Wood Fencing – Should You Repair or Replace?

Old Wood FenceWood fencing serves many purposes and comes in a wide range of styles. From split rail and farm fencing to privacy and decorative fencing, wood is quite often a top choice among Maryland homeowners. Wood is an affordable option when it comes to fencing as compared to vinyl. Wood also offers a natural look that can easily blend in with rural surroundings. Wood fencing can also be stained or painted, allowing you to customize the look of your fence to match the style of your home. While wood fencing has many benefits, it is one of the highest maintenance fencing products available. Even though wood is treated to help prolong its life, years of rain, heavy snow, ice, wind, sun and extremes in temperature are sure to take their toll. So when your wood fence is looking a little worse for the wear, how do you know when to repair or replace?

At the First Sign of Wear — Repair!
Your wooden fence should be inspected and maintained annually. It is recommended that it be done in either spring or fall, when weather is at its most mild. Walk your fence line and look for signs of splitting, bowing or rotting. Inspect the rails, boards and posts. On the posts and boards, pay special attention to the bottom where the fence meets the ground. This is where deterioration often begins, and is the fence’s most vulnerable place for failure. If you see signs of wear, it is a good idea to take steps to slow further degradation.  Splitting, or checking as it’s called in the fence world, is a natural occurrence in wood and in many cases, not necessarily a cause for concern. Rotten wood and broken boards, however, should be removed and replaced. Depending on the style of your fence, you may be able to simply replace a few rails or slats.

When Should You Replace?
Deciding to replace your fence is a personal choice, except when it comes to Homeowners Associations! If you live in a neighborhood with an HOA and your fence becomes an eyesore, your neighborhood HOA may come calling. Otherwise, making the choice to replace your fence can depend on several factors. If your fence is highly visible to others, you may wish to replace it to keep up your home’s curb appeal. If your fence serves a security purpose, such as housing farm or domestic animals, or keeping a pool area safe, your decision to replace could be a must. Or perhaps that annual maintenance is just one more thing on your to-do list that you’d rather avoid. Whatever the reason, you have many options when it comes to fence replacement.

Why Consider Vinyl Over Wood
New Vinyl FenceInnovations in vinyl fencing have made it a popular choice when it comes to fence replacement. Although vinyl fencing comes with a higher price tag than wood, its benefits often outweigh the difference in price. Vinyl fencing is very low maintenance. Outside of washing your vinyl fence when it becomes dirty, vinyl fencing does not require staining, painting or sealing – ever! Vinyl fencing is also a sturdy fencing option. When installed properly, your vinyl fence should be able to withstand almost anything Mother Nature brings.

Need more information on fence styles and options? Call the experts at Tri County Fence & Decks of Maryland. Since 1996, we have provided the very best in fencing sales, installation and repair. Call 301-916-2205, or visit our website at www.tricountyfence.com.