Wood Fences and When to Replace Them

November 20, 2018 ~ Posted By Jim Jenkins

Wood fence remains one of the most popular fence materials home and business owners use to surround their property; however, they do have a limited life span compared to other materials such as vinyl, aluminum or wrought iron. Chances are if you’ve purchased an older home with a wood fence around it, you may notice more signs of aging on your fence than the indoors as many home sellers tend to concentrate on renovating the indoors for resale. Sometimes you can repair a wood fence when a board or two tends to warp or if a post gets damaged during severe weather conditions such as a wind storm or heavy snow. And then there’s that point at which you just need to recognize that you may need to replace either an entire section or the complete fence.

Common Problems for Wood Fence Owners

When entire sections of your fence have faded or begin to warp, it could be time for a new fence

Since wood fence comes from nature, it’s subject to nature’s laws and does not last forever, no matter how much care you put into maintaining your fence. Yes, you can seal and stain it (and we recommend you do that to prolong its life), but over time the elements can take their toll on the fence itself. In the Maryland, DC and Northern Virginia area, we’ve seen harsher winters, wetter springs and summers and chillier falls (which makes it seem as if we’ve traded places with the north west pacific areas like Seattle and Portland!) and all that constant moisture lessens the durability of a wood fence over time. Combine that with insects and short but radical shifts in temperature, and your fence is more likely to warp, splinter, bow or become discolored.

Not all wood sources are created equal; some wood fence materials tend to deteriorate more quickly. Frederick Fence customers benefit from wood fences that can last several decades as we use a higher grade of wood such as western red cedar, pressure-treated southern yellow pine, oak and black locust. One of the best things you can do before investing in a wood fence is research the type of wood used to make it. For example, you should refrain from ever building a fence with red oak as it’s considered an inferior wood and is highly unsuitable for fence posts.

Signs It’s Time for a New Wood Fence

When you notice that several sections of fence are leaning, you can often strengthen the fence again with new wood posts. But when the sections are simply falling down, then it might be time to consider a new fence. Once you reach that stage where pickets and boards are falling off or missing, a new fence often outweighs the cost of frequent repairs.
If your fence is more than eighteen years old and begins showing signs of rapid decline, you may also wish to consider replacing the fence. Once a fence approaches its second decade, chances are nature has run its course and it may be time to say goodbye. A good rule of thumb is that if you have to replace more than 20 to 25% of your fence’s panels or pickets, you’re better off having the entire fence removed and either replacing it with a new wood one or a more durable material like vinyl.

When weather takes it toll and entire sections of a fence collapse, it’s definitely time to consider replacing your wooden fence.

Still, some home owners prefer the rustic and natural look that a fence offers. They are indeed gorgeous works of art when carefully constructed and beautifully maintained. If you happen to live in an area where you have a choice of materials, wood can be a great option. Many newer home communities tend to favor a mixture of vinyl or aluminum and both offer major advantages over wood fence. But if your heart is set on that natural look and feel or if your budget is not ready to fence in a large sprawling area with costly materials, wood fences remain a wonderful option!

Ready for a New Wood Fence?

If you’re in the market for a new wood fence or in need of wood fence repair, our Frederick Fence team is here for you! Click on our chat feature, give us a call at 1-800-49-FENCE or stop by our headquarters and lumber yard at Tilco Drive and we’ll be more than happy to give you a free price quote and then take care of the entire installation process from start to finish! If you’re a DIY enthusiast and just need materials, we are always happy to assist you with your home fence project and give you all the details that go into building a wood fence that will last a long time!

 

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Frederick Fence: 2018 Fall Hours
2019 Winter Hours

October 31, 2018 ~ Posted By Jim Jenkins

pumpkins on a fenceFall brings about so many changes. The leaves all turn colors before they drift toward the ground, the temperatures drop and so everyone needs to bundle up and the hours spent in daylight just seem to decrease with every drive to and from work. And at Frederick Fence, we go from our summer schedule into our fall and winter hours.

If you’re a DIY enthusiast or someone who wants to see samples of our fence building materials up close and personal, we welcome you to stop by our headquarters on Tilco Drive in Frederick, Maryland. However, please make note of our fall and winter seasonal hours so you know when to plan your visit!

Frederick Fence Fall 2018 Hours

From now until Friday, 30 November 2018, you can visit us during the following hours:

  • Monday through Friday: 7:00 AM until 5:00 PM
  • Saturdays: 8:00 AM until 12 NOON

Frederick Fence Holiday Season 2018/Winter Hours 2019

From December 1st through the end of 2018 and on into winter 2019, you can visit us during the following hours:

  • Monday through Friday: 7:00 AM until 4:00 PM
  • Saturdays: CLOSED

Need Help With a Fence Outside Our Office Hours?

