5 Steps to Follow if Your Fence is Damaged in A Wind and Rain Storm
As we enter into winter, the wind and rain storms will start to blow over weak fences in our community. For some the damage may be minor - like a panel or 2 damaged by a falling tree branch. At the same time, for some it will be more major. After the last wind storms last year, we saw entire fence lines that had fallen over. This wind and rain storms are common to have every winter. Here is some information on just one of the storms last year that brought rain and 50 mile per hour wind gusts to Sacramento!
Either way, do not panic. There are some easy steps to follow to ensure that your fence is repaired or replaced properly and affordably.
Step 1--- Safety is Priority #1
Safety is a key issue – before going outside to inspect the damage, make sure the area is safe. It might be best to wait till morning when its light out and you can see more safely to go out and inspect the damage.
· Watch for power lines that may be down and stay away from them. Call your local electrical company immediately.
· Check your pool and see if there is debris floating in it.
· Check for down branches or trees. Look up and check the limbs that might be above you and see if any appear to be weak or broken. These may come crashing down in future winds.
· Watch for outdoor hazards like nails sticking out, broken glass, and other things that might injury you.
· Check the rest of the fence that may still be standing and see how strong it seems. Are there additional parts of the other fences broken?
· Make sure your pets are secured in a safe place.
Step 2--- Find the best fence contractor
While a wind damaged or down fence can be stressful, we must not be too reactive and just let anyone come work on your home repair. It is important to find the best fence contractor to come and evaluate your fence and perform the repair or replacement. Not only do you need to ensure that they are properly licensed and insured to protect your own liabilities, it also helps ensure that you will get a quality repair completed.
If you don’t have a trusted fence company that you have worked with in the past, or if they are not available, you might want to get online and search for other fence companies.
What do you want to look for in a fence contractor:
Licensed: C-13 California Contractors License specializing in fencing
Reviews: A licensed fence contractor that has number and high scoring reviews tend to be the most dedicated to customer service and will work extra hard to ensure your project is completed properly and quickly.
What to avoid in a fence contactor:
People who can install it in the next couple days: This is a bad sign for a number of reasons. As a general rule companies that perform the best installations are usually booked out a few weeks. Additionally, anyone who is going to dig in the next couple days is not doing it safely. It takes underground utilities 811 “Call before you dig” upwards of 72 hours even without a surge of storm calls to even get to your home to perform the utilities marking.
I have a friend who does fence work: People working on the side are not properly licensed and insured and this leaves you open to liability if someone claims an injury on your project. Additionally, since these people do not have a California state contractor license, the license board will not be on any assistance to you if there is any sort of disagreement on the work performed.
For more information on this topic, you might want to read this article that discusses on how to pick out un-reputable contractors.
Do not panic, your fence repair will get completed. In the mean time you can secure your yard with some orange construction mesh from a big box store. Additionally, you and the neighbor might want to work together to temporarily repair the fence while you wait for the best fence company to come and fix or fully replace your fence.
Now that you have bought yourself some time, call some of the very reputable fence companies you found and have them out for an estimate. Meeting with the company representative will give you a good feeling of how the company operates and if they are the best fence company for you. Remember, this is a 25 year decision of who is going to replace your fence. Don’t hire just anyone.
Step 3--- Call your insurance company
Now that you have an estimate from your reputable fence company, or one is scheduled, it is a good time to reach out to your home insurance company depending on the size and cost of the damage to your fence from the wind. Some home insurance policies will partially cover the cost of a fence project, so you will need to discuss this with your insurance agent or insurance company representative.
If you have coverage that includes wind and storm coverage of your fence, the next step is to discuss with your agent if it makes good sense to file a claim. They will most probably take into account a few items including:
· The cost of the repair
· Your deductible
· Depreciation due to age
That last one is a big one. In a lot of cases we hear from customers that after depreciation of an older fence, it did not make sense to file a claim. Every case is different, so you need to check with your insurance company about your specific case.
If you decide to pay for the fence out of pocket, please remember we do have a financing partner that we work with that can help you break this unexpected down over months or years.
Step 4--- Talking with the neighbor
Many of the fences that we find that fail the high winter winds of Sacramento and Roseville areas are shared fences with neighbors. It is best to start the conversation with your neighbor soon as to what you both want to do with the fence. With a common game plan you can together decide if you want to replace just a portion of the fence that is down or the entire run. In most cases, most people decide to replace the entire side of fence at one time. Even though the entire side may not have fallen down, the rest is probably just as old and it may be only a year or a storm away from also falling over. Here are a few reasons people usually have us replace the entire side at one time:
Better Value— If we are able to replace a longer footage of fence, we might be able to provide you with better pricing because of efficiencies bigger projects bring.
Preventative Measure—No one wants to go through this whole process repeatedly, so by replacing the entire side at one time shared with the neighbor, you will not have to deal with this again for many years. If you replace the fence with hidden steel posts this time, it will last an even longer and through the highest of wind storms!
When we come out to evaluate your fence and give you an estimate, we will provide you with information as to our expert advice as to what makes most sense given the condition and age of the fence.
At the same time, you might have a very small repair to be completed. We perform these all the time as well. Maybe the best solution is just a few post replacements, or rail bridges. To give you our best advice we look forward to sending out one of our fence experts to complete a free estimate!
Step 5--- Scheduling your fence repair or replace
Now that you have selected Superior Fence Construction and Repair Inc to fix your fence after a recent wind storm, we look forward to getting you on schedule! With your fence proposal will come a contact that you and the neighbor can quickly complete in a couple minutes. This allows us to get your project on schedule and then to individually bill both of your directly after. Now that you have selected Superior Fence the hard work is done. We will take it from here and make the wind damaged fence disappear and a new beautiful fence come up!
If your fence was damaged in a recent storm, give us a call so we can get you on your way to being all fixed. We look forward to building you a high-quality fence that will withstand the future storms that will inevitably come our way!
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