When to Replace a Wood Fence
Wood is one of the most popular materials for fencing, whether it’s a traditional white picket fence or a stockade fence. A wooden fence has an average lifespan of up to 20 years when properly cared for and maintained. However, many industry professionals recommend replacing any wood fence every 10 years.
A good rule of thumb is that if 20 percent or more of the structure is showing damage, it’s time to replace the entire fence.
It doesn’t matter if the fence is nearing the end of its lifespan or you simply want to update it, there comes a time when every wooden fence will need to be replaced.
The wood used in fencing is treated with preservatives to minimize many common problems. However, the South Florida climate exposes the material to unique challenges, most common of which are flooding, salt water and heavy rains that cause warping. Mold and rot are very real problems.
Signs of Damage
Fences don’t exist in a vacuum. They’re susceptible to termites and a variety of other boring type insects that riddle the wood with holes. Chipping, cracking and splitting can occur from debris hitting it due to mowers and other types of impacts. A fence that sags, becomes discolored, warps, or is splintering needs to be replaced.
The life and appearance of a wooden fence can be extended by regularly applying a coat of paint or stain. If using chemical or eco-friendly methods of insect eradication, apply with caution as both types of repellents can cause staining. Regularly inspect the fence for loose or missing hardware. Use a wood putty or filler to repair small holes and cracks and prevent further damage.
Rails and Posts
Sometimes a single rail or post sustains an additional amount of damage. Either can be replaced if the rest of the fence is in good condition. Have a professional fence installer do the work. Posts are often encased in concrete and will need to be removed from the soil, a task that fencing experts have the equipment to accomplish easily.