If you’re a homeowner and looking to install a fence in winter or fall, congratulations! You picked a great time of year to get a fence as the time between contract and installation decreases now that the summer rush is over! If you need a fence, you can always contact us via our chat feature or call us at 1-800-49-FENCE and we’ll send out one of our fence consultants to your home and provide a free estimate. If there are specific materials you’d like to see up close, just let us know and we’ll bring samples to your home with us!

If you’re a fence contractor or a DIY fence enthusiast and need fence materials and need a bit more flexibility in picking up supplies, give our office a call during regular business hours and we’ll see what we can do to meet your schedule!

Thank You for Making Summer 2018 an Amazing One

We’d like to thank each and every one of our customers for making our 2018 summer season one of the best! It’s our pleasure to work with so many wonderful homeowners and collaborative business customers in the Frederick area.

We’ll be here as long as the weather holds out and the ground doesn’t freeze; we’re always a click or a phone call away!

Happy Fall Everyone!

fence decorations

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Chain Link Fence:
Maintenance Tips to Last its Lifetime

October 16, 2018 ~ Posted By Jim Jenkins

While most new home communities make use of vinyl or wood fencing as their main fence material, there are still a lot of neighborhoods that allow homeowners to select from a wide variety of materials to create a perimeter around their homes. Many still choose one of the most affordable fences on the market that can keep outsiders from entering the yard while keeping pets and children safe inside: chain link fence. If you happen to own a home surrounded by one of these fences or are looking to install a fence that will last many years without blowing out your home improvement budget, here are a few maintenance tips for taking care of a chain link fence:

Keep Your Chain Link Fence Vine Free

Keeping vines, flowers and shrubs off the fence affords you greater longevity for your chain link fence.

A lot of homeowners think that vines on a fence are a wonderful way to add natural beauty to their yard. While that may be true, we don’t recommend that you grow vines, flowers or any kind of decorative plant on a chain link fence. While they may look nice, plants can grow through the chain link, causing the fence to lift on the bottom, which can create slight warps among the panels. This combined with a heavy snow or rain season can result in the fence losing its structural integrity over time. What you have left is a fence with leaning sections or bowing panels, which can cause severe bowing. Plants can also burst through the links and cause them to break, leaving sharp openings which can harm bot h humans and pets if they’re not careful.

Clean Your Chain Link Fence A Couple of Times a Year

This many sounds like a time-intensive process, but a good hosing down of your chain link fence will help it last a long time. You don’t need to do much—if you own a power hose, a good spray once a year easily does the job for keeping the fence clean. If you have a regular hose, just set your nozzle on the highest setting and give it a good watering down. For any areas with a bit of a buildup, you can often just take a bucket of water and a sponge to get rid of mud, bird poop, clumps of leaves and other debris stuck to your fence. For truly tough areas, you may need to get out a scrub brush and some dish soap mixed in with your water to keep the fence sparkling clean.

Apply Rust Protection Every Spring

If you want that chain link fence to last more than two decades, applying rust protection each spring can help you reach your goal. The most problematic area of a chain link fence is the bottom portion and many homeowners never seem to look down until that fateful day when they realize that the fence is completely rusted out just above the ground, especially if you have flowers planted close to where the fence sits. Don’t let this happen to you! Set a calendar item in whatever app you use (or mark the free calendar you get from China Garden. Come on, we know you have them hanging in your kitchen or office!), and when May rolls around, head to your local box store to get enough Rust Oleum (one of our favorites) and apply it to your fence. One can of spray covers about 15 square feet and you can even purchase it with a color in mind if you want to give your fence more visual appeal.

The greater level of care you provide to your fence–such as applying rust protection and repairing sections as soon as you notice any damage–makes a world of difference as to how long your fence can lat.

Repair Your Chain Link Fence When You Notice an Issue

One of the main reasons why homeowners love chain link is that if you have a sprawling yard, it’s an affordable material that’s fairly free of intense maintenance. However, over time you may find that certain sections of your chain link fence may require some maintenance. If you have children or pets that pull on or jump on the fence often, you may see a need to strengthen the connection between a panel and a post. You may also find that after a heavy winter and wet spring that the hinges on your gate may get a little rusty. Additionally, after years of heavy use, your gate may start to sage or dig slightly into the ground.

