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Ultimate Fence Repair Guide

Common issues and how to fix them

14 minutes read By Mina Phillips
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Fences come in many different materials and styles. This article will show you the best ways to maintain and repair the most common fence types in NZ

How do I repair a leaning fence?

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Fences come in many different materials and styles, with some requiring more maintenance than others. There are decorative styles such as picket fencing and trellis fencing, as well as shiplap fencing and screen fencing, which tend to provide more privacy. Another form of fencing, which is crucial to keep in good condition, is pool fencing.

Leaning fence is a common issue that is usually the result of:

  • Rotting fence posts
  • Insufficient foundations
  • Tree roots
  • Too much weight on the foundations
  • Impact or high winds

The method of repair will depend on what is causing the lean. Look for soft, rotting wood at the base of the fence. If you’re unable to identify the cause, a fencing specialist from Oncore can investigate for you. Contact Oncore to get in touch.

Sometimes a fence might be on a lean due to its posts not being anchored deeply enough into the ground. In this case you will need to re-install the posts at the correct depth - go for at least 60 cm, and secure the posts with cement if need be.

Tree roots can be another cause of a fence not sitting well within its foundation. To solve this, you or an Oncore maintenance specialist will need to deal with the tree roots before repairing any damage to the fence and restoring it to its foundations.


A good example of an old fence with rotting foundations

If rotting posts are the issue, you will likely need a specialist to replace the original posts with a longer lasting material. Any good maintenance professional should be able to offer you advice on preventing the same damage in the future.

How do I repair a cracking masonry wall?

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If your masonry wall requires repairs, due to cracking or other forms of damage, there are a few different ways to address this. This will depend on the cause of the damage and will require the assistance of a professional.

In some cases, the damage may only require minimal repairs. However, if the damage is due to the wall being too heavy for its foundations, the wall will probably need to be rebuilt.


A concrete fence that has cracked under heavy load

In some cases, the damage may only require minimal repairs. However, if the damage is due to the wall being too heavy for its foundations, the wall will probably need to be rebuilt.

Another common cause of cracks or splits in masonry walls is corrosion. Small areas of corrosion can be repaired without affecting the majority of the wall. Large areas of corrosion will require the skills of a professional engineer. This will also be the case if the reinforcing bars are rusting; causing the wall to crack or spall.

How can I repair cracked or damaged fence posts?

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Over time, even the most well built fences can develop rail damage. Fence rails are the horizontal support running along the the width of the fence. They can become damaged due to the posts being too far apart, rot, timber movement or too much pressure being put on the rail for support.

After removing the original rail, a repair or maintenance person will repair the damage according to its source. This may include:

  • Replacing the rail, using the correct materials for your fence
  • Installing fixings
  • Adding in additional support
  • Installing additional posts, these will be inserted at the correct depth and secured using cement
  • Any final touches your fence may require

Broken fence rail

How to prevent further damage to my fence

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Upon installation or repair, your service provider should be able to advise you on how to best maintain your fencing, short and long term. This advice will vary depending on the type of fencing materials being used. Be sure to ask our maintenance experts for more tips.

If your fence is already damaged, there are some ways to prevent further damage until you are able to have it repaired.

To prevent further damage being inflicted to your fence in the days leading up to its repair:

  • Take any necessary safety precautions - especially with pool fencing or damaged fencing which is exposed to the public.
  • Seek immediate advice if the damage poses any immediate danger to the public or if the fence is at risk of falling on, and damaging property
  • Section off the damaged area using cones, tape or another form of barrier
  • If safe, create a temporary support for a leaning fence, under the guidance of an experienced professional
  • Contact a specialist and book in your fence repair

What long-term maintenance does my fence need?

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A well maintained fence can last 10+ years, depending on its materials. Knowing how to care for different types of fences can save you time and money. An Oncore specialist can provide you with seasonal assessments and maintenance, to keep your fence in great condition.

Metal Fences

  • To prevent rusting, choose durable, water-resistant materials, from the beginning
  • Select a stain proof colour and have new coats applied as needed
  • Have a maintenance professional assess and clean your fence on a seasonal schedule
  • If your fence has been built on uneven ground, contact a specialist to discuss the best solution

Wood fences

  • Prevent mould by selecting water resistant and durable materials, under the guidance of a specialist
  • For an attractive appearance, choose a stain proof colour and have sealer or oil applied annually
  • Book in a specialist to assess and maintain your fence and home areas on a seasonal basis
  • Keep an eye out for holes and slats that need repairing or replacing - ensure the work is carried out by a professional.

Masonry fencing

  • Ensure your masonry fence receives a seasonal inspection from a specialist. They will be able to tell whether or not spalling and cracking can be a simple fix or are signs of a larger issue.

Vinyl fencing

  • When installed correctly, using high quality materials, vinyl fencing should only require minimal maintenance. With a seasonal check and clean from a maintenance professional, your fence should last a very long time.

Composite fencing

  • Composite fencing requires professional installation but requires very little long-term maintenance. With an occasional check up and rinse, it should serve its purpose for years to come.

Professional installation, using high quality materials, is the best way to ensure your fence is long lasting. This, along with professional assessment and maintenance, will give your fence a much longer life.

Fence regulations and claiming insurance

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Has your fence recently been damaged? Are you and your neighbour struggling to come to an agreement on the cost and materials of a replacement? Finding solutions doesn’t need to be a drawn out process, as there are policies and regulations in place for exactly these situations.

Fence damage caused by third party - what do I do?

