A privacy fence is one of those things you assume is always there for you —
keeping your kids or pets safe, sturdily defining your property, keeping your neighbor from reaching over and helping himself to a burger from your grill.
But have you taken a good look at your wood privacy fence lately? It might need repair, or even replacing. At Neave Carpentry, we’re wood privacy fence experts. Wondering what to look for in an aging fence? Here are 5 things to consider if you own an aging fence:
#1 Check The Fence Boards
If your fence is built from wood, a quick inspection offers clues to the shape it’s in. Rot is a wood fence’s biggest enemy, and the signs are visible.
Look at the fence boards, starting at the bottom, where they have contact with the ground. Is there discoloration? Splintering or warping?
Take a knife or a nail and scrape a bit of the wood where it won’t show. Does the wood easily fall apart? It’s probably rotting.
#2 Check The Posts
This starts with a quick visual check. Stand where you see all the posts in a line. They should be standing straight, not tilted every which way. Try to shake the posts. They shouldn’t move. If you can wiggle them, it’s likely time for new ones.
#3 Repair Or Replace?
If only a few boards or fence panels are rotting, you can likely repair a wooden fence by replacing just those boards. But if it looks like a more widespread problem, it’s probably time for a new fence. And if the cost to repair your fence is close to the cost to replace it, that’s another tip that a new fence might be your best bet.
#4 Stone And Brick Fences Need Attention, Too
While fences crafted from stone or brick seem like they’ll last forever, mortar wears out over time. Even the most solidly built fence will eventually need repairs.
When the mortar between stones or bricks crumbles, it opens the way for water to seep in. After a few cycles of freezing and thawing, your once sturdy wall is compromised. Check for loose sand and mortar, signs of crumbling or cracking.
#5 Consider A Wood Alternative
If you’re tired of routine repair and maintenance of your wood fence, you might consider wood alternatives such as vinyl or composite fencing. They look like wood but don’t need staining or painting and won’t rot the way wood eventually does. While it costs more than wood initially, it pays off over time because of the longer life.
Why Are Privacy Fences Important?
A good privacy fence keeps young children safe by creating a border between your home and the street. It corrals pets. A newly constructed or well-maintained wood privacy fence will also improve the value of your home.
Gardeners know a well-constructed fence helps to keep critters like rabbits and rodents away from your leafy delicacies. They’ll also keep deer from wandering in for salad bar.
Pool owners know the critical value of a fence for safety. Plus, fences can be beautiful as well as functional. Expertly crafted from lumber, iron, stone or brick, they come in a myriad of styles to add not just privacy and safety, but beauty, charm or elegance to your property.
But a fence won’t do any of these things if it’s damaged or falling down. And a shabby fence gives guests or potential home buyers a bad impression.
Neave Knows Wood Privacy Fences – And So Much More
The professionals at Neave Carpentry are privacy fence experts. Our skilled tradesmen and construction teams can repair a wooden fence or help you design a new one, custom crafted to suit your needs and complement your home.
Count on us from beginning to end, from design to construction to maintenance.
If you’re in the Hudson Valley, call us at (845) 463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, call (914) 271-7996; from Connecticut, dial (203) 212-4800. Or, fill out our simple web form, and we’ll contact you.
Image: New fence board