Damage to a residential privacy fence is a stressful situation for owners, especially when pets are in the backyard. Fences can fall for several reasons, windstorms, fallen trees, and being hit by a vehicle rank among the most common causes. Wind damage is a major reason for fence failure because the force of wind can become so powerful it can even topple new fences that are mounted in dry, solid ground. Because the power of wind has such an impact on our climate and our everyday lives, NOAA Climate.gov provides a national map concerning wind direct and wind speeds. https://www.climate.gov/maps-data/dataset/average-wind-speeds-map-viewer
The other reasons why fences fall is age and neglect, rotting wood posts, shifting soils, ground flooding, and poor installation are other reasons why fences fail. You should note that these causes are seldom covered by homeowner insurance and that is another reason you will want to maintain your fence, to extend its’ life.
An effective way to extend fence life is to use stronger materials such as metal fence posts. Metal supporting posts withstand wind better than a typical wood post and they don’t have the rot issues of a wood post. Staining and sealing a wood fence with an exterior decking stain will bring out the natural color and grain of the wood and will seal and protect the wood from moisture and sunlight. In wet climates stain will reduce water moistures from penetrating into the wood. In dry desert climates such as in Phoenix AZ stain helps a fence last significantly longer because stained wood retains moisture so the wood doesn’t become dry and brittle. Vegetation such as vines will add weight to a fence and retain moisture around the boards. If you allow vines to grow on your fence you may want to reinforce the construction of the fence and apply additional coats of protective stain to the fence lumber.
What to Do When Your Fence Falls Down
Safety is always a key issue – before going outside to inspect the damage, make sure the area is safe. If any power-lines are down, stay away and call the electric company immediately! Be cautious, broken/fallen fences often have nails and splintered wood that can cause puncture wounds.
An important question to ask is, who owns the fence? Is fence ownership shared between your house and the neighbors’ home or does it belong to you? Meeting with the neighbor or neighbors as soon as possible helps to get the repairs or replacement done quicker. Some fence repair or replacement costs may be available under the homeowner’s insurance policy. Check with your insurance agent to get clarification on what is covered and what is not. Your homeowner insurance policy will reimburse at least a portion of the replacement cost for fence failure caused by insurable losses outlined in the terms and conditions of your insurance policy.
Fence repair or replacement is not a typical DIY project. The removal of debris and large sections of the fencing can be dangerous. Fence repair and construction is also hard work especially if a homeowner is not well educated about fence repair or building. To rebuild a fence you need to be equipped with the necessary tools, not to mention having a capable helper or two.
If your fence has fallen call your 123HELP emergency fence repair contractor to quick help. If you are simply concerned about pro-active maintenance issues, they can help with those too.
For best results always hire an emergency fence repair contractor approved by123HELP.