Fixing Your Fence After The Storm
As the Carolinas recover from Hurricane Florence, many of us are putting our homes and businesses back together. Whether protecting personal property, a pool or animals. Insuring your fence is ready to do it’s job is an important part of getting life back to normal.
We’ve been through more than few storms in our neck of the woods. And, after a storm passes we get questions - lots and lots of questions. So we’ve gathered the Goode Fence team to share our knowledge and help you through this process. We’ve developed six of the most common questions we get after a storm along with some professional guidance.
First, let’s talk safety. Before venturing out onto your property to check the fence; wait for any flooding to recede, look-out for snakes, fire ants and alligators, make sure no electrical lines are down on your property and look over head for broken or loose tree branches. Once you’ve determined it’s safe to venture back to your fence, you can begin the process of evaluating it for damage.
Now, those questions and answers:
Q. My posts are leaning, can they be fixed?
A. Regardless of fence material, the first step is to determine what is causing the lean. The footing (usually a concrete ball surrounding the post) may have broken, the ground or flooding may have allowed the footing to rotate a bit or the post has failed. Vinyl, aluminum and chain link fence posts all can fail similarly. They will either “kink” just above ground level, or actually tear partially or completely apart. A wood post will simply break. In all of these cases, the post will typically need to be replaced. If the footing has broken or rotated, then the existing post can be reset relatively easily with a new concrete footing.
Q. I think my vinyl posts failed because there is no wood or metal inside them. Is that a problem?
A. Yes and No. Posts meant to go with prefab fence panels sold by the home centers usually do require a wood post inside the vinyl post. Professional grade vinyl fence has mortised posts with rails that lock inside them. These posts are engineered to be installed hollow. The nature of the mortise and tenon installation of a professional grade vinyl fence allows it to expand and contract in wind, heat and cold.
Q. My fence is dirty and gross, how do I clean it?
A. First, if you have a vinyl or aluminum fence, put away that pressure washer. You can damage the fence. Try attaching a bottle of vinyl siding cleaner to the end of your garden hose first. A little light scrubbing with a soft brush may be required. You can also try Scrubbing Bubbles or Simply Green shower and tub cleaner - spray it on, wait a few minutes, hose it off. Plenty of organic cleaning solutions are available as well. For a wood fence or a standard galvanized chain link fence, the pressure washer should be fine. Do not use a pressure washer on a green or black vinyl coated fence.
Q. Parts of my vinyl privacy fence have blown or floated away. Can these be replaced?
A. If you have a preassembled fence panel from the home centers, you probably will not be able to replace individual parts - you will need to replace the entire fence panel. If you have a professional grade privacy fence, just round up the missing pieces and put them back together. You will need to “unsnap” the top rail to do this, and then snap it back in place.
Q. A tree limb fell on my chain link fence and crushed part of it. Can this be fixed or do I need to replace the entire fence line?
A. Your chain link fence may look like one long continuous line, but it is possible to replace individual pieces of top rail, busted posts and weave in new, matching wire mesh or barb wire without replacing it all. If you want to try it your self, Goode Fence stocks chain link fence parts in standard galvanized color, black and green. Often times, though, chain link fence repair requires a professional. Weaving together chain link mesh is a special skill, and your chain link fence and barb wire are under tension.
Q. How much should repairs cost and will my insurance cover it?
A. Most of the residential storm related fence repairs we’ve done over the years cost less than $750. Of course this is dependent on fence material, style, height and amount of fence damaged. While we can’t specifically tell you whether your fence is covered under insurance, we can remind you to not forget it as you are preparing your claim. Most insurance policies include a section covering “other structures” and your fence will typically fall under this. If you need a written estimate for your repairs, Goode Fence will prepare a professional estimate either from a site visit or in some cases your photos.
Goode Fence is a leading Myrtle Beach, South Carolina based fence contractor servicing Horry, Brunswick, Georgetown and Marion counties. Call us with your questions or fence repair needs. We’d be glad to help.