Photo by Gustavo Zambelli
Originally Posted On: https://www.buttefence.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-fence-repair-near-me/
Is your fence looking a little worse for the wear? A bit run down and bedraggled? Maybe you had a major storm just blow through, or maybe your fence is starting to show its age.
Whatever the reason, the net result is the same: your fence needs fixing, ASAP.
Before you start frantically asking yourself, “How can I find good fence repair near me?” take a deep breath. It’s more than possible to find a great fence repair company even if you don’t know the first thing about fences. Here’s everything you need to know to find great fence repair (and a few telltale signs that your fence needs some love).
Signs Your Fence Needs Repair
Before you reach out to fencing contractors to break out a hammer and nails, you have to know whether your fence needs repair and what kind of repairs it needs.
The good news? Even if you’re not a handy person, your fence often gives you a whole rainbow of warning signs that it needs some TLC.
It’s also important to recognize the various types of fence damage because it changes what your fence repair company needs to do to fix it. That way, you don’t get any nasty surprises when you ask for a quote.
Many fences run into the same set of issues. Here are some of the most common signs that your fence needs repair.
Is your fence the Eiffel Tower standing tall and proud, or is it more like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, tilted precariously in one direction? If it falls in the latter category, it’s time to get your fence repaired.
Leaning fences are more than just unsightly. They’re also a safety hazard, since leaning fences are not structurally sound. After all, fences are made to stand tall and proud. If they’re not standing up straight, then the fence’s structural integrity may be compromised, and you don’t want to find out when the fence might give out.
There are any number of reasons why a leaning fence can happen, from impact damage to high wind to soil erosion. However, most fences start leaning at the posts, the structural component of the fence that’s rooted firmly in the earth (and is thus responsible for holding the rails upright).
If soil erosion is the issue, you can get a short-term fix by putting down stones or gravel around your fence to help with drainage until you get a landscaper and fence contractor with experience in grading and drainage.
If it’s an impact damage problem, that’s an issue for fence contractors to work on. They may need to assess how the fence is installed in the ground as well to see if the posts have shifted.
Rot and Insect Damage
In nature, wood rot is an essential decomposition process that allows the ecosystem to turn fallen trees into nutritious soil for the plants that are still thriving. The same goes for insect damage.
Unfortunately, in your fence, it’s a sign that your fence is falling apart.
Wood rot is triggered by a combination of moisture and fungi (wood has to be continuously damp, otherwise fungi can’t set up shop). The problem is that there are thousands of types of fungi in the world. They’re grouped into three broad categories of wood rot based on their effects:
- Brown rot
- White rot
- Soft rot
Brown rot is often called dry rot because the surface of the wood appears dry. Appears is the keyword–in reality, brown-rot fungi are actually targeting the wood’s cellulose beneath the surface.
As cellulose is destroyed, wood shrinks and turns deep brown in color, breaking into small cube-shaped bits in a process known as cubical fracture.
However, if your wood fence gets a white or yellowish cast and feels spongy to the touch, it has what’s known as white rot. White rot targets lingin, another key element in wood’s structure, which leaves the white-colored elements of cellulose behind and creates a whitish cast.
Last but not least is soft rot, which is a much slower decomposition process than brown or white rot. That’s in part because soft rot thrives in temperatures too hot or too cold for brown or white rot to survive. You’ll recognize it in your wood if your fence takes on a honeycomb-like appearance, the result of cellulose breakdown.
Stain or Mildew
Another common fence problem that’s unsightly but could be the sign of a larger problem is stains or mildew.
On their own, minor stains or minor mildew aren’t necessarily catastrophic. They become a serious problem when they’re allowed to progress unchecked, since they can hide deeper problems like rot.
Your fence is constantly exposed to the elements, and that builds up over time, especially in areas with high humidity or significant annual rainfall. Unfortunately, this problem is equally applicable to wood and vinyl fences.
Stains and mildew may not necessarily mean that your fence needs repair, but they could be hiding deeper issues. They may also point to poor drainage, which is worth repairing with a fence contractor.
Missing Boards or Pickets
What do you picture when you picture a fence with missing boards? Probably an abandoned house, right? Not quite the curb appeal you want your house to project.
Those missing boards are more than just unsightly. When boards are missing, your fence is missing important pieces, and that may mean your fence can’t keep your kids or your pets contained like it used to.
