No matter the type of fence you have, it can become damaged over time. Some damage will require a replacement, while others can be repaired.

One of the most common signs that it’s time for a fence repair is broken or split boards. This can compromise the integrity of your fence and make it less effective at protecting your property or providing privacy.

1. Leaning or Tilting

A leaning fence is not only unsightly, but it’s also a safety hazard. Fences can become leaning or tilting for a variety of reasons, including weather damage (like rotten posts), or impact from something like a tree branch falling or a car crash.

Moisture & soil instability
Excessive rain or flooding can make the ground wetter and softer, which reduces its stability. This can cause your fence to lean, as the muddy soil no longer holds the posts upright.

Tree roots
As a tree grows, its root system can exert pressure on nearby fence posts and cause them to tilt or lean. This is a gradual process, so it may take some time to notice the problem. If this is a concern, it’s a good idea to plant your trees far enough away from your fence to avoid this issue. You can also use fence braces to help keep your fence standing straight.

2. Broken or Split Boards

Whether from storms, natural disasters or an automobile accident, your fence can suffer damage from all kinds of sources. Violent summer thunderstorms and heavy winter snow can knock down fence sections, while termites and other wood-destroying invaders can cause your fence to deteriorate and eventually break down.

Wood fences are particularly vulnerable to rot and termites, but they can also become damaged from harsh weather conditions or over time. A professional can replace bad slats or pickets to repair your fence.

If you have a vinyl fence, your service technician can apply a protective coating to keep it looking its best. For wood fences, the technicians can use a power washer to remove dirt and grime from the surface without damaging it. Then they can stain or paint it to restore its original appearance and protect it from future stains or cracks. This is a relatively inexpensive way to improve your home’s curb appeal and increase its value.

3. Rotting

Wood rot is one of the most serious problems that can affect your fence. This rotting is usually caused by moisture and can result in the breaking apart of your fence’s boards and posts. Wet rot is typically found at the base of your fence where it comes into contact with the ground and is recognizable by a softening of the wood, sponginess, fungal growth, and a damp musty smell. Dry rot is less common but still just as dangerous and it occurs when your fence is continually exposed to harsh dry environments that eliminate the natural oils in your fence’s surface.

If you notice any signs of rot, it’s best to have a professional repair the problem right away. This will prevent the deterioration from spreading and help your fence last longer. Moreover, it’s much more cost-effective to replace a single rotting picket than it is to have to replace an entire section or panel of your fence.

4. Damaged Posts

Your fence’s posts should never touch the ground, so if they do you need to get them replaced. This can happen over time, especially if they’re old or weren’t installed correctly. A quick test: just grab a post and give it a shake. If it moves, call in a handyman to either reposition the post or replace it altogether.

If the wood of a damaged post is still in tact, you might be able to repair it with wood putty and sand. Just make sure you use a corrosion-resistant product.

Alternatively, if you want to swap out the damaged post, you’ll need a new post, concrete mix, a shovel, a digging bar, work gloves and safety goggles, a level and a measuring tape. Begin by tapping around the base of the old post to expose its concrete footing and then remove it by wriggling the post back and forth until it’s loose enough to lift out without damaging surrounding boards or panels.

5. Damaged Rails

Damaged rails can make a fence look unattractive and can also compromise the strength of the entire structure. If you notice any cracks or breaks in the rails of your fence, it’s a good idea to have them repaired right away. You can opt to have an aluminum fence installation if you experience these problems.

Over time, the elements and overuse can take a toll on your fence. Wood fences may experience wood rot or discoloration, while metal fences like chain link and wrought iron are vulnerable to rust. If you wait too long, minor damage can lead to lasting structural weaknesses that require replacing the entire fence.

Fortunately, most fence repairs are fairly simple and don’t require major reconstruction. A professional can repair holes or cracks for $125 to $400 depending on the extent of the damage. They will typically begin by digging up plants around the damaged area, removing the old post and setting a new one before adding concrete and a grated base.

6. Broken or Loose Hardware

Over time, screws and nails can loosen and fall out of wood fences. This can weaken the structure, compromising its integrity. It’s also a safety hazard for children and pets. If you notice a lot of broken and loose hardware, it’s time to call for a repair or replacement.

Wood fences can also start to splinter, which is unsightly and creates a safety hazard. It’s important to replace splintered boards or sections so they don’t cause further damage to the rest of the fence.

If you’ve been diligent with regular maintenance, periodic inspections, and cleanings, but your fence seems to be losing its structural integrity, it’s time to call in a Keller fence company for a repair. A professional can help you keep your fence strong and stable for years to come, while saving you money on a full replacement.

7. Discoloration

Over time, wood fences can begin to fade or bleach to a light gray color. While this is natural and unavoidable, it can detract from the curb appeal of your home and garden. It also exposes the wood to deterioration and can lead to further damage.

When your fence is showing signs of discoloration, it’s likely time to call a Keller fence repair expert. Paint or stain can help protect your fence and enhance its curb appeal. However, the choice of color is important, as it should complement the colors of your landscape and home to create a unified look.

Discoloration can also indicate that it’s time to replace your fence, especially if it’s made of wrought iron or metal. Because these types of fences contain ferrous metal, they can be susceptible to rust. When rust starts to develop, it will start to weaken the fence, which can cause it to lean or break.

8. Splintering

Wood fences require regular maintenance and inspections to ensure longevity. A rotting fence isn’t only unsightly but can also be a safety hazard for kids and pets. A quick test is to stick a screwdriver into the fence boards; if it sinks in, the wood has started to rot. Loose nails and screws are another common sign of a damaged fence. They may not seem like a big deal at first, but over time they can cause damage to the entire structure. Keeping up with your yearly inspections can help catch this issue before it becomes too serious.

Over time, even the best quality wood will deteriorate. This is especially true if it is exposed to harsh UV rays. The sun’s rays cause wooden fences to fade and age, turning them a light gray color. This is a common problem and should be repaired immediately. It can also lead to a loss of structural integrity and increase the likelihood of other problems, such as splintering.