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When Your Backyard Fence Can No Longer Stand Up

Posted by Junk King on Oct 12, 2022 5:00:00 AM


[This article was originally published in September 2021. It has been revised and expanded.]

Not every homeowner has a backyard fence. But those that do know the pain of seeing their fence slowly age, sag, and eventually give way. Even fences fail.

For some of us, one more harsh winter may be the last winter for our backyard fencing. So, what do you with it all if you have to replace it?

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You Can Only Mend Fences for So Long

Don't ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up. -  Robert Frost

Mending fence is certainly advisable in relationships. But in your backyard there is only so much you can do before the bottom has rotted away and the boards have shrunk and pulled loose.  At that point it only takes one good windstorm or a particularly harsh winter to take it down.

The average lifespan of a typical wood fence is approximately 15 years. However, with the proper maintenance, you can extend the life of your wood fence to 20 years or more.

What this means in practice right now is that most fences built before 2005 are ready to be torn down and replaced - if they haven't already. And depending on where you live, a wood fence may not last more than ten years. 

There are plenty of fencing companies out there that are ready to install a new fence for you if you feel yours is at the end of its useful life or, worse, if it has already partially or completely gave way. 


However, most companies will not offer to clean up and haul off all the old fence boards, posts, brackets, and other debris for free. And some firms simply won't do it all, even for a fee. Which means that the task of getting rid of all that old fencing material is on you. 

Depending on the size of your yard, you could end up with a huge pile of fence boards!

For example, a traditional picket-style fence with 5.5 inch wide boards will have over 200 boards to make up just 100 feet of fence. And 200 boards makes for quite a bit of waste lumber to haul off. 

This isn't going to fit in the back of the family Prius...

So, without a truck of your own - assuming you even wanted to do it - it's going to be highly difficult to manage your old fencing removal yourself. 

However, if you are thinking about replacing your home's fencing any time soon, or are already in the process of your new fence project, you will inevitably be faced with the task of the old fencing removal. But it you probably don't want the burden of another major project.

Which is why Junk King specializes in wood debris removal including old fencing material.

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Broken Down Fences: Getting Rid of the Wood

While it may seem like a simple task, clearing, loading, hauling, and disposing of old fence wood and lumber can be an imposing job. In fact, if you have a new fence installed for you, the odds are high that the contractor will only offer to remove the old fencing for an additional fee.

And it isn't usually cheap!

The good news is that if your fence wood is "clean" and not pressure treated material, it can be recycled. One definition for this type of wood states that, 

Clean wood waste means solid wood, lumber or pallets, that does not contain any glues or resins, that is not painted, stained or treated with chemicals, and may be pierced with nails or other metal fasteners. Clean wood waste means uncontaminated natural or untreated wood.

Unfortunately, any scrap wood or wood debris - whether from an old fence, shed, deck, or other residential structure - must be clean of all nails, screws, hinges, brackets, and any other type of metal or other material.

In addition, pressure treated wood, as well as stained or painted wood, cannot be recycled. This wood debris has to be disposed of either by a special facility or simply landfilled.

The good news is that if you can remove the nails or screws and so on from most of your old fence wood, you can have it properly recycled. And most clean wood can be reused in various forms to create new products which helps reduce the demand for virgin wood.

Some of the products made from recycled wood are illustrated in this graphic:

recycled-wood-products[image courtesy of waste360.com]

Of course, this is all well and good if you can get your stacks of old fence boards out of your yard and off to the nearest wood recycling center. 

Good luck with that.

The national average size of a backyard in the U.S. is about 6,000 square feet. However, even a smaller yard, say 4,000 square feet, with three fences lines - the back and two sides - can yield a debris pile of more than 400 fence boards. Add to that about two dozen or so 4x4 posts and you've got a sizeable amount of wood debris to load and haul.

Even with a full size pick up truck, you could be looking at more than half a dozen loads of wood