If you have cats, for example, you know that a missing fence board is practically a wide-open door. Small dogs can also slip through these cracks quite easily, and some bigger dogs are willing to Houdini their way out.
Conversely, missing boards mean that your fence can’t keep others out, whether it’s kids, pets, or more nefarious visitors. And if you have a privacy fence, a missing board is a window into your yard that the fence is supposed to block.
Unfortunately, replacing a missing board or picket may not be as easy as buying a new board and painting it the same color as your fence. If you have a vinyl fence, replacing a missing board may mean having to replace the entire panel. Besides, if the fence is already damaged, you may want to replace the whole panel anyway to keep the fence looking sharp.
Animals Digging Under Your Fence
We love our pets, but our fences do not.
If you have a pet that aspires to be Harry Houdini, you know the challenge of trying to keep them contained. Some fences are designed to go several feet into the ground to prevent dogs from tunneling underneath, but even so, your dog can still do plenty of damage to your fence while trying to dig for freedom.
Unfortunately, your dog isn’t the only one who can wreak havoc on your fence. Rabbits, for example, are notorious for digging under fences. There are ways to keep them out, but if rabbits have already tunneled under your fence, they may damage the fence and create drainage issues in the meantime.
In short? If you’ve got a tunneler on your hands, it’s time to call in the pros to give your fence some love.
Sometimes, the fence problem has nothing to do with tunneling animals or local weather or the resident vegetation. Sometimes, the problem lies with the fence itself. Or rather, the way the fence was installed.
Common fence installation problems include:
- Not setting the fence posts deep enough
- Not accounting for sloped ground
- Utility line damage during installation
The first issue, not setting posts deep enough, is quite common among DIY fence installation projects. You might think the post is deep enough, but if it’s not three feet deep with a base set in concrete or gravel, it’s not deep enough.
Remember, your fence posts have to be deep enough to support the fence panels while withstanding the elements. Much like a tree needs a deep taproot to stand upright, fences need deep posts to stand tall and proud.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a problem a DIY handyman can fix on their own. You need the right excavation tools to fix a fence installation problem, and that means bringing in the professionals.
Property Lines, Laws, and Neighbors
Sometimes, your fence repair problems don’t have anything to do with fence damage or even the fence itself. Sometimes, it has to do with property lines.
Many fence contractors offer surveying services to avoid this problem, but if your contractor doesn’t, you need to call a surveying company to survey your property. This just means that a surveyor will create a map of your property line.
It might sound pretty basic, but in reality, this is an essential service that will help you avoid legal issues with the neighbors once the fence is already built. Plus, property lines aren’t always as obvious as people think, and even if you know where your property line is, you may need to be wary of HOA regulations when installing your fence.
Why Enlist Fence Repair Services?
Seeing your own fence in any of the above descriptions? If so, it’s time for your fence to get some professional help.
If you’re handy or an avid DIY-er (or even if you think your fence repair isn’t a big deal and doesn’t require professional input), we’re here to say that it’s time to bring in a professional second opinion. Trust us, your fence will thank you for it.
Here are a few reasons why.
They Know Fences
First and foremost, a professional fence repair company knows fences. And as the most common fence repair problems demonstrate, that alone is a good reason to bring in the professionals.
Fence repair companies handle fences day in and day out, which means they know all the minor details that many homeowners overlook. For example, a good fencing contractor knows the local laws and ordinances to ensure that your fence is up to standard.
They also know many details that homeowners don’t, like how to correct issues in your fence and prevent those issues from recurring again after the fence is fixed. In the process, they can tell you how the problem happened in the first place, which is critical in preventing a repeat performance.
They Know How to Identify Underlying Problems
The difference between an amateur and an expert is that an amateur recognizes a problem, while an expert recognizes the less obvious elements of the problem. That’s the difference between a DIY fence repair and a professional fence repair.
Let’s say, for example, that your fence is leaning. To the average homeowner, the problem seems obvious: the fence is leaning. Maybe one post is pulling the panel with it.
But to a fence contractor, the problem is much more complicated. It could be poor fence installation or soil erosion, or even a combination of the two. They know how to check a fence to assess what the real problem is, and they have the right tools for the job.
That way, when you repair your fence, you’re fixing the real problem, not just a symptom. Better still, you now know preventative measures to avoid the same situation in the future.
They Have the Tools for the Job
Pop quiz: what tools do you need to install a fence?
