dirt undergound

A fence will get damaged underground. Often what you see on the surface may not match what is happening beneath the dirt. We get clients wondering why their fence is in trouble, when they cannot see any obvious problems.

At Fence Supply Online we know the dangers of underground damage to a fence. We get calls looking for help on solving, and preventing, such damage. Our experts put their heads together to see if they could come up with a few tips. After a lot of arguing and cups of coffee, they eventually decided on a list. We looked at their long list and took the best points for this post.

Included on the list of ways your fence could be damaged underground include:

  • Frost heave will damage the fence underground
  • Rotting fence posts are a problem
  • Tree and shrub roots cause underground damage
  • Burrowing animals cause havoc

Let’s take a close look at each point.

Frost heave will damage the fence underground

We all like to see the first frost of winter as it tells us Christmas is on the way. Unfortunately frost and the frozen soil underground can do a lot of damage to a fence.

Fence posts sit in the dirt. When the wet dirt freezes on cold nights it solidifies and expands. The expansion causes ‘frost heave,’ where the soil moves and dislodges the post. If this happens more than a few nights in a row, then the post can be knocked out of position. If you are lucky, it will only loosen the fence post, but frost heave can push the post out of the ground too.

Add sand and coarse gravel to the soil to help drainage and bury the posts below the frost line.

Rotting fence posts are a problem too

You should insist on your fence posts being suitable for burying in the dirt. If you buy cheaper alternatives you will save money, until the posts begin to rot.

A fence post must be pressure-treated at the factory. This process injects all the chemicals you need to keep the post safe from damage when underground.

Good drainage and lining the fence post hole with pebbles are essential too.

Tree and shrub roots cause havoc underground

When installing the fence take a measure of the trees and shrubs nearby.

Their roots can spread underneath and around the fence posts. After a bit of time, the roots may pull the posts out of position and even crack the wood.

You may not be aware of the problem until the fence begins to sag.

Never plant trees close to a fence and keep the posts away from established growth.

Burrowing animals cause havoc

Those cute animals who like to burrow underground and pop up here and there cause problems. They can dig under posts and weaken the soil around the base.

If this happens the fence will weaken, and posts may tilt to one side. Some burrowing pests may eat the wood too.

Burying the posts in concrete and at a suitable depth should avoid the problem. Adding Fence Armor also gives more protection.

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At Fence Supply Online we know about fence problems.

Our experts can help with your questions.

Prevention is often the best cure.

Call us today for all your fencing needs.

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