Some storms are just too much for fences. Strong winds, debris, and precipitation like hail can cause superficial or even long-lasting damage. Even the most well-built structures can fall in the face of a major weather event. Summer in the U.S. is a time of strong winds, from tornadoes in the Midwest to tropical storms on the East Coast. Once a storm occurs where you live, you’ll be left to assess the damage and take the necessary steps to fix your fence.
Damage to fences can include pockmarks from hail, broken posts, and broken or missing planks. Some damage may be easy to repair and can be handled by you or a contractor. Some damage may simply be too much. In this case, it is best to contact a local fence company to replace your fence. These tips can help you through the assessment and repair process to fix your fence after a storm.
Assess the Damage
Once the storm has stopped and the area is safe, inspect the perimeter. Look for:
- Major structural damage (fallen posts, broken top rail or bottom rail, hinges torn from wood)
- Pockmarks in the paint or dents in the wood (indications of hail damage)
- Litter and debris
- Missing pickets/balusters
Take pictures of everything. This may help you later, either during the repair process or when working with your insurance company. Some damage may be superficial (paint scratches and pockmarks), while other damage can compromise the integrity of the fence.
Even small problems like a missing picket could lead to an escaped pet or intrusion from a stray wild animal. For this reason, it’s important to make repairs as soon as possible. Inform members of your household if your fence has become unsafe, and if the fence is near a sidewalk thus presenting a hazard to the public, put up traffic cones or yellow tape to keep people away.
Clean Up Debris
If the damage is largely superficial, then the cleanup job can commence. With a trash bag, walk around the outside of the fence one more time. Collect leaves, sticks, trash, and other debris.
Large debris, like a fallen tree, should be removed by professionals. Contact a tree removal service to take the tree away. Do not attempt to remove the tree yourself.
Make Small Repairs Yourself
If the area is safe and your fence is only superficially damaged, make plans to fix your fence.
- Note pickets or balusters that need replacement and take their measurements.
- Circle areas in need of touch up paint with chalk, then make repairs when the weather is right for painting.
- Start a list of fasteners and nails that are needed to restore your fence to its original condition.
Contact Insurance Company
If your fence is too damaged to repair on your own, or if it needs replacement, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Damage from wind, hail, and lightning are often covered events, while damage from flooding may not be covered, unless you have a special policy to cover damage from a flood. You may have to talk to a claims adjuster to find out for sure whether damage to your fence is covered, and if so, how much.
Depending on how much damage is done to your fence and how much your deductible is, you may conclude that it’s just as sensible to pay for repairs out of your own pocket. It’s generally discouraged to make small claims against your homeowner’s insurance policy, as filing a number of claims can lead to a policy cancellation and/or an increase in premiums.
Know When to Replace
There are definitely circumstances when it’s better to replace than fix your fence. Below are a few signs that you should replace, but if you’re not sure, get a quote for repair and then research replacement options. If you are looking to replace your fence, consider your local fence companies and choose the option best suited to your needs.
Fence Was Nearing the End of Its Service Life Anyway
Fences only last so long. A wooden fence, if properly maintained, may last 10 to 15 years. If your fence was already nearing the end of its service life, then hopefully you were already budgeting for the fence’s replacement. This could be the nudge you need to get that old fence taken away.
Inspections Have Revealed Rot and Damage Unrelated to Storm
Sometimes it’s not clear that a fence is structurally unsound until a storm reveals it. Maybe the storm you experienced wasn’t that big or strong, but your fence fell over anyway. This could be because the wood was compromised by pests, or the metal was old and rusted. If so, it’s time to replace it. Choose a reputable fence company to help you find a durable replacement.
Fence Has Multiple Major Structural Problems
If the storm was very severe, and your fence was impacted by multiple large objects like trees or even cars, your fence is likely too damaged to repair. Knowing when to call it quits can help save you money in the long run, as making multiple major repairs can cost you time as well as money.
Contact A Reputable Fence Company
Do you need to replace your fence quickly? Work with a reputable fence company to repair the damage from the recent storm. Fence Outlet is your source for attractive, easy to install, durable fencing solutions. Contact us to order your replacement fence today.