When dealing with a fence in need of repair, it can be difficult to determine whether you should make the necessary repairs or replace it with a new fence. There are many factors that will go into your decision but first it’s important to assess the work that’s needed. Fence repair Forth Worth expert DFW Fence weighs in on how to make an informed choice.
There are 3 main types of fences: wood, vinyl, and metal (iron, aluminum, steel, etc.). Each of these comes with its own set of challenges.
Wood: A spruce fence will typically last 4-7 years, 5-12 for pine, 15-30 for cedar, and upwards of 20 years for treated lumber. You can increase the lifespan of your fence with proper care, which means annual sealing or painting. If you opt not to paint or seal the fence, you will deal with faster wood decay.
Wood-destroying insects can also take a toll on your fence. Before you do repairs you’ll need to exterminate the insects. Then you can replace the affected pieces.
Splintering, cracking, and warping are other common problems. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may be able to repair the boards with wood filler and hide the repair with paint. If you leave the wood untreated, you will be able to see the repair. If the damage is too great, then you will have to replace the boards, in which case you will be able to see the differences in the wood at least for a few years if left untreated.
Vinyl: The most common problem with vinyl is cracking and unfortunately that means replacement of the cracked piece(s). Cracking can occur due to exposure to the elements, something hitting the fence, or just age. If you have multiple cracks over a large area of fence, then it may be time to replace the whole fence.
Metal: A metal fence is usually the more expensive option upfront, but it has great appeal for its durability and lack of maintenance. However, one of the drawbacks to metal is the possibility of rust. Depending on the amount of rust and the age of the metal, it is usually a good option to sand and paint the affected area. If the pieces disconnect, you may need to weld them together, which can become an expensive repair.
Frequent repairs: If you inspect your fence and determine that some repairs can wait while others need immediate attention, you will have an idea of what your future will bring. You may find yourself doing annual repairs on the fence, money that would be better spent on replacing the fence altogether. In general terms, if 25% or more of the fence needs repair, you are better off replacing it.
Age: A good quality fence should last anywhere from 20 to 50 years. If you know your fence is approaching the end of its lifespan, it might be time to replace it. You will eventually get to a point where the cost of maintenance and repairs will outweigh the cost of a new one. You may save money in the long-run if you replace it early.
Appearance: Wanting to upgrade your fence is a perfectly acceptable reason for replacing it, thereby increasing your home’s curb appeal and resale value.
Function: Different fences serve different purposes such as privacy, security, and safety. A four-foot fence or a chain-link fence will do little to keep out intruders. A picket fence won’t stop nosy neighbors’ prying eyes. A split rail fence won’t keep a toddler from making a run for it. If your needs have changed, change your fence.
No matter what kind of fence or question you have, it is best to enlist the help of professionals experienced in fence repair. Fort Worth residents can depend on DFW Fence Contractor; we’ve been in business for over 20 years and can help guide you in your decision. Our team of former military representatives can evaluate your fence and estimate repair and/or replacement costs. Call for a free consultation.