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A fence can keep your family and pets safe and make your home look attractive. If it gets damaged, however, it can be an eyesore, as well as a safety and security hazard. Here are some ways to prevent fence damage.

Hire a Professional Installer
Have a fence installed by a qualified contractor. Ask for advice on which type of fence to choose based on your area’s climate and the characteristics of your property.

A fence should not be in direct contact with soil since that could expose the fence to moisture and could lead to damage. The ground could also shift and damage the fence. 

If the ground in your yard is unstable, a contractor may suggest setting fence posts in concrete to prevent them from tilting. If the ground slopes, the contractor may recommend a racking fence that follows the slope of your property to reduce the stress on the posts and the ground.

Invest in quality materials. If you want a wood fence, choose pressure-treated wood that can resist rot, water damage and insects. Use a stain or a sealant to protect it from moisture.

Clean and Maintain Your Fence
Choose a paint or stain color that will not show dirt and that will be easy to maintain. You will need to re-stain or reseal the fence on a regular basis. The frequency will depend on the climate where you live. Clean your fence regularly to remove any stains before they sink in and cause permanent discoloration.

Prevent Damage Caused by Moisture, Trees and Flying Objects
Exposure to moisture can damage fencing materials. A wood fence may rot or develop mold and a metal fence may rust. If you have a wood fence, wipe it to remove moisture. If you have metal fencing, use a brush to keep it clean. 

Don’t allow flowers and shrubs to touch the fence. They can transfer moisture to the fence that may cause damage.

Look for signs of tree damage and decay and address them as soon as possible so branches don’t fall and damage the fence. Trim branches so they don’t hang over the fence. Be careful when mowing near a tree to avoid damaging its roots.

If a strong storm is expected, trim trees so damaged branches don’t fly off and hit the fence. Remove lawn furniture and other objects that could become projectiles. 

Inspect Your Fence and Make Necessary Repairs
If a wood fence has a hole, or one or more missing slats, a storm or an impact may have caused structural damage. If a fence post tilts, that can cause the fence to sag and can create a large enough space for a pet to escape or for someone to slip into the yard. 

Check your fence and gate regularly for signs of damage and have them repaired as soon as possible. You should also have a professional conduct annual inspections.