Fence Fixer Uppers
How to Solve the Three Most Common Fence Problems
Your fence will endure a lot during its lifetime: rain, animals, kids playing sports and exploring the neighborhood- so it’s normal for annoyances ranging from broken pickets to troublesome gates to occur. But some problems may be too severe for a quick fix; if your fence looks like it’s about to fall over, you probably need to call for back-up. Texas Fence has the answer to what causes these problems and how they should be addressed.
Broken or Damaged Pickets
The average lifetime of a well-maintained Western Red Cedar Fence is 15 years. Throughout this time, chances are that one or a few of your fence pickets will incur some damage. This becomes even more likely if you have children or pets that love the outdoors: children enjoy climbing and bouncing balls off them, and dogs love to dig under and scratch up fences. Lawn crews may also damage your fence; weed eaters can tear up the rot board. And, unfortunately, fences do sometimes get vandalized. Regardless of the cause, a broken or damaged picket can be an ugly sight as well as a breach in your privacy. So what do you do?
If you notice a picket on your fence is damaged or broken, there are a few options to fix it. If Texas Fence built your fence and it has been less than a year, we can send somebody out to replace your broken picket. If it has been over a year since we built your fence, the quickest and most cost-effective solution is replace the damaged picket yourself. You can get a replacement picket for a few bucks at your local hardware store. Just make sure that you purchase a picket with the right dimensions and species type so that it matches the rest of your fence (typically a 6 foot tall 4 – 6 inches wide western red cedar board).
If you don’t have the time or desire to replace broken pickets yourself, another solution is to hire a handyman. Texas Fence recommends using Angie’s List to find a reliable handyman with good reviews in your area.
The most common gate nuisance is a misaligned gate. If your gate isn’t closing all the way, is difficult to open, or won’t open unless you pull up on it, then your gate is probably misaligned. Wooden fence gates become misaligned when the moisture content in the ground varies between too wet and too dry leading to shifts in the ground that can move and tilt your posts.
Because fixing a misaligned gate requires replacing posts in the ground, it is not a project that we recommend homeowners attempt by themselves. Texas Fence also recommends asking that you install a metal frame on your gate for added structural integrity.
To fix a misaligned gate, you can call Texas fence or a trustworthy handyman service. Once again, Texas Fence recommends researching Angie’s List to find someone who will get the job done right.
The dreaded leaning fence is a problem more severe than a broken picket or a misaligned gate; when your fence is leaning over, your entire backyard is exposed, and chances are the HOA is going to talk to you about it. Besides: who wants to look into their backyard to see a sad, leaning fence?
So why do fences lean? Much like misaligned gates, the issue has to do with the moisture content of the ground rotting and shifting the foundation of your fence: its posts. Leaning fences are especially common during and after rainy seasons when the ground in your backyard becomes muddy and then dries, causing weak, and cracking soil.
Fence owners with a leaning fence often think the solution is as simple as standing the fence up straight, and re-cementing the posts. If you do this, chances are your fence will fall over in weeks because your posts will still be weak and rotten. The next most common idea for a quick solution is to simply replace the posts, which may seem like it saves your picketts, but it’s virtually impossible to replace only the posts without tearing apart the rest of the fence.
The long-term solution to fix a leaning fence is to build a new one. Oftentimes, if your fence is leaning, it’s not just old posts, but it’s old pickets and framework too. By the time your fence posts are rotting, it’s time to invest in a new fence.
Texas Fence is dedicated to Service You Can Count On From Start to Finish, which means making our customers happy long after we’ve built their fence. If a fence we built you is leaning, we will come to your home and help you find the best solution.
For Service You Can Count On from Start to Finish including fence replacements, call (281) 807-7900
Want to take care of your fence from start to finish regardless of replacements? See our Guide to Western Red Cedar Fences.