If it sounds like a trick question, keep in mind that fence installation and repair is a more complicated process than many homeowners realize. A good fence company can do the job well in no time, but that’s because they’re experts equipped with the right tools for the task.
For example, if you have to repair fence posts and replace the panel, that may mean digging up the post and checking the base. And if you want the job done efficiently, you’re going to need more than a garden shovel.
Similarly, if you need to repair soil erosion problems to give the new fence a stronger foundation, you’re going to need a lot more than a hammer and nails. You’re going to need landscaping tools.
The same thing goes for moving a fence to bring it within the property line, especially if moving the fence means accounting for slope in your yard that you previously sidestepped.
Why would you buy the tools of a lifetime to repair a fence when you could simply hire an expert to fix the fence for you?
They Know How to Repair a Fence Safely
Of course, repairing a fence is about more than just having the right tools. You also need to know how to handle those tools safely.
And on that front, the experts beat DIY every time.
Even if you’re handy, working around heavy tools, saws, and drills without the proper knowledge can be quite dangerous. You may use the tool incorrectly without even realizing it, which is a recipe for injury.
Don’t take the risk. Just hire someone who knows what they’re doing.
They Can Keep Your Project Affordable
Last but not least, expert fence repair companies have a critical piece of knowledge: how to keep your repair project affordable.
There are three factors that affect the cost of fence repair:
When you think about it, it’s just simple arithmetic. You could spend money buying tools you’ll never use again, waste hours figuring out how to use them, waste still more hours trying to fix your fence, and spend still more money trying to fix the fence properly when your repairs fall apart, but that would be inefficient.
Instead, you could simply hire a professional fence repair company that already has the right tools for the job, knows how to use them, and knows how to maximize their time to keep your project on budget and on schedule. It’s just a good investment.
How to Find the Best Fence Repair Near Me
You know you need a fence repair, and you know you need an expert to help you fix it.
The question then becomes: how do I find the best fence repair near me?
Here’s the good news: you don’t need to search far and wide. You don’t need an encyclopedic knowledge of fences either. You just need good research skills and a bit of dedication. Here’s how to find the best fence repair company for the job.
Know What You Need
Your first big concern has nothing to do with the fence repair company, but rather with you and your fence. You need to know exactly what you need and what you’re looking for.
For example, if you need to move your fence to correct it for your property line, it’s a good idea to find a contractor that either does their own surveying or has good relationships with surveyors, as well as an understanding of local laws and ordinances.
If your fence also requires fixing the landscaping to account for soil erosion or slope, you’re going to need a contractor used to those kinds of problems.
You’re also going to want a contractor who’s well-versed in your particular fence materials. If you have a vinyl or stone fence, it doesn’t do much good to talk to a contractor who mostly works with wood fences. If you have a uniquely branded material, you’re going to want a contractor who knows that particular brand.
Ask Friends and Family for Recommendations
Once you know what your fence needs from a contractor, it’s time to leverage your best research resource: your loved ones.
Chances are, someone in your friend group and your family tree has had a fence repaired, which means they’ve worked with contractors. This means they can speak to their own experiences with a contractor, giving your recommendations on contractors they loved and contractors they wouldn’t wish on their worst enemy.
You can even ask for recommendations from neighbors and coworkers. Maybe you strike up a conversation while waiting for your meeting to start, or maybe you ask your neighbor with a fence you always admired who did their fence work.
By asking around, you might hear names coming up over and over again. If several people speak well of the same company, that’s a fantastic sign! It means that the company made a great impression.
Make a List, Check It Twice
Once you’ve compiled a list of potential candidates, it’s time to do a bit of research.
As noted earlier, it doesn’t do you any good to find a fantastic contractor if they’re not experienced in your particular type of fence. So, take the time to do your homework on all the companies on your list.
Take a look at where they work and what they do. Look at the services they offer and make sure what you need is there. Also, take a look at their work! Do you like what you see? If not, look into other contractors.
If you like what you see, set up an interview with the company. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions–you want to make sure you get the right contractor for the job!
Looking for Outstanding Fence Repair Services?
If you’re wondering where you can find outstanding fence repair near me, don’t worry. You’ve come to the right place.
At Butte Fence, we know fences like the backs of our hands. We also know that when you ask us to fix your fence, you’re investing in something that will serve your family for years to come. And we take that responsibility seriously. It’s why families just like yours have entrusted us with their fences for years.
Ready to get your fence looking good as new? Then get in touch today to start a conversation about your fencing project.