Perhaps your fence has seen better days. Maybe it has become an eyesore or is starting to fall in some places. How do you know if it is worth repairing or if it can even be fixed?
It is an important question to ask. According to RemodelingCosts.org, fence replacement could cost you anywhere from $5.50 to $22.50 per linear square foot, with the average homeowner paying $2,500 to $4,500 to fence a quarter-acre lot.
While that might sound like a lot, like anything else, sometimes repairs can cost you more in the long run if you end up having to replace the fence anyway in the foreseeable future. Here are some tips for determining whether you should repair or replace a fence.
Signs Your Fence Can Be Repaired
Here are some instances where a fence repair might make more sense than a fence replacement. Some are even easy DIY fence repair tasks. Just remember that sometimes a repair constitutes a replacement of a section of fencing, which some homeowners may find challenging to do on their own.
Vinyl fences are pretty durable, but they can crack under the weight of large debris or heavy snow. If you get a few small holes in your vinyl fence panels, some vinyl fence-repair kits are on the market for filling them, but they may only serve as a short-term solution.
Cracked sections of vinyl fencing should ultimately be replaced. Still, replacing a few sections is cheaper than replacing the entire fence.
Shifting soil is often the cause of loosened fence posts, leading to the fence leaning in places. Most homeowners can fill in dirt or gravel to restore loosened posts to a sturdy, upright position.
If structural damage has occurred, you may need to replace a few parts or a few sections. With an aluminum fence, this can sometimes require a welder.
When it comes to wood fencing, warped, splintered, or discolored wood are all signs a fence needs repairing. Small holes and cracks can easily be corrected with putty or wood filler. Cracks larger than 3 to 4 inches should be fixed to avoid further damage.
You can typically replace warped boards and rails. After repairs, you might want to paint your fence, so the new sections don’t stand out from the older sections.
If you think your fence damage is due to standing water or insects, take measures to prevent these problems from further damaging your fence.
Professional Fence Repairs
If you don’t think you can repair your fence on your own, it doesn’t mean you need to get a new fence installed. Many fencing companies also offer fence repair services and can advise you on whether repairs are the best way to go.
Keep in mind that if part of your fence is aged and damaged, the remainder of the fence might not be too far behind. As a general rule, if 20% or more of your fence is in bad shape, paying for fence replacement services might make more sense than repairs.
Signs Your Need a Fence Replacement
If you have taken a close look at your fence and still can’t determine if it is worth repairing, it might help instead to look for signs that your fence is beyond repair. The following are some signs you need a new fence:
Missing Posts or Panels
Missing posts and fence panels are usually signs that a fence needs replacing. The fence’s structural integrity may be compromised since missing posts and panels can stress other sections of the fence. You could have more fencing damage than you realize due to the missing pieces.
A fencing company can best assess whether replacing the missing pieces will restore your fence’s structural integrity or if a replacement is necessary.
Sections of Fence Are Leaning
A drastically leaning fence often means a replacement. Posts are likely warped and beyond repair.
A leaning fence could also indicate cracked cement at the fence posts’ bases. If the problem is limited to a few fence posts, repair may be possible. But if several have the problem, you might as well replace them all along with the fence.
If you have a high fence, leaning fence sections can pose a danger if they were to fall on someone. This is a fence problem that should be addressed sooner rather than later.
Cracks and Holes in Fence
Cracks comprise the integrity of a fence’s structure. A few might not warrant a fence replacement, but it is likely time for a new fence if you have several.
Holes in wooden fences can indicate termite damage. If you are beginning to see a lot of holes, chances are the termites have already done quite a bit of damage, and you should look into a new fence, possibly made from a more durable material.
Faded or Outdated Fencing
Sometimes a fence becomes an eyesore even if it is structurally sound. Replacing it with something more aesthetically appealing and perhaps more durable may be in order.
Before replacing your fence for any reason, consider the different fencing options available. It might make sense to get a fence made from other materials than you currently have, or that can add more privacy or security. Since a new fence is a significant investment, you must carefully consider your options.
Are You “On the Fence” About Repairing or Replacing Your Fence?
Fences are both functional and aesthetic, but their lifespan is determined by the materials used to build them. If those materials become damaged over time, you’ll need to choose between fence replacement or repair. While replacing a fence costs considerably more than repairing its damaged parts, it could be a better decision. Homeowners in Idaho can have a professional fencing company help evaluate whether fence repair or replacement is best. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.