Signs Your Fence was Damaged Over the Winter


The fence around your property serves many purposes. From discouraging trespassers to improving curb appeal and enhancing privacy. However, the winter season can be brutal and do a lot of damage in a few months. If your fence is damaged, you can search for a “fencing company near me” and hire professionals to repair it for you. Let’s check out signs that tell that your fence was damaged over the winter.

The Signs

  1. The fence is leaning – Take a look at your fence from the side after the winter season. You may find a few fence posts that are sagging or leaning on one side. A leaning fence may seem like a small problem, but it’s not. During the winter, the ground expands and contracts multiple times. This can cause the ground to shift and may cause cracks or other types of structural damage to the foundation. Moreover, if your fence post foundations are made from concrete, they may have been damaged due to the freeze and thaw cycles during the winter.

When there’s damage to the foundation of your fence posts, your entire fence is at the risk of collapsing. Just straightening the fence boards isn’t going to do the trick. If the fence is leaning at certain sections,  maybe one or two fence posts have been damaged and they can be fixed or replaced. However, if the fence is leaning at multiple spots, your fence may be at the end of its life, and you may need to build a new one. 

  1. Infestation – Wooden fences don’t do well in harsh winter. Check the fence for gray or yellow stains. If you find any, it means that the wood is infested and starting to rot. Winter brings a lot of snow and when that snow melts during the day, it may be absorbed by the wooden fence. Moreover, if the fence isn’t constructed properly, the accumulating snow at the base of the fence can even cause moisture damage.

When the wood is weakened, pests and insects like to make it their home and even feed on it. Apart from yellow and gray patches, you may also notice mold patches, holes, and crawling insects around the affected fence boards. You should replace those fence boards as soon as possible so that the infestation isn’t spread to other boards. It’s also a great opportunity to assess your local climate and figure out if the wooden fence is a great option for your property. If the winter in your region is especially harsh and it rains a lot during the other seasons, you may look towards other rot-proof materials like metal or vinyl. 

  1. Physical damage – Physical damage is very common after the winter season. The winter season brings extreme weather events. There’s a lot of rain and snow and even hailstorms that can cause a lot of damage to the fence boards. The damage may range from dents and holes to chipped-off boards. If you’ve got a wooden fence, you may notice they are splintering. Moreover, that kind of damage is quite mild. If there’s a severe storm that brings down a tree limb on your fence, an entire section would be irreparably damaged.

If the damage isn’t too severe, you may be able to paint over them, replace the boards or take other measures to repair your fence. However, if the damage is severe enough, you may have to get a large section of the fence replaced. Rust, pests, and infestations can also damage your fence significantly and the extent of that damage is hard to figure out since it’s internal. Either way, you may need to get help from a professional.

  1. Discoloration – Even if you live in the south where winters aren’t that harsh, your fence isn’t completely immune to winter damage. The UV rays from the sun can get quite harsh during the winter season and your exposed fence is there to take the brunt. If your fence is made from metal or wood and painted for protection, prolonged exposure to the harsh UV rays may get them discolored.

Your fence will start looking dull, discolored, and age after some time. Moreover, if your fence is made from vinyl and is constantly exposed to the snow and harsh UV rays, it would start cracking at the surface. In this case, you need to get your fence repaired to restore your fence to its former glory.

  1. Noisy hinges – Fences have gates that allow you to leave or enter your property. The most vulnerable part of the gate is the hardware. Try opening and closing the fence gate. If it’s opening without any resistance or you get too much resistance, the hardware may be rusted or loose. Hardware damaged during the winter season may also create squeaky noises. In this case, you may need to oil or de-rust the hardware or get them replaced.
  1. Missing boards – Missing boards are one of the most visible signs of winter damage. When your fence is missing boards, it fails to do the job of creating a barrier and also brings down your property’s curb appeal. If you got the fence to prevent your children and pets from leaving the safe sanctuary of your property, the fence doesn’t do that anymore.

If the fence was erected for privacy, you are now exposed to the prying eyes of neighbors and strangers. You need to get new boards for the fence and install them right away. If the damage isn’t limited to the fence boards, you may need to call a professional.


The winter season can do various degrees of damage to your fence. From rusted and squeaky hinges to missing boards, the damage may be light or extensive. Either way, you need to assess the extent of the damage and get your fence repaired or even replaced. You can do that by searching for a “fencing company near me” and hiring professionals for the task.

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