Wood fencing is very popular in Maryland, making it very easy to install and maintain. In a short period, a wood fence will provide you with good value for money and will last longer than wrought iron or chain-link fences.
However, even though your wood fence will last for years, if it has some problems that must be addressed sooner rather than later, you may have to replace it completely. But what are those signs? Well, here they are:
1. Leaning or Sagging
Sagging can happen to any board but generally happens when one side of the board leans on another. The main concern with such a problem is that the sagged part is not firmly secured to its foundation, so it could easily tilt and collapse. When this occurs, you should have an expert like Armor Fence MD to inspect your fence and advise how to repair or replace the board. Even though a small amount of swaying is acceptable, it might not be safe as long as it’s less than five inches from either end.
2. Cracking and Splitting
Cracks develop in the wood due to environmental factors such as weather, tree roots, termites, dry rot, etc. The cracks usually start at the bottom and work up the board. Once cracks become noticeable along the length of the board, then it becomes necessary to consider replacing the whole piece of wood. For instance, if your fence has been exposed to weather conditions for long periods, it could expand due to moisture build-up. If the board expands, it causes the joints to shift, leading to cracking.
Splitting refers to a horizontal crack running through the entire width of aboard. Unlike other cracks, splitting does not happen gradually but suddenly. Strong winds and heavy snowfalls cause this type of damage. If exposed to these forces, boards may split in half. And unless the split appears on the ends of the boards, they need to be replaced. However, after a splintered member is properly repaired, it could hold up against wind loads.
3. Missing Fence Boards
Another common sign of a weak wood fence is missing fence boards. Missing fence boards are extremely dangerous because they increase your child’s chances of falling into the ditch and being cut by sharp objects. Usually, missing fence boards occur during major storms like hurricanes. Storms bring high winds that cause trees to fall on top of your fence. These trees often break branches that eventually hit the ground, creating holes in the fence. Once this happens, the fence board drops out of place, allowing access into the yard. A weakened fence board also increases the danger from animals such as dogs.
If you notice any of these signs of deterioration on your wood fence, it’s best to call a professional fence repair company to inspect it. A qualified contractor can tell you whether the damage is significant enough to warrant replacement and how much it would cost. They will also let you know how long it takes to complete repairs, so you won’t lose any more time fretting about the future of your fence.