Wooden fences provide a rustic and natural look to your yard, but are not the most durable structures in the world. Over time, weather and water exposure can wear away at the structural integrity of your wooden fence, ruining the aesthetic and making it a safety hazard. Thankfully, there are a number of signs that you can look for to help determine when it's time to replace a wooden fence.
Rotting and Mold
Rotting and mold is a telltale sign that your fence has reached the end of its lifespan. However, by the time you can see rotting and mold easily from a distance, the damage has most likely already been done. In order to catch mold and rot early, search the fence for signs of discoloration or water damage (which usually takes the form of wood that is spongy or soft to the touch). The ends of fence boards or any part of the fence that is covered by plant matter are particularly at risk—you can help reduce the chances of this happening by trimming back plants near your fence and raking away leaves and other organic matter which can pile up.
Warping and Cracking
Warping can place a greater amount of stress on your fence boards and posts, and cause them to begin to crack or splinter over time. Even minor warping can place undue pressure on the fasteners and screws holding the boards to the rails. Check for any boards that have begun to twist or warp out of position individually—warping and cracking can be prevented by having your fence boards regularly sealed, and again by reducing the amount of organic matter near your fence to prevent excessive water exposure. Individual warped boards can be replaced, but a slew of warping boards may require a whole new fence to be installed.
Fasteners and Connections
Damaged fasteners and screws holding the fence boards in place can ruin the security and privacy offered by your fence by allowing fence boards to fall off or shift out of place. This damage can occur due to warping boards, or the rusting of screws and other metal components within your fence, or simple physical trauma knocking them loose. Individually damaged fasteners can be replaced fairly easily, but damage to the board will require the entire board to be replaced. This sort of damage can be prevented by installing plastic coverings over the exposed metal of the fasteners, and keeping your fence's water exposure to a minimum.
For more information, contact companies like Clendaniel Fence Co.