Top Line Fence

Repairing a Weather-Damaged Fence

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What is Weather-Damage?

Fences add value, security, and sophistication to any property, commercial, residential, or otherwise. When you decide to invest in a new fence it is important you choose the right material for your needs and location. Wood fencing is a wonderful, organic look which offers many options for personalization, but it does require more upkeep than other materials. Chain link fencing is sturdy and provides ample security, but is not always the most preferred style. No matter what kind of fencing you choose, every kind can suffer weather-damage, so it is vital you know how to repair and prevent this damage in order to maintain your fence’s integrity.

Weather damage is often caused by excessive moisture. Long exposure to rain and snow can have big impacts on wood and metal. Freezing temperatures can force wood to expand and contract, inducing splintering and other damage. High humidity inspires mold and fungal growth, which leads to wet rot. Sun, wind, and dry temperatures can cause dry rot, and UV rays can cause wood fences to fade. Metal is affected when rust starts to form as paint and protective sealants deteriorate. Vinyl is more durable, but regular cleaning is necessary to maintain it.

Repairing a Weather-Damaged Fence

Repairing a weather-damaged fence has a lot to do with the material used to build the fence, and what damage has occurred. Wrought iron and other metal fencing is prone to rust and erosion. Clean the fence with soap and water before tackling rust spots or painting over chips. You can use sandpaper, steel wool, or a wire brush to gently remove rust and loose paint before cleaning it again and repainting the area with an exterior paint suitable for wrought iron. Afterwards, coat the fence with a water repellant and/or rust inhibitor.

Chain link fencing is also susceptible to rust and the repair process is very similar to repairing rusty wrought iron. Clean and scrub the rust off with an abrasive material or brush, then wipe clean before spraying with a rust preventative wax or sealant designed for metal fencing.

Vinyl fences are more durable than other materials and seldom need extensive repair, but when they do it can be a tedious process. Cleaning vinyl fencing with a power washer is an important part of maintaining it. This removes dirt and build-up which might cause discoloration. However, if your vinyl fence has a crack or hole in it, you will need to repair it with PVC glue and sand the area after it has dried. Follow this with a fresh coat of paint. Larger sections of damage can be filled with an expanding foam rather than glue and then trimmed down to later be coated with urethane or epoxy resin. Be sure to trim jagged edges of the hole before sanding the smooth surface (about three inches from the edge of the hole) to roughen it and wiping clean; this will allow the glue or foam filler to properly adhere to the area. If the section of damage is large enough, you may want to replace that portion of the fence completely.

Finally, we come to wood fencing, which is probably the most susceptible to weather damage. Nails may begin to protrude over time. Simply hammer these nails back into place. Rusty nails can be easily removed and replaced. Rotten boards should also be replaced as soon as possible. Small holes can be sanded and filled with a water-proof wood putty, then sanded again and coated with sealant. Coating the entire fence with a water resistant stain or paint, and sealing it annually will help prevent further damage.

Top Line Fence

If you want to repair your weather-damaged fence, you can rely on a professional fence company like Top Line Fence to help. Our fence contractors cater to Wilmette and the greater Chicagoland area, sharing their experience and personal knowledge of fence maintenance to help you keep your fence looking like new. Call us today at 773-637-2122.

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