A fence adds a significant amount of curb appeal to your home. A white picket fence evokes memories of simpler times, while a tall privacy fence brings back memories of backyard barbecues and family gatherings. However, without proper care, maintenance, or timely repair, your fence isn’t likely to withstand the test of time.
So, how will you know exactly when to perform Westchester fence repairs? In this article, we will discuss the telltale signs that your fence needs repairs according to the type of fencing you have.
Westchester Fence Repairs: Wood Fences
Among the different fence types, wood fences are the most challenging to maintain since water can easily damage them. As a result, you might have to periodically repair or even replace your wooden fence. Apart from that, you also need to install wood posts made with stone and cement to serve as drainage. Even with these wooden posts, water can still seep into the cement cracks and cause the wood to rot.
Some of the telltale signs your wood fence is damaged and in dire need of repair (or, in some cases, a non-wood replacement) include:
Bending and Heaving
As mentioned, wood fences require cement footings. To build one, you must dig post holes that you’ll fill with cement, then sink the posts after. Problems arise when water, whether street-level or groundwater, seeps into the cement casing.
Once the leak occurs, the posts will start to bend and heave, causing the posts to sway or collapse. Bending also takes place when cracked fence posts shatter under pressure. Wood warps when exposed to water, even with pressure treatment and other protective measures.
Another typical issue of wood fences involves pests. The most common are termites, voracious eaters of cedar, and other wood fencing materials. Among the visual signs of termite damage include:
- Noticeable mold or mildew odors
- Wood swelling that appears like moisture damage
- Visible “mazes” through which the termites travel
- Spots where the fence is crumbling for no apparent reason
Visible Cracks on the Ground
The posts may soon touch the soil if the wood fence is too close to the ground or the ground conditions have changed due to moisture or upheaval. Once this happens, pests tend to move in while causing moisture to seep into the wood.
Another factor you need to keep an eye on is dry rot, which can occur even if you elevate your fence high above the ground. This usually happens when the natural oils in wood fences get lost. It results in exposed surfaces that start to break off due to the growth of fungi.
Taking Care of Wooden Fence Issues
You may only need to replace a few wood panels, or you may need to dig fresh post holes to fix your fence. However, the costs involved in repairing wood fences may be too expensive for most property owners.
As a result, some start to consider alternative fencing options to save time, money and avoid further stress in the long run. Still, other fences require routine maintenance, which we will discuss below.
Westchester Fence Repairs: Vinyl Fences
Vinyl is a popular fence material since it’s relatively easier to clean and maintain than wood.
You can quickly remove dirt and stains by spraying them with a hose or gently washing them with a soapy cloth. However, mildew, moss, algae, and mold will begin to grow on them from time to time.
In damp or mildewy conditions, the color of your fence may change due to the organisms growing on it. You generally don’t have to remove or replace the vinyl panels. Instead, clean them with a simple white vinegar solution or bleach to remove the stains, and you’re done.
Mottling and the Appearance of Holes
Vinyl fences are typically long-lasting and don’t require as much upkeep. However, a fallen tree branch could puncture your fences, and other conditions may also cause damage. Even a minor hole or puckered surface on your vinyl fence can cause an awful-looking blemish.
You can quickly stop the spread of the hole by sanding down the surface and applying a sealant. On the other hand, existing holes may require sanding, insulation, sealant, and paint to regain the fence’s integrity and style.
Taking Care of Vinyl Fence Issues
Fortunately, it’s rare for vinyl fences to have many performance issues. Apart from that, they’re usually durable and don’t require rust inhibitors or frequent paint jobs.
However, repairing a vinyl fence tends to be more complicated than a wooden one due to the need for insulation. But still, vinyl fences don’t give you as many headaches as their wooden counterparts do.
Pro Tip: Keep grass cuttings away from your fence to prevent mold and mildew from growing around its base.
Westchester Fence Repairs: Ornamental Wrought Iron Fences
Traditional ornamental fences make use of wrought iron, which is tough to maintain and even tougher to install. If you have a wrought iron fence, you have to regularly inspect it for signs of wear and tear and perform preventative maintenance.
The following are the signs of damage you need to look for in your ornamental fences:
Paint Starts to Peel
Since paint adheres best to smooth surfaces, chipping or peeling might also suggest a problem. Noticeable blemishes can cause the paint to start flaking off, which means you’ll have to reapply primer and paint to improve the fence’s appearance.
Dents and Bends
The telltale signs of damage to watch out for with wrought iron fences are dents and bends. While wrought iron appears tough, it is prone to bending and dents. Such dents and damage are often easy to notice. The challenge lies in fixing them. While numerous epoxy treatments can improve the look of the fence, traditional welding is a better option to keep it strong.
Wrought iron fences are made of ferrous metal, which is prone to rust. Iron becomes weak as the development of rust progresses. The first sign of which is discoloration on your iron fence. It’s typically flaky with an orange color and often originates in the joint areas.
Always check for signs of rust and keep a rust-prevention product on hand. Rust can be dissolved with the help of gel and spray treatments, although scrubbing often helps as well.
You may also need to apply anti-rust products regularly, such as a new paint job or a rust-only formula.
Taking Care of Ornamental Fence Issues
Although ornamental wrought iron fences are intricately designed, the stress of maintaining them usually discourages homeowners from maintaining the design over time. The truth is, rebuilding a fence with easier-to-maintain materials provides fences that are durable enough to last as long as you own your property.
Pro tip: You can achieve that traditional ornamental look by utilizing galvanized steel fences. This fence type usually lasts for decades with little maintenance. Hot-dip galvanizing and powder coating are used in the fabrication process to prevent rust and damage. Paint is also easy to apply on steel fences. Their strength and weather-resistant properties mean that dents are much less common compared to wrought iron.
Westchester Fence Repairs: Key Takeaways
If you observe any of the above issues with your fence, it’s high time to enlist the help of a fence repair company to fix them.
Keep in mind that your fence may become vulnerable to more costly damage without addressing these concerns, or worse, a new fence may need to be installed in its place.
For all your Westchester fence repairs and installation needs, we are always ready to help. To schedule an inspection with us, contact USFence today!