As soon as you notice something about the fence that requires a bit of a repair, take care of it right away. If you don’t, all you’re doing is setting yourself up for either a major repair job over time or the need for a replacement fence sooner than planned.

Take the time to take care of your chain link fence and it will last a long time. You can tell a homeowner who makes the effort as their fence looks as good as new once spring time rolls around because they’ve both cleaned it and made some repairs to keep the entire fence looking as if it was recently installed. It’s not all that hard to do and the one weekend you spend in the spring means the difference between a fence that last six to seven years versus eighteen to twenty. Just ask any of our fence consultants!

Thinking About Chain Link Fence?

If you’re in the market for a new chain link fence, you now have several options available to you that are much better than what was available just a few decades ago. You can now get a fence with dark green or black panels and posts and you can also build a fence with a vinyl or powder-coating, options that will automatically prolong the lifespan of the fence you install. You can also purchase commercial grade galvanized steel, which is great for homeowners with larger animals (think large dogs or horses) as these fences are extremely durable and can withstand a lot of pressure.

If you’re weighing your options for a new chain link fence or have one that needs some maintenance, contact us at 1-800-49-FENCE, click on our chat button or go to our Contact page and we’ll visit your home (or business) and give you a complete estimate.

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Winter Warning: Get Your Fence Repairs Done Now!

December 15, 2017 ~ Posted By Jim Jenkins

broken-fenceTemperatures are falling, holidays decorations are up, and hopefully by now you’ve remembered to shut off your outside faucets so that nothing bad happens while we experience chilly scenes of winter the next few months.  Before you settle in for the long cold spell here in the NOVA/MD area, we encourage you to take a few minutes and walk along your fence line to make sure that your fences are fine and that you’re not in need of any repairs.

If there’s a warped board or two or your fence panels are starting to lean, it’s best to get them fixed before we have our first major snow as a dense snow fall can sometimes prove detrimental to a fence that’s starting to fall apart.  Since our area can also experience an ice storm or two in the middle of winter, you may also consider trimming the branches on trees that may tend to droop or fall over should they end up covered in ice.

Here are a few of our tips for making sure your fence survives the winter months so you can return to the great outdoors and enjoy your yard once the warmer temperatures return:

Taking Care of Wood Fences in Winter

Check your wood fence and make sure that there are no warped boards or panels.  A heavy snow can easily create more damage.  Remember, it’s not just the snow that causes fence damage, it’s also the heavy winds and freezing temperatures that can wreak havoc on your fence’s structure.

If you own a split rail fence, make sure that the snow doesn’t tend to settle on any one section as the weight from the snow can cause the rails to break in the middle section.

If you’re a dog owner and you tend to let your dogs take care of their business in your yard instead of taking them for walks in winter, just make sure that your dogs refrain from trying to dig themselves out of your yard during cold weather.  Yes, sometimes your four-legged loved ones can damage your fence, especially if they’re left to their own devices in the cold.

Got a new snow blower and can’t wait to use it?  Just remember not to get to close to your fence or bump up against it while removing the snow as you could easily damage your fence should the rotors rub up against the lower portion of the fence panels.  Those high speed snow blowers are great and we recommend buying one if you live in our area; just don’t lose control of your machine and let it hit the fence—especially if you have a gate that straddles a walkway!

Inspect Your Vinyl (Aluminum and Wrought Iron) Fence

The good news about vinyl fence is that its maintenance free and so the most you may need to do during winter is wipe it down if any yard debris has left any kind of stain on the panels.  As long as your fence panels are set in concrete with posts at least three feet deep, you should be fine.  However, if you’ve purchased a home with an existing vinyl fence, we encourage you to check the integrity of your fence’s structure after any winter storm to make sure there are no panels that need reinforcing.

picket-fence-in-snowLikewise, if you own an aluminum or wrought iron fence, there’s not much you need to do to prepare for winter; just remember to take a walk and ensure your fence’s structure remains intact should we experience a brutal winter storm.

The only real danger for these types of fences are trees that may fall should they be subject to extreme winds and freezing rain.

Need a Fence Repair Now?

Regardless of whether or not we installed your fence, our service teams are happy to come out and repair your fence.  Depending upon the magnitude of the repair, we can take care of it while you’re away from home!

Need to replace a board or two and need materials? Stop by our showroom on Tilco Drive during regular business hours and we’ll be more than happy to get you what you need for repairing fences.

To get started, either use our online chat feature to discuss a fence repair cost estimate or give us a call to schedule your repair or materials pick up!

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