7 Signs You Need a Fence Replacement

Is your fence starting to look rotted, discolored, or even warping? These are classic signs that you may need fence replacement services from a professional.

Note on Wood Fences vs Vinyl/Plastic Fences

Since wood is a natural material it is more susceptible to moisture, mold, and insect damage in comparison to a vinyl or plastic fence. You might be wondering if complete fence replacement is necessary or if your wood fence just needs repairs. The best way to make this decision is to have a fence inspection and estimate from professional fence installers.

Below are 7 signs you need a fence replacement:

1. Moisture Damage and Rotting

Wisconsin has all the seasons, making it simple for moisture and rotting to impact your wood fence. Once moisture seeps into the wood, rotting can develop from the inside out.

In fact, our professional fence installers at Northern Fence recommend inspecting your fence each spring, especially the older your residential fence becomes. Having your wood fence inspected annually will prohibit repairs and prolong the life of your cedar fence or pressure-treated pine fence.

Signs of fence rot include: the fence having a musty or damp smell, the wood itself being soft or mushy when touched, the fence having an unusual discoloration, or overall, there are signs of fungus growing.

In addition, fence warping occurs from extensive rotting, insect infestation, moisture, and other environmental factors. If warping is present on your wood fence, then you should call a fence installer right away to get a replacement for your wood fence. Moisture damage and rotting lead to cracked or broken boards on your wood fence.

2. Cracked or Broken Boards

Another sign your fence needs a replacement is when its boards are cracked or broken. Cracked or broken boards are prevalent especially in aging, wood fences. However, cracks or broken boards can also be caused by poor maintenance and not using sealants.

If there are just a few cracked or broken boards, then repair work can be an option. When there are cracked or broken boards, your fence is usually missing fasteners.

It is very important to check and maintain your fence so your residential wood fence lasts. If you do see signs that you need a fence replacement, make sure you call a reputable group of fence installers to come and take care of it for you.

3. Missing Fasteners and Loose Connections

Another sign you need a fence replacement is when you’re noticing missing fasteners and loose connections.

Missing fasteners and loose connections can be a result of weathering and an aging wood fence. Screws and nails missing from your wood fence also indicate loose connections. It is important to ensure your fasteners are not missing to keep the boards in place on your fence.

In fact, discoloration is a result of a missing fastener on your fence. Over time the screws and nails become loose because of natural swelling and contracting from heat and moisture. Remember to call fence replacement experts right away at the first signs you need a fence replacement.

4. Paint or Stain is Peeling and Chipped

Paint or Stain Chipping/Peeling

When the paint or stain begins to peel and chip away on your fence, not only does it become an eyesore, but it also indicates that the fence is not getting the protection it needs.

The paint or stain acts as a protective layer, guarding the material underneath against the elements, including moisture, UV rays, and pests. When this layer is compromised as a result of peeling and chipping, it leaves the fence susceptible to further damage.

Not only that, but chipped and peeling paint or stain can lead to more severe issues like wood rot or corrosion. As such, it’s essential to address the problem promptly, either by repainting or restaining the fence.

However, if the degradation is widespread and recurs frequently even after maintenance, it may be a sign that the fence has lived its useful life and needs a replacement from a roofing expert.

5. Holes or Other Damage to Fence

Another sign that your fence needs a replacement is when there are holes or other damage to the fence. Over time, fences can fall victim to various damages, from holes to cracks or even breaks. These damages can be caused by natural wear and tear, impacts, pests, or environmental factors.

Not only do these compromise the aesthetic appeal but also its primary function – to provide security and privacy. Pests like termites can cause unseen damages from within, hollowing the fence, making it weak and brittle.

Addressing minor damages immediately can extend your fence’s lifespan. However, if the damage is widespread or if you notice a recurring problem even after repairs, it’s a clear sign that your fence might need a complete replacement.

It’s always safer to replace a fence that’s structurally compromised than to risk it failing altogether.

6. Fence is Leaning or Sagging

Signs You Need a Fence Replacement - Leaning Fence

A fence that is leaning or sagging can be more than just an aesthetic concern. It’s a clear indication of a structural problem, potentially caused by shifting soil, weak fence posts, or general wear and tear.

A leaning fence can pose a risk, as it could collapse, possibly causing injury or damage to your property. It’s essential to identify the cause of the sag to address it correctly.

Temporary fixes, like bracing or propping up the leaning sections, might offer short-term solutions. However, if the problem is due to deteriorated posts or extensive damage, a complete fence replacement might be the best long-term solution.

7. Bottom of the Fence is Touching the Ground

When the bottom of a fence is consistently touching the ground, it’s exposed to moisture, insects, and rot. For wooden fences, this can be particularly detrimental, leading to decay at a much faster rate.

Prolonged contact with the ground also invites pests like termites, which can further damage the fence from the inside out. Even for metal fences, consistent contact with damp soil can speed up the process of corrosion.

If the bottom of your fence is touching the ground, consider whether it can be trimmed or adjusted. However, if the problem persists or if there are other signs of wear and damage, it might be time to consider a fence replacement. A new fence can be installed with proper clearance, ensuring longevity and durability.

Related: Complete Guide to Installing a Fence

Signs You Need a Fence Replacement: In Conclusion

Our fence installation experts can provide suggestions on how to repair your fence, however, if they are extensively damaged, then fence replacement is necessary. In some situations, it is more cost-effective to replace your fence completely, because as time goes the cost of maintenance is the same amount as fence replacement.

Here at Northern Fence, our Appleton, Green Bay, and Fox Valley fence installers look out for the integrity of your cedar fence or pressure-treated pine fence, which is why we recommend having an annual inspection. During the fence inspection, we check for moisture intrusion, rotting, warping, cracked or broken boards, missing fasteners, and loose connections. We will do our best to stay within your budget and choose the most cost-effective option for you. Contact the professional fence installers at Northern Fence.

Contact Us for a Fence Replacement!

We can install your fence at any point during the year, however, there are a few reasons why you should install your fence in the winter. Read our article here for more information. Questions about the signs that you need a fence replacement? Contact us today!

Read More: What are the Most Durable Types of Fences?