Do You Need Knoxville Fence Repair? Top Signs That Spell Trouble

An old fence, with weathered, worn pickets and leaning posts that are in need of professional fence repairs.
A nice, sturdy fence in good condition does a lot for your home. It offers you some privacy in the backyard, delineates the border of your property and can even boost your curb appeal in Knoxville. If you have small children in your family or are a pet owner, you know how important fence repair is to keep little kids and wandering critters safely contained in the yard. Professional repairs even help maintain that extra layer of security that deters casual trespassers.

A damaged fence that has suffered from exposure to harsh weather patterns, insect infestations, impacts and other factors can't do any of the above. Instead, it causes real problems for homeowners, such as making your property less safe and secure and even lowering your property value. If you know the signs of creeping disrepair, you can get the help you need from Knoxville fence repair professionals.

When your property is in desperate need of a fence repair project, trust your local Knoxville handyman to get it done correctly and efficiently. The skilled team of service professionals at Mr. Handyman of West Knoxville is experienced with Knoxville fence repair and dozens of other reliable handyman services in the Knoxville area. Customer satisfaction is our top priority, and we provide exceptional work and service to ensure you’re always fully satisfied with the results of your project.

1. Broken Rails and Pickets

Rails are parts of a fence that run horizontally, parallel to the ground, and they are where (usually vertical) pickets are attached to form a front face of your structure. If you've got a missing or broken picket—or multiple instances of damage—it's making your privacy fence a whole lot less private. It also leaves a gap where a dog could wiggle through and take themselves on a solo tour of your neighborhood, and it just makes your entire property look less appealing and more run-down. Broken rails, on the other hand, could cause more widespread damage by making entire sections of your structure less sturdy and secure. This is a pretty simple fix for a Knoxville fence repair professional. We can replace broken or missing rails and pickets and then paint them to match the rest of your structure so everything is looking great and functioning as it should again.

2. Rotted Wood

Wood is a classic material that is packed full of natural charm and fits in well with a wide range of exterior design schemes from modern minimalist to rustic ranch. It's renewable, easy to work with and widely available, but any timber that's outdoors does suffer from one major weakness: wood rot. This type of decay only affects timber with a particularly high moisture level, so wood that always remains dry indoors can last for more than 100 years while wood that is outside and exposed to moisture or humidity is highly vulnerable to rotting.

Due to our climate, dealing with wood rot is among the most common fence repairs in this area. Unfortunately there's no way to make rotted wood strong and whole again, so Knoxville fence repair for wood rot generally means removing the affected boards and replacing them with new, rot-resistant planks, then painting or staining and sealing the wood. However, if there's only a few small patches of rot, your Knoxville handyman may be able to simply scrape out the rotted parts and fill them up with epoxy wood filler, then paint over top of it. Wood rot repair is also a big part of restoring decks and porches. If your deck is in rough shape, take a look at our signs you need deck repair.

What Is the Life Expectancy of a Wood Fence?

That really depends on a few different factors, such as our local climate and how much maintenance it receives over the years. Knoxville has a humid subtropical climate, which means any timber that is outdoors is frequently soaked with rain and water vapor, without much of a chance to dry out for long stretches of time. Even so, it is possible for a wooden fence to last 20 or more years, as long as it receives diligent maintenance and refinishing, and the occasional Knoxville fence repair service—which includes replacing individual boards that are hit with wood rot before it spreads any further.

3. Rust and Other Corrosion

Metal materials like wrought iron don’t have many vulnerabilities, which means they can last for quite a long time with proper maintenance. However, they can be affected by rust and other types of corrosion that can ruin metal. If the rust isn’t widespread, it’s often possible to fix this problem by removing the rust spots and applying a special sealant that will stop them from coming back.

4. Peeling Paint

Paint that is peeling away or flaking off in chips is an unattractive problem that lowers your curb appeal and compromises the appearance of your home. But even more worrisome, it is an indication that the material underneath has been left without any protection from the elements and is vulnerable to issues like water damage and infestations. On wooden fences that means an increased likelihood of wood rot too. Wood swells when its moisture content increases and it puts pressure on the paint covering it, causing it to peel or flake off. Since damp wood is prone to rotting, it needs Knoxville fence repair as soon as possible to prevent that from happening. A handyman can bring the decay process to a halt by removing the damaged paint and any wood rot before applying a new coat of paint and a sealant.

What's the Best Way to Remove Peeling Paint Before Refinishing?

Pressure washing is a convenient, highly effective process that can be used to strip away paint before refinishing exterior surfaces. It can be much quicker and more effective than using a sander and has the added benefit of also being able to remove stains, grime and debris from other nearby surfaces.

