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Routine and extraordinary maintenance of fences

Fences, like other structures, require regular maintenance in order for them to last for long time and to ensure they best fulfil their protective function. 

In this article we will offer some advice for routine and extraordinary maintenance of fences with a focus on the regulations surrounding this.

Routine maintenance

Routine maintenance of metal fences involves the repair or replacement of certain components without altering the specific features or characteristics of the fence (material, size, shape, etc.).

It should be carried out at least once a year and includes the following steps:

  1. Checking the stability of the posts
    The first way to check the condition of the posts is by testing their stability. If they are weak or wobbly, they will need to be welded or, in more serious cases, fully replaced.
  2. Checking the tension of the wires
    Another aspect to consider as part of routine fence maintenance is the tension of the tension wires. Over time, due to weathering, the expansion of materials and the sinking or settling of the fence, the optimal tension of tension wires can be reduced. In these cases you will need to restore them to their optimal tension and possibly repair wires or links that are excessively damaged.
  3. Checking the alignment of the mesh
    Over time, the fence’s mesh can shift from its original position. You may also find that the mesh has dropped due to its own weight or that of the vegetation growing between the wires. If this is the case, it must be repositioned as per the original design.
  4. Checking the gates
    It may be the case that gates lose their alignment with the rest of the fence. In this case, you will need to recalibrate the hinges, check the locks and, if necessary, replace excessively damaged elements.
  5. Removal of plants and weeds
    Over time, climbing plants, brambles and other weeds can compromise a fence’s protective seal. As they grow, these plants increase in weight and this force pull mesh net down, resulting in the structure of the fence being damaged. In order to prevent the tightness of the fence from being compromised, weeds should be regularly trimmed or removed in order to prevent their weight from damaging the fence.

Extraordinary maintenance: means of intervention

The extraordinary maintenance of a fence involves a more significant level of intervention, with potential structural changes to the fence’s dimensions, shape and materials relative to its current state.

In these cases you may need to notify local authorities about the works carried out. In order to know when extraordinary maintenance is required, you will need to assess whether the maintenance work will constitute a matter of urban planning or land development.

Each local authority has specific laws that states which works will result in an impact on the landscape or urban planning. The relevant local or municipal authority should therefore be consulted prior to carrying out any maintenance work.

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