearance. Discolouration happens with metal fences too, due to UV exposure. Choosing lighter colours for your panels will mean less heat absorption which in turn leads to less colour fading.
Rust with Metal Fences
Metal fences are prone to rust. Although they are one of the most durable and accessible fencing materials, they are not unsusceptible to damage. Metal fences can rust where they have been exposed to constant moisture and where there is a break in the integrity of the protective layer, in the form of a scratch, dent or crack. To avoid this, use high-quality metal materials such as aluminium or stainless steel and use a rust inhibitor as soon as you notice a scratch on your fence.
Timber warping occurs when parts of your fences bend or curve because of moisture or a temperature change, weakening the fence. Installers must use high-quality materials and proper construction techniques to avoid warp sections. Some warping may occur as the result of the natural oil evaporating from the timber due to high heat and little moisture. Moisture is not the enemy in this case, you need to re moisturise timber that has been dried out by using a protective timber oil and spraying it with water for the first few months after its installation, this is especially applicable if you live in a hot, dry climate.
Tips to Avoid Problems with Residential Fences
Hire reputable and experienced fencing contractors or installers.
Invest in quality materials to avoid deterioration.
Dig fence posts deep enough to provide adequate stability. Although the depths at which they should be dug may vary depending on soil type, fence height, and other factors, the depths should be at least one-third of the total height of the fence.
Regularly inspect your fence for any damage for repairs.
Remove dirt and debris from your fences to keep them clean, and avoid using abrasive chemicals to clean them.
Install concrete footers to prevent your fence from leaning and protective coating to increase the durability of the posts underground.
Do not place heavy items on your fences to avoid structural damage and weakness.
These tips can help you prevent common issues with residential fences and ensure that your fence remains strong and stylish for years. By taking care of your fence and making smart choices during installation, you can enjoy the benefits of increased privacy and security for decades, making your return on your investment one to boast about.
By Geoff Esmonde
– Fencing is a craft and Geoff is among those who are competitively redefining the fencing scene in Frankston, Victoria. Geoff is creative with the vision of delivering the highest quality of fences using the best and most innovative trade solutions. He is not afraid of exploring fresh concepts for fences and gates, whether they are your traditional timber or trending, customized metal fences and privacy screens.
Member since April, 2023
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