Your fence is an important part of your landscaping. It helps you maintain privacy, keeps your animals contained and your playing children safe. It also and adds to the overall beauty of your home. Sometimes, fences start to lean, which degrades the appearance of your property and may be dangerous to pets and children playing nearby. Diagnose the problem and learn possible ways to repair your leaning fence.
What Causes a Fence to Lean?
- Rotten or broken fence posts: Wood needs a sufficient ground rating to withstand exposure to soil or it will decay. If your fence is made from an inappropriate type of wood, it could rot or break in the ground over time.
- Shallow posts: A lazy installation could result in a leaning fence if the post holes aren’t dug deep enough. The taller the fence, the deeper the posts must be. For instance, a 3-foot-tall fence should extend 18 inches into the ground while a 7-foot-tall fence needs post holes dug 42 inches deep. It is best to call on the professionals for fence installation in Northern Virginia.
- Weather damage: Even a beautifully installed fence made from the proper wood can lean if high wind, torrential rain, or snow drifts take their toll. Soggy conditions can cause the soil to loosen around the fence, causing it to lean.
- Warped wood: As an organic material, wood is subject to expansion and shrinkage when it becomes wet and then dries out again. Even pressure-treated wood is still porous. This means all wood fences are subject to expanding and shrinking, which can cause warping. A fence is more likely to lean from the stress of moisture exposure if support beams are not placed every couple of feet. To keep your fence in tip-top shape, you should perform yearly fence maintenance.
Possible Ways to Fix a Leaning Fence
In some situations you can have your fence repaired, rather than having to replace it. This will help you to save money and preserve undamaged sections. The precise repair process you seek depends on what’s causing your fence to lean, but here are a few possible ways to fix the problem:
- Bolster existing rails: Add a “sister rail” just above or below the existing one to add strength and stability to the fence so it can stand upright.
- Replace fence boards: Remove damaged boards from the existing rails and install new ones in their place.
- Remove leaning fence posts: Dig out the defective posts and remove the old cement footing. Secure the fence so it stands straight. Pour a new cement footing in the posthole and insert the new post. Slope the surface of the cement to ensure water drains away from the post.
- Cut out portions of rotten fence posts: Rot is likely to only occur underground. Brace the fence so it stands straight. Dig around the damaged post and cut the rotten portion out. Install a new partial post to replace the section you removed and bolt it to the end of the old post. Pour a new concrete footing to complete the repair.
Call a Professional for Fence Repair
Proper fence repair requires knowledge, experience and training. If you don’t have experience working with or repairing wood fences, leave the job to a professional. By calling in help, you prevent potentially injuring yourself or making the problem worse.
At Carter Fence, we repair all types of fencing, even if we didn’t install it originally. We’re the premier fence repair service company in Northern Virginia with nearly three decades of experience. It’s our goal to get the job done quickly and to your satisfaction so you can move on with your day.