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when to replace your wooden fence

When to Replace Your Wooden Fence

October 27, 2020

Wooden fences are a common addition to many homes. It can add security and privacy to your property and can even last for as long as 20 years if maintained properly. Wooden fences are also flexible and compliment any home architectural and landscaping design; thus, increasing your home’s curb appeal. However, wooden fences aren’t indestructible and require routine maintenance to keep it functioning well. Aside from being an eyesore, an unmaintained wood fence also poses safety risks to you and your family. 

When it comes to wooden fence maintenance, the most common question you will encounter is whether to have it repaired or replaced. So, how will you know that it is time to replace your wooden fence? Below are the warning signs that your wooden fence needs replacement. 

  • There are broken or missing boards
    Due to changing weather conditions, your wooden fence can warp, split, or crack, affecting the fence’s stability and performance. If one or two boards are missing, then that can be repaired. However, if there are many split or missing boards, replacing the whole fence might be the best option.


  • The fence is old
    The lifespan of a good quality wooden fence is about two decades if maintained well. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t encounter structural repairs within the two decades. If you believe that your fence is nearing 20 years or more, it is better to have your fence replaced instead of repairing it.


  • Boards and posts are rotting
    Water and extreme temperatures are two enemies of a wooden fence. Moisture can cause the fence boards to decay. Rotting boards will not just make your fence look unappealing, but it will also compromise your fence’s strength and foundation. You can call a professional to inspect the severity of the problem or do it yourself. Examine moist boards in your fence and check for soft spots, especially those closest to the ground. Discoloration is also another sign of rotting boards. If there are many boards or posts that are rotten, then it is time to consider replacing it.


  • The fence is tilting or leaning
    Wooden fences are designed to be durable and strong. However, as your fence gets older, plus strong winds and storms, it wouldn’t be surprising that your fence may begin to tilt on one side. Slight tilting can typically be fixed with a simple repair. However, if your fence is mostly leaning that it had resulted in broken boards or weakened posts, then the damage can only be fixed with a fence replacement.


  • Maintenance and repair costs are too high
    The general rule of thumb is if the problem affects less than 20% of the fence, then the best option is to repair it. However, if it affects more than 20% of your fence, you will save time and money by replacing the whole wooden fence. Another thing that you need to consider is the cost of your fence’s annual maintenance. If it is getting higher each year, then there is no reason for keeping your old fence.