Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fence Jumping Causes Damage!

Man jumping a 4'chain link fence

I can still hear my grandfather today, "Stop jumping over my fence," he would tell my cousins and I as we would continually jump over his 4' chain link fence in search of a loose baseball or Frisbee. It never made sense to me as to why he would get so upset over something that an 8 year old boy found so unimportant! Today I understand just why old grand-dad would get so upset...

We get multiple calls each year to repair fence that has been damaged from people (usually younger people!) jumping over it in lieu of using the more sensible alternative - the gate! Damage can occur to any type of fence simply from someone jumping over it. The damage increases in severity the more this activity is repeated. It can break or rip-off boards on wood fence, it can crack vinyl fence and make it sag in the middle (that type of damage will not be covered in the lifetime warranty that comes with all of our vinyl fence products), jumping a fence can severely bend and damage ornamental steel and aluminum fences and most of all it can devastate the top rail of chain link fence.

We have noticed calls for fence jumping damage increasing over the years. Many home or business owners with property near schools or playgrounds install fencing to keep folks from cutting through their lawns. While this measure will typically deter most folks from taking the short cut through the lawn, sometimes it does not deter everyone! At Custom Fence Company, we understand this. That is why we offer our residential chain link fence with a heavier duty top rail than our competitors install. We do this because we care about quality and the longevity of your investment, many other fence companies simply want to "get the job." In order to do that they sacrifice the quality of the materials they use.

Here are some steps that you can take if you are concerned that the neighborhood kids may try to jump over your fence some day:
  • Always ask the gauge of the top rail, posts and wire when getting a chain link fence installed. They cheapest guy in the race may be using cheap material. You want to be certain that you are comparing apples for apples (top rail should be at least .055 gauge rather than .047)
  • Use vinyl coated chain link fence. Vinyl coating is offered in black, green or brown. The vinyl coating adds to the beauty of the fence and you can select a color that allows the fence to blend in with it's surroundings. Vinyl fence material is not only coated with vinyl, but it is also a heavier gauge. This will deter the product from bending and sagging from illicit use and age. Vinyl coated chain link also comes with a great warranty.
  • Increase the height of your fence. This is important for home or business owners that live near parks and schools. If your 4' fence is ruined from jumpers, replace it with a 5' or 6' tall fence. That extra 1 or 2 feet can be what calms the braveness of the jumpers!
  • If you are having a wood fence installed, ask that the panels be built on site. If the installer builds the fence on site they should be using material that is stronger and higher quality than the pre-manufactured panels that can be purchased at home improvement stores. Pickets should be 1" thick and stringers should be 2"x4" - This will ensure that your fence is more durable and the increase in cost is trivial to the increase in quality that this step provides.
  • Like Vinyl Fencing? Vinyl fence is great and at Custom Fence Co., it comes with a lifetime warranty! A few things to increase the durability of your vinyl fence are:
    • It should have an aluminum reinforcement bar across the bottom stringer of the fence. Do not consider a vinyl fence that does not offer this. It will sag in the middle within a few years.
    • Make sure that the panels snap into the posts as opposed to using screws to attach them. This will help the life of your fence out in 2 huge ways. First, screws rust and most vinyl fence is white. Over the years when the screws begin to rust the rust will leave orange lines running down the fence everywhere that a screw is installed ruining the appearance of your once beautiful fence. Second, fence that fits together by engineered slots and notches is more durable. As the screws rust, they also become weaker and are more likely to loosen over time leading to your fence possibly falling over.
  • Aluminum and Steel Ornamental fencing are great quality and come with a lifetime warranty. You should not have much of a problem with this style. You can always choose to go with a commercial grade fencing to beef up the strength and I always suggest making sure that the panels are 6' wide to help reduce sagging.
I hope these tips were helpful for you. Custom Fence Co. is always here to answer any of your fencing questions. Call us today for a free estimate -



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