Homeowners on the Northern Beaches face various challenges when it comes to maintaining their fences and gates due to the region’s unique climate and weather conditions. It’s important to address these problems and take preventive measures to ensure the fence lasts for years. This article explores 7 common problems that homeowners on the Northern Beaches face and practical ways to avoid them or delay the progression of the problem, thereby extending the life of the fence. 

A Leaning Fence 

brought down northern beaches timber fence

A leaning fence is not only unsightly, but it can also be a safety hazard. The most common reason for a leaning fence is improper installation. To avoid this problem, ensure that the posts are dug deep enough into the soil and that the installer knows the soil type. If the soil is reactive, such as clay-based, the posts should be dug deeper.

The same principle applies to retaining wall construction, planning and drainage are crucial in their longevity. This is why knowledge about soil type, drainage, weather patterns, materials and construction methods is vital for whoever you hire to build your fence or do any landscaping on your property.

Rotting Timber

Wooden fences are susceptible to rotting, weakening the fence and making it prone to collapse. The primary cause of rot is exposure to moisture. To avoid this problem, regularly inspect the fence for signs of rot and replace any damaged or decaying wood immediately. Drainage is also a critical component of enabling a fence (or any material) to last a long time, making sure that water doesn’t pool at the base of the fence. Applying a wood preservative or sealant can also help to protect the wood from moisture.

Rust with Metal Fences 

metal fence rust northern beaches

Metal fences, such as Colorbond and aluminium, are prone to rust, compromising the fence’s structural integrity and creating a less than ideal appearance. To avoid this problem, ensure the fence is cleaned and coated with rust-resistant paint or coating regularly. It’s also essential to address any scratches or dings in the paint as soon as they occur. Materials like Colorbond have anti-corrosive properties, therefore investing in a higher grade material like colorbond or aluminium will involve higher upfront costs, but you will get a longer life out of your investment with less maintenance required. 

Splitting Wood 

Another common problem with timber fences is the wood splitting. This problem occurs when the wood dries out, causing the wood to crack and split. Timber naturally has oil in it, hardwood varieties like Merbau, spotted gum and jarrah have a higher content of oil and wax than soft woods, therefore are hardier when it comes to timber splitting. To avoid this problem, ensure the fence is regularly treated with a wood preservative or sealant. Keeping the wood well-maintained and sealed will help to prevent it from drying out and splitting.

Timber Warp

Warping of the timber palings is another common problem, generally due to fluctuating moisture, heat and UV levels or unstable posts. To avoid this problem, one trick is to moisten and protect your timber fence regularly for the first six months of its life, this will help prevent the moisture from drying out and evaporating, which often leads to warping and splitting of the timber fence palings. Ensure the fence is made from high-quality timber, such as hardwood or treated pine, designed to withstand high temperatures. Regularly maintaining the fence by staining or painting it can also help to protect the material from the effects of the sun.

Discoloration and Fading

faded timber boundary fence northern beaches

Over time, the colour of the fence may fade or change due to exposure to sunlight, rain, and other weather elements. This can be a common problem with painted timber and some metal varieties like steel or aluminium fences. To avoid this, it is recommended to choose a brand of material designed to withstand the Australian climate and ensure it is installed by a professional who follows the manufacturer’s instructions, such as Colorbond or high-grade aluminium for your fencing. Painted timber will show signs of fading earlier than metal, but it is easier to touch timber up and get it back to a point where it is looking good as new. 

Gate Misalignment

Last but not least, gate misalignment can be a frustrating problem for homeowners, making opening and closing the gate difficult, compromising on functionality and convenience. Many factors, such as soil movement, temperature changes, or improper installation, can cause this. Hiring a professional fencing company with experience installing all kinds of gates is important to avoid this problem. They will consider potential factors affecting the gate’s alignment and install it properly to prevent future problems.

In conclusion, by being aware of common issues such as leaning fences, rotting timber, rust, splitting wood, warping, discolouration, and gate misalignment, you can take action to prevent them from occurring and avoid costly repairs, all with the aim to get the best return on your investment into a new fence.

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