Fence Repairs… After the UK February 2014 Storms…
February 16, 2014
With the horrendous storms we’ve had across many parts of the UK these past few weeks, I’ve had a massive rise in the number of enquiries about fence repairs and fence replacements. I can see 3 completely destroyed fences just from my bedroom window, and most streets are the same!
Unfortunately, most home insurance policies don’t cover fences and fence repairs, thanks to the hurricane storms of 1987, so if you’ve been a victim of this awful weather, you’ll have to dip into your own pocket to get it fixed. If it’s your boundary, you have a duty to get it sorted (otherwise your neighbours might get a bit tetchy with you!).
But fence repairs or fence replacements don’t have to cost the earth, and when done right, should last for many years to come. Most importantly though, a fence should be able to withstand the kind of weather we’ve had lately… though we’ll make an exception for where the ground has fallen away!
When looking at fence builders to replace your fence, make sure you pick a decent landscape gardener who can provide you with some decent referrals. Importantly though, don’t think that cheapest is best. A decent fence builder will use decent sized posts, such as 4″ x 4″ or 5″ x 5″ posts, rather than the 3″ x 3″ posts you quite often see. The thicker the post, the longer it will last. It’ll cost a bit more upfront, but will avoid you having to do it all along next time we get severe weather.
Checklist for decent fence repairs or fence replacements;
- Make sure you get at least two foot of the fence post in the ground; this should reduce the chances of the post leaning over when the winds pick up
- Make sure the post holes are uniform the whole way down, and wide enough to take a reasonable amount of concrete. Tamp the concrete with some wood to make sure there aren’t any air holes beneath it; you want the entire post below ground to be encased in concrete.
- Use a strong concrete mix!
- If you aren’t staining the entire fence, at least stain the bottom of the posts so that they have a barrier against rotting.
- Try to avoid letting grass or mud rest against the posts if possible. The less that can touch the posts and therefore keep them wet (and therefore more likely to rot) the better!
- If possible, put the posts in place and concrete them, and then prop the in place using wood baton and leave them to set. If you put the fence panels in while the concrete is still wet, you run the risk of the entire fence leaning over if the wind picks up before it’s set.
- Use thick, wooden gravel boards (or concrete ones) if you can’t guarantee that mud or grass won’t be touching the bottom of the fence panels; this should avoid the fence panels rotting.
- Screw the fence panels in place, using decent, thick screws. Use multiple screws down each side of the fence panel to keep it secure.
- If desired, coat the entire fence and fence posts in a good quality wood stain.
If you’re looking for someone to help you with your fence repairs or fence replacements in the Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Peterborough, Huntingdonshire, or surrounding areas then don’t hesitate to give me a call on 01480 470448 or 07753 911329. I’d be happy to talk about what kind of fence you’re looking for and give you a quote!
Robert Hughes Garden Construction