We love helping our customers build new fences on their properties and do it all the time with our large range of high quality equipment. But there are times when a new fence isn’t actually needed - the old fence simply needs some TLC. Today we’ll explore some low cost ways to breathe new life into a fence that’s seen better days.
There’s a number of reasons to give your fence a facelift. First the curb appeal of a property can be greatly affected by the fence and boundary conditions. Bushes and trees come into this equation as well. By having a clean, smart fence and well pruned bushes your whole property presents better - super important for resale of your property or simply just doing your bit for a nice looking street and neighborhood.
From the other side of the fence - that is your perspective from inside the property. Enjoying your view is much harder with a stuffed fence, so sorting that eyesore is often going to lift your enjoyment of your property - and keep the significant other off your back, too.
Perhaps more importantly though is safety. Your fence contains young children and pets. Damaged fence pickets and panels mean weak spots where holes can open up. This can spell disaster for a child or pet with poor road awareness. Keep them safely in the property with a bit of maintenance.
Quite often the biggest issue with a tired looking fence is that it’s simply just not had a decent clean in a long time. The dirt on a fence can be moss, mould, grass and bush stains, road debris, dust - there’s countless sources of dirt a fence comes into contact with over the years.
Luckily this is a pretty simple fix. If you’re looking for a very cheap option and don’t mind the extra physical exertion, the trusty brush and soapy water (and some elbow grease) can clean off dirt that’s not totally caked on.
For the more stubborn dirt, a water blaster will clean off long term build ups and remove grime where a manual brushing effort might be hard. We hire out quality water blasters nationwide to customers, commonly to clean fences and driveways. Hit up our Water Blaster products or give your local branch a call!
Once you’ve got the water blaster, take care to keep a smooth motion that follows the pattern of the fence to avoid streaking, and don’t position it so close in one spot for too long either. Some water blasters can be pretty strong and an old fence is more susceptible to damage.
Looking to clean your fence? Read our guide before you get started.
For actual damage, you’ll need to do some actual repairs. What’s involved here will depend largely on the damage in question. Some common fence damage that you might encounter includes:
Leaning fence and or posts slumped over
Broken tips of palings from branch growth
Palings or panels damaged from impact of people, balls or vehicles
Holes in, or bent out of shape wire fencing
Sometimes part of a fence will get a lean in it over time. While fence posts are set in concrete filled holes, those holes are still set in earth that can change or erode over time. This can mean the fence loses some structural integrity and slump. Often this will bring entire sections of fence with it, resulting in a fence that looks shot.
If there’s just a minor lean, you might get away with adding an extra support piece of timber to prop up and reinforce the fence. In other cases, you might need to remove an entire section, break up the concrete around the old post, and repost to get things straight again. At this point, it’ll be important to check the ground around your fence to make sure there’s not an underlying stability issue to fix first. Once you’re confident you are working on solid ground, you can get to repairs.
Some of the steps of building a brand new fence will be applicable here so check out our guides on digging post holes and cutting posts to height.
For damaged timber fence palings, you’ll need to remove these without damaging other parts of the fence. We suggest a crowbar to pull off each damaged paling, ensuring you lever the bar behind the base of the paling where it’s nailed in. Then go up top and remove from the top rail. Try to resist swinging a sledgehammer at broken or rotten palings if you plan on preserving the rest of the structure.
Once you’ve got your replacement palings you can nail then onto the rails with a hammer or nail gun.
A common issue to sort with old wire fencing such as chain link or the small chicken wire netting, is when holes emerge. These can often occur when netting becomes detached from the framing of a fence from an impact or wearing over time (for example kids climbing over it!).
Repair may simply require new fixtures to reattach the netting to the support structure - metal ‘bag ties’ are popular for metal framing, and staples for wooden posts. Make sure you remove the old fixture before adding new ones for a cleaner, safer finish.
If you need to put in new posts, cut new boards, sand down timber and fix palings then you’ll need some tools to get this done. If you can’t justify owning a high quality saw, nail gun, sander, concrete mixer or post hole borer, you shouldn’t have to miss out on having access to the best tools for the job. Luckily Hirepool offers an excellent range of all these tools. We only purchase top quality equipment and keep these cleaned and maintained constantly to ensure you get the job done without issue.
One of the easiest ways to improve the look of your fence is to paint or stain it. Provided the fence has been well cleaned and repaired first, a paint job might just be a one day or one weekend affair. In some cases your fence may need to be sanded prior to painting, such as removing a glossy finish or you plan to paint light over dark. If you’re simply repainting with the same colour and paint type, you might get away with not having to sand.
You can use plants to help facelift a fence, especially if budget means you need to keep things very simple. Some Kiwis like to position planter boxes or plant trees next to their fence; as they grow, the foliage acts as a sort of natural border, using your actual fence to contain the growth. With a bit of pruning and clipping, you can achieve a really smart combo without breaking the bank on your fence.
Climbing plants like tomatoes and vines are also popular to achieve a sort of green wall effect. That approach won’t require too much in the way of painting for a while, but you may find your fence wearing over the years.
There are instances where a full replacement is unavoidable; a fence has simply seen too many storms, cricket balls and tree damage making it easier to just build something new. If you’re looking to build a brand new fence, then check out our Fencing, Decking and Retaining hub with handy guides about some key tasks including digging post holes and cutting boards to size plus you’ll be able to see all the tools that Hirepool offers to get the job done.
Hirepool helps Kiwis on their fence projects every week. Check out our range and book online or contact your local branch today to get what you need for the job. If you need to build a new fence from scratch, head over to our Fencing, Decking & Retaining section for more information.