When Should You Replace Your Fence?

A wooden fence is a beautiful thing that gives your home both privacy and security. But, if your fence is looking a bit dinghy and is more than a few years old, you might be wondering if it is time to say goodbye. Let’s take a look at when you should replace your fence.

The Type of Fencing Material

Depending on the type and care you have taken of your fence, the time it will last can vary considerably. A regular utility-grade pine fence often found in new construction can typically last about 3-5 years before requiring serious repairs or replacement. For this type of fencing, if it is more than five years old, it is generally a good idea to simply replace it instead of spending money on repairs.

In contrast, a properly installed cedar fence can last up to 30 years and rarely less than 25. Depending on the kind of issues you are facing, this type of fence can be a better investment to repair. However, it is also particularly important to remember to pressure wash and stain this type of fence every two or three years to provide protection in order to enjoy this fencing material’s longevity.

The Issue with Your Current Fence

Without question, the biggest determiner for whether or not it’s time to replace your fence is what your current issue with it is. Let’s take a look at what some of the common issues are and what they mean.


With wooden fences, you can typically tell if your fence is beginning to rot. Check the bottom of the boards first because typically, the rot will begin at the bottom, where they make contact with the ground and spread upward. If you can’t tell visually whether or not the boards are rotting, you can take a hard object and scrape at the surface. If the wood breaks apart easily, it is very likely rotted. If only a few boards are rotted, then they can simply be replaced. But, if a quarter or more of the boards are rotting, then it is time to replace the fence.


There are many possible causes for fence leaning, but the most common reason for leaning fences is post rot. Generally, replacing affected posts will solve the problem. But, if a large number needs to be replaced, it may cost just as much as replacing the fence.

Warped or Damaged Boards

Generally, this issue is easy to solve by replacing the damaged boards. If your fence’s rails and posts are still in good shape, then this is an easy issue to repair. Just be cautious not to damage the rails during replacement.

Discolored Boards

Of all the problems you could have with your fence, this is definitely the best one you could have. Generally, this problem can be solved with as little as a good pressure washing.

This will remove dirt, mold, and the outermost layer of wood from your fence. This will restore your fence’s appearance, but you will need to apply a lot of caution. Too high of a pressure can easily damage the wood. After you are done and the fence is dry, it is important to apply an oil-based wood stain to protect the wood.

Final Thoughts

Every fence will need to be replaced one day, but determining exactly when isn’t so easy. Though replacing a fence can be a chore, remember that the new one will improve your yard’s appearance and last for years. So, if you are wondering if it’s time to replace your fence, just think about what we’ve discussed and honestly consider if it’s time to say goodbye to your old fence.

Contact Us

If you are replacing your old fence, you will have a lot of material to dispose of. When it’s time to get rid of all that waste, call Boston Junk Removal at 781-399-4808. Also, connect with us on Facebook for more helpful articles like this one.