When looking for fencing solutions that take your property to the next level in terms of style and privacy, aluminum fencing is one of the best choices overall. Unlike vinyl, wood, or concrete fences, aluminum fencing is classic yet contemporary. It’s extremely durable and oftentimes recyclable, is an efficient crime deterrent, and has many versatile applications.
Even the sturdiest aluminum fence will degrade over time, however, especially in areas such as Florida that experience extreme weather. Hurricanes, increased moisture in the air, high winds, and the sun’s harsh rays all take a significant toll. Knowing when to replace aluminum fencing to keep your home safe and avoid unnecessary repair costs. Here are six tell-tale signs that it may be time to replace your aluminum fencing.
Has your aluminum fencing ever been involved in an accident that may have caused it damage? An “accident” could be a falling tree, vandalism, an intense storm that created projectiles from flying objects, or even an out-of-control vehicle crashing into your fence. Depending on the impact pressure, such accidents can result in local or structural damage to an aluminum fence. For example, misaligned components after a strong hail storm may require that the entire fence be replaced.
Minor cracks and bends should be verified by a certified licensed contractor before you replace aluminum fencing. As a general rule of thumb, always have the fence inspected following every accident or significant storm. Then, depending on the extent of the damage, decide whether to repair or replace the compromised sections.
Leaning Fence Posts
Even the sturdiest, most meticulously-installed fences can start to lean and sag over time, a result of natural shifts in the Earth, weather factors, and even wildlife underground. One area where it’s easy to spot these shifts is at the fence posts.
From time to time, and especially after big storms, it’s a good idea to check for any visible gaps in the soil surrounding the fence footings. Even a slight shift can compromise the integrity of the entire fence. The posts will eventually start to lean into those gaps and soft soil, and over time may snap out of their original positions altogether. Excessive, unbalanced weight from the leaning fence posts can also trigger cracks, bends, dents, and sagging at the bottom of the posts.
If you do see signs of the soil shifting in the initial stages, correct it as quickly as possible by adding several inches of concrete mix or gravel to the exposed holes.
Unstable Upright Supports
Aluminum fencing in central Florida is frequently exposed to high winds, so it’s likely to experience wind-related damage at some point. You can fairly easily check for any significant wind damage by simply pushing the upper part of the fence to see if it moves easily. Take note of any shaking in the upright supports.
Of course, the ideal way to install an aluminum fence is in such a way that creates the least resistance and most defense against strong winds. For example, using slatted or semi-solid panels allows wind to easily move through the fence, almost acting like a ventilation channel, without compromising your privacy. Reinforcing the fence posts with a concrete mix is also important. With several different components to properly installing a fence, it’s best to hire a professional fencing company for this particular job.
It’s time to replace aluminum fencing if it has significant buildup of corrosion from past storms and high winds. Along the same lines, if your home is near the ocean, constant salt-laced breezes can cause flaking, pits, and peeling of your fence’s finish. Extreme weather can also trigger loose sections of fencing, misaligned components, bending, and warping.
Visible Rust Spots and Discoloration
Speaking of salt damage to fencing, another thing to pay close attention to is rusting. Steel fencing used in areas of high moisture, including directly around swimming pools, is usually powder-coated and galvanized to protect against rusting.
Any visible rust on this type of fencing means the materials are likely too old or were poorly treated before installation. Other types of fences can corrode and lose its luster over time. Scratches and chipping from everyday wear and tear can expose the fence to this rusting.
A benefit of aluminum fencing, however, is that the material does not rust. Unlike metal fencing that is made of steel, iron, or similar materials, aluminum is a durable material to use to replace fencing!
Glaring Holes or Gaps
Glaring holes created by missing or falling aluminum components can compromise not just the look of your property, but also your privacy and safety. These gaps or holes often arise from extreme weather, accidents, vandalism, or even inadequate installation. It’s wise to repair or replace aluminum fencing quickly, before the holes or gaps compromise the adjacent slats and complicate the problem even further.
Contact Fence Outlet to Replace Aluminum Fencing
With proper care and maintenance, well-constructed and carefully installed aluminum fencing should last up to 20 years after installation. If your fence has clear signs of structural damage, call Fence Outlet to determine whether it can be reinforced or needs to be replaced. Taking steps to correct the damage immediately can save you unnecessary costs later.