6th July 2022

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Common Fence Problems

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Vinyl Fences

It doesn’t matter if you are worried about protecting your home, keeping your pets and kids safe, or privacy, a fence is an important part of your property.

Despite your best efforts, the chances are good that you will have some type of issue with your fence.

This isn’t surprising when you consider that these fences are always exposed to the elements of the Bay Area.

When your fence is showing signs of wear, you need to decide if you need a repair or if a replacement is more cost-effective.

First, you will want to think about the age and the condition of your existing fence.

Here is the average life span of fences based on material:

  • Vinyl – A vinyl fence is designed to last anywhere from 15 to about 30 years
  • Chain-Link – A chain-link fence lasts almost as long, about 15- 20 years
  • Wood – The life expectancy of a wood fence depends on what type of wood the fence is made of. For instance, a cedar fence can last from 15 to 30 years, but a spruce fence might only last four to seven years. Pine can last five to 12 years, but pressure-treated would last up to 20 years if it is maintained properly.

If you have any doubts about your fence problems, you can contact the professionals at Bay Area Automatic Gates for an assessment.

Here are some common fence problems and solutions to fix the issues:

Leaning Fences, Posts, or Fallen Panels

You might experience leaning fences, posts, or fallen panels if you have a vinyl, wood, or chain-link fence.

Fortunately, there are some solutions that you can consider.

First, you should make an attempt to survey both the fence and the yard to find out what is causing the leaning.

Things like impact damage, high winds, weak fence posts, and adverse soil conditions could all have an effect on the fence.

If high winds are the culprit, you may be able to repair it by placing the posts into their original positions.

If you have soil issues, including erosion, you might have to contact a company that has experience with grading and drainage.

This can also prevent issues in the future.

If you are seeking out a short-term solution, you can try gravel or stones around the problem areas.

Vinyl Fence Services
White wooden fence on green grass with flowers.

For a wood fence that is damaged by fallen limbs, you can replace the posts and boards.

If chain-link or vinyl fences have been damaged, you should replace the panels that have been affected.

If the fence posts are damaged, and you believe repair is possible, you can reinforce them with braces or splints.

Troubles with Installation

Installation issues can also affect vinyl, wood, or chain-link fences.

Some common issues with fence installation include not setting the post holes deep enough, utility line damage, or not considering the slope of the ground during the design phase.

It is very important to set the post holes correctly when installing a fence in order to create a solid foundation.

The issue is especially prevalent when DIY-ers don’t have post hold digging equipment and try to dig deep enough.

Generally, a post hole much is at least 3-feet deep and should be set into gravel or concrete.

If you are trying to install a fence onto the sloped ground, you might also have problems.

It is possible to order custom panels, of course, but most fence contractors will address the problem during the installation process by using a stepped design, which follows the slope of the ground.

Wrought Iron Fence
wrought iron fence in san mateo

Also, keep this in mind: it doesn’t matter if you are installing the fence yourself of calling a professional company, it is a federal law that you must notify your local utility company several days before digging in order to avoid damaging any lines.

You can call 811, no matter where you are in the country, including in the Bay Area, to inform the utility companies that you are digging.

A crew will come out and mark the location of any buried lines.

If you have any type of irrigation system, you also need to avoid this, too.

Show your installer where the shutoff switch is just in case the line becomes damaged.

Mildewed or Stained Fence

A mildewed or stained fence can happen if the fence is made of vinyl or wood.

If the fence is made of wood, you should use a pressure washer to clean the stains or mildew off of the fence.

Once the wood is clean, you should then apply a stain to increase the life span.

If the fence is vinyl, you should clean it with mild soap and water.

Vinyl Fencing
White wooden fence on green grass with flowers.

You can also use a pressure washer or a stronger cleaning solution if the stains don’t seem to want to disappear.

Just be aware that vinyl will lose its sheen over time, and that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s stained.

Insect Damage or Rot

 Wood is the only fence material that is affected by rot and insect damage.

One of the biggest disadvantages of choosing wood as a fencing material is that it is vulnerable to insect damage and rot.

If you are considering a new fence, keep in mind that some wood, like cedar or pressure-treated wood, is more resistant to rot and insect damage than other types of wood.

Board On Batten Wood Fences
Wooden planks painted brown. Background texture.

Take a look at the damage and try to determine what type of insect could be causing it.

If it is termites, you must act quickly. If the damage is severe, it might be more cost-effective to install a new fence.

You also might be able to salvage sections of a fence but replace other parts.

To prevent this type of damage, you should seal the fence every couple of years.

Missing Pickets or Boards

 Wood and vinyl fences can be affected by missing pickets or boards.

If you have missing boards or pickets, it is easy enough to replace them.

You just have to remember that you have to stain or paint the piece to match the remaining fence.

Since vinyl fences are usually prefabricated, however, you may have to replace the entire panel.Extended Picket Fences

If you keep having to replace boards or pickets, you should definitely call a pro.

A repair might give you some time, but it’s probably best to replace a fence that needs a lot of work.

Local Laws and Property Lines

 Any fence can be affected by issues with local laws or property lines.

Most fence companies will map out the property line, but you can also contact a survey company.

Gates for residential

This will help you to avoid any issues in the future.

You don’t, for instance, want to install your fence on your neighbors land.

The bottom line here is that sometimes you can do a repair to fix a common fence problem, and sometimes you can even do this on your own.

However, sometimes repair jobs are quite complex, and if you need a full fence replacement, it is best to contact Bay Area Automatic Gates.

We will be happy to help with any repair or replacement/installation you might require.

 

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