5. Contact with Soil

There's really only one component of your fence that should be touching the ground, and that's the vertical posts that are buried in the ground and holding the whole thing up. Slats, pickets, rails, lattices and other components should be at least a couple of inches away from the soil underneath, and that's likely how it was when the structure was installed. But over time soil can be moved around by water or landscaping and build up underneath until it's packed up around pickets. Or, the problem might be that the structure itself is sagging or the posts are sinking into the ground and that's why the pickets or rails have made contact with soil.

6. Difficulty Moving Gate

Your gate should open without any trouble, but if the hinges are broken or the gate is dragging, it's probably a huge annoyance trying to move it, and you may not even bother if you can avoid it. Or, maybe the problem is that rusted hinges make a hideous screeching noise when you try to move them. If that's the case, Knoxville fence repair may just be a matter of applying metal lubricant, but if the gate is dragging on the ground, it could be an issue with the posts rather than the gate itself. Our handyman team can replace busted hinges or investigate and fix other causes of a stubborn gate that doesn't want to do its job.

What Causes a Latch to Become Misaligned?

Another common gate repair that we often come across is when a latch on a gate was once perfectly aligned with the other part of its latch on a gate post—but now it's not. Either the gate or post has shifted, and now it's not possible for the two sides of your latch to meet up. If it's situated on a slight slope, that might mean your gate won't remain closed but just swings open because its latch can't hold it in place. This situation is usually caused by one of two factors: either the hinges holding your gate on to its other post have become loose and your gate is sagging, or its post is leaning or sinking into the ground. Regardless of the cause, expert Knoxville fence post repair and gate repair techniques will get your latch back in perfect alignment so your gate closes properly again.

7. Warped or Leaning Posts

Speaking of issues with warped or leaning posts, this is also a common problem for Knoxville fence repair that has a big impact on the entire structure, since they are what's holding everything up. This is a particular problem for timber posts because they are prone to rotting, which causes them to soften and crumble apart or lean over to the point that the whole thing falls over. But, fence post movement affects metal fence posts too. It may be that the concrete footing buried in the ground has crumbled apart or that it is sinking deeper into the ground.

8. Pest Infestations

If you've ever had to deal with an infestation of destructive insects such as termites or carpenter ants, you know how much damage those little pests can cause in a short amount of time, and your wooden fence is certainly no exception. If you see signs of insect activity such as a maze of holes or channels on the surface of the wood, or "sawdust" accumulating under your structure, you know it's time for Knoxville fence repair—followed by pesticide to prevent them from coming right back and causing even more trouble with your newly repaired structure.

9. Bylaw Violations

Did you know there are municipal laws in Knoxville that restrict the height and location of your fence, especially in the front yard? If you've received a notice that your structure is in violation of municipal regulations, our Knoxville fence repair pros can get it into compliance. If it's too high, we may be able to take some off the top to lower it to an acceptable height, and if it's too close to the road or over the boundaries of your property, we can relocate it to a proper location. Relocating is a more complicated project that involves relocating posts and pouring new concrete footings, so it may be necessary to use new material.

What Are the Fence Laws and Requirements in Knoxville, TN?

Property owners in Knoxville should be aware of the ordinances and restrictions for fence height and location so they can avoid trouble with neighbors or the local council. Here are a few basic requirements in Knoxville, Tennessee:

  • A fence in your front yard can not exceed 42 inches in height so as not to limit vision of the lot from the road. Side and back fences can go up to seven feet high.
  • Your front yard fence must be 25 feet away from your front property line.
  • A side or backyard fence must be at your property line without encroaching over it.
  • The finished side of a privacy fence must face outward towards neighboring properties.
  • It can not prevent drivers from having a clear view of driveways or intersections.

10. Want to Improve Curb Appeal

If you want to improve the look of your outdoor living space with exterior home solutions, a fence makeover might be just the thing to enhance your residential or commercial property. Your Knoxville fence repair expert can take care of refinishing and complete effective repairs that will have the entire structure looking beautiful again, so it can contribute positively to your property's overall appeal.

Is Your Property Due for Knoxville Fence Repair? Your Local Handyman Can Get the Job Done!

From West Knoxville to nearby communities in East Tennessee such as Oak Ridge, Claxton and Hardin Valley, homeowners and business owners can depend on the team of experienced fence professionals for expert workmanship and excellent customer service.

Get in touch with us today by picking up the phone and calling us to chat with our knowledgeable customer service staff and find out more about how our professional services can help with common repair projects in Knoxville, TN, or to schedule an appointment at a convenient time.