  • If it is safe and possible to do so, have the third party individual sign a description of how the damage occured and take down their details.
  • Make safety a priority and prevent further damage from occurring: see "How to prevent further damage to my fence" above
  • If the fence damage is the result of vandalism, contact the police
  • Your insurance company will likely ask for any helpful information to do with the fence and its damage, such as warranties, receipts and photos. Have these prepared before giving them a call.
  • Talk to your insurance company to check 1) that your fence is insured and 2) how you should go about claiming your insurance

How long after I have claimed my insurance can I get my fence repaired?

  • The amount of time that it takes to process an insurance claim varies depending on each individual case. It is common for claims to be processed and paid out within a few days to a week.
  • The time it will take to repair your fence using your insurance claim will depend on your insurance policy and the insurance company you are with. Speak with your insurance company to find out what the process will be for your particular claim.

What if my fence is shared with a neighbor or the council?

  • Generally, if your fence is shared you should expect the other party to pay half.
  • When dealing with your neighbour, Govt.nz recommends coming to an agreement in regard to the fences height, materials and cost. According to Consumer NZ, your neighbour is only legally expected to pay for a fence that is “reasonably satisfactory”, so avoid trying to bargain for anything elaborate, unless your neighbour is on board.
  • If your neighbour refuses to go halves on the new fence, you can begin a formal process which will begin with you serving your neighbour with a fencing notice. Consumer NZ states that your neighbour will then have 21 days to either accept or reject your proposal. If they do not respond within 21 days, assume they have agreed.

Is building consent required for building a fence in NZ?

  • Fences under 2.5 metres generally do not require building consent
  • You will need to submit a building consent application, and possibly a resource consent application, if your fence will be over 2.5 metres
  • An Oncore specialist can assist you in preparing and submitting these applications.

How much does it cost to get my fence fixed?

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The costs included in your repair will come down to the extent of the damage, the types of materials required, as well as, the time and labour involved.

Overgrown trees are common culprits of fence damage. They grow into the fence, pressuring it into a lean. Repairing a leaning fence is generally quite affordable, and can be as simple as replacing a post and removing the tree, or part of it.

Timber posts can be bought from $7+ per metre, while steel posts are around $12+ per metre. Cement and additional materials may be needed to secure the newly anchored post. Don’t forget to factor in labour costs.

If your fence needs a complete replacement, consider using vinyl or composite materials, as they require minimal long term maintenance.

How can I repair my fence on a budget?

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One of the best ways to repair a fence on a budget is to opt for affordable materials.

PVC fencing is an easy maintenance choice which starts at around $90+ per lineal metre.

Radiata pine is another affordable option, priced at around $100+ per lineal metre.

Full fence repairs will require a decent amount of spending, regardless of the materials used. Zones Landscaping notes that it can sometimes be $1000+ just to clear out land and gain access to fence, using a truck and digger.

You might also need to consider the cost of a gate installation. Simple aluminium gates range from $800 - $5000, depending on your requirements.

A specialist will need to inspect your fence and locate the cause and solution before a definite quote can be offered. If your fence has been built on uneven ground, the time and labour required for the repair will likely increase, along with the associated costs of the job.

How can I repair my fence on a mid-range budget?

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If you have a little more money to work with, opt for strong and easy-to-maintain materials, such as wood-plastic composite or coloursteel.

Coloursteel fencing is a sturdy option ranging from $145 - $150+ for every 1.8 metres. It is easy to maintain, only needing an occasional wash. For small coloursteel repair jobs, request an inspection from your specialist for a quote.

Wood-plastic composite fencing can cost anywhere around $220 per lineal metre.

Aluminium or concrete are other options, both of which cost around $350 per lineal metre.

If your fence repair includes a new driveway gate, you can enjoy a sliding gate, motor, intercom and keypad from $7,000+

What kind of fence repair/replacement can I achieve on a high range budget?

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With a generous budget to work within, you can ensure your fence is durable and highly presentable. Small repairs will be well within your price range and work which requires an engineer and/or a complete replacement will be quite achievable.

Since you have the option, opt for the highest quality materials. Premium grade pine wood fencing is an attractive option, starting from $1,000 per lineal metre.

Another idea is to replace your damaged fence with a stone wall. Stone walls make sturdy additions to any property and add a touch of elegance. Stone walls require basic maintenance, and cost approximately $2,000 per lineal metre.

As a final addition to your new fence, you might also want to look at having your current gate system maintained or updated. A high quality, automatic gate system could be yours for $14,000+.

Getting my fence repaired

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Whatever shape your fence is in, always make safety your first priority. If your fence was intentionally damaged, get in touch with your local authorities. If your fence damage could be dangerous to the public, or your household, section it off and get in touch with an expert who can provide a solution.

If the fence surrounding your swimming pool is damaged, arrange for it to be repaired as soon as possible, as it could be hazardous to the safety of young children. New Zealand legislation requires pools that are 400mm or more in depth to be surrounded by physical barriers which restrict pool access.

If your fence is currently damaged, or due for a maintenance inspection, and you’re looking for a fence repairs specialist in your area, Oncore can help. Oncore provides repairs, installations and maintenance solutions New Zealand wide. Oncore follows a process which sets them apart from other maintenance and repair businesses. Oncore will not only ensure your fence is repaired to the highest quality, they will also provide you with a customer service experience unheard of in the industry, until now.

When you contact Oncore, your local maintenance and repairs specialist will promptly meet with you to assess the damage and provide you with a quote. From there, your specialist will arrange for the damage to be swiftly and expertly repaired, managing the job’s progress through to completion.


If you would like to speak with Oncore, Contact Us Now to connect with a local maintenance specialist.