The fence is an essential structure of any property as it provides you intimacy, keeps your pets contained or even protect your property on some level.

Do fences have the same lifespan?

No matter how great your fence contractor was, you may still run into some problems sooner or later. In all fairness, fence contractors do differ in terms of reliability, performance, and possibility of customizing your fence, so pay attention when selecting your fence contractor. For instance, at you can choose which type of wall you want to install on your property and never worry about anything fence-related ever again. Don’t worry about the features or the size of your fence, as they can sure do it all.

When you’re not lucky enough to get a respectable and trustworthy fence contractor as the, you should expect to deal with various problems on your fences.

Structures are exposed to the elements at all times, so it makes sense that any fence has some risk for damage.

The first thing you need to do is to take a look at your fence and make an idea about its current condition. Here is the average life of fences by material:

  • Chain-link- most of these fences have a 15-20 years life span
  • Vinyl- surprisingly enough, a fence made of vinyl may hold up from 15 to 30 years
  • Wood- the type of wood is fundamental for the life expectancy of wood fences. Cedar can last from 15 to 30 years, pine from 5 to 12 years, whereas spruce from 4 to 7 years. In the case of pressure-treated wood, you should expect a 20years life span, as long as you take good care of it.

What are the common problems for fences?

Many things can go wrong when it comes to fences, but we’re only going to focus on the most popular ones:

  1. Installation problems

Vinyl, wood and chain-link fences may present this sort of problem. When you’re not using the right post hole digging equipment, the risk for having this type of problem is pretty high. Here’s what could go wrong:

  • Not separating sloped ground into the design
  • Not setting post holes deep enough
  • Various utility damage during excavation

Here are the typical solutions to this sort of problems:

  • Set the post holes right for creating a secure foundation for the fence
  • The post holes have to be three feet deep. You should set them in gravel or concrete
  • Installing a fence on the sloped ground isn’t impossible. Your fence contractor may establish a stepped design, paying attention to the slope of the land. He may also leave a gap at the bottom of your fence.
  • If you also have an irrigation system, you should shutoff valve as you may damage the sprinkler line. Always be careful to the sewer, water, electric, cable, gas, irrigation, telephone, propane lines, drain lines, and septic tank when installing the fence.
  1. Leaning fence posts, fences or fallen panels

Wood, chain-link and vinyl fences may develop this type of problem. You need to take a good look at the fence and yard so that you identify the cause of the leaning.

Here are the leading causes:

  • Weakened fence posts
  • Adverse soil conditions.
  • High winds.
  • Impact damage

Here are the possible solutions you can try:

  • If the wind is the cause, you should return the fence posts to the original positions
  • In the case of soil issues, you need to get in contact with a landscape professional. Talk to a company with a drainage system/grading experience for solving the main drainage problem. It’s going to eliminate the risk of future issues. Some gravel or down stones in problem areas around the fence are an easy and fast fix too.
  • When fallen tree limbs damaged your wood fence, you need to replace the fence posts and the boards. Replace the damaged panels if the fence is chain-link or vinyl. Use some braces or splints for reinforcing broken fence posts if it’s not rotten yet.
  1. Missing boards or pickets

It’s a typical problem for both wood and vinyl fences. It’s not difficult to replace the posts or the boards for your wood fence. You need to paint/stain the pieces so that they match your fence.

As vinyl fences are typically prefabricated, you may have to replace a whole panel.

If you need to fix large sections of the fence or you have to replace the boards regularly, it’s better to call a professional.

  1. Stained/mildewed fences

Vinyl and wood fences present this sort of issue.

  • In the case of wood, you need to use a pressure washer for cleaning it. Once it’s clean, continue with applying stain for expanding its lifespan.
  • For the vinyl fence, you need to use some mild soap and water too. Use a reliable cleaning solution or pressure washer if the fence is covered in tough stains. Remember that the vinyl fence does lose its sheen after some time.
  1. Local laws and property lines

These problems may affect wood, chain-link and vinyl fences as well. When the fence contractor doesn’t provide this type of service, you need to get in touch with a survey company for mapping your property line.

Reduce the risk for legal problems by installing the fence within your property and according to the local regulations.

  1. Rot and insect damage

It’s only the wood fences that may develop this sort of problem. If you’re thinking about installing a wood fence, keep in mind that some types of wood are more resistant than others (pressure-treated wood and cedar are good choices).

Never put on hold a termite infestation, especially if the fence is close to your house.

Once you know precisely the extent of the problem, you need to decide if you have to repair or replace the whole fence. You may save small sections or have to change the larger parts.

Stay on the safe side and seal the wood fence every couple of years so that you keep the insects and the elements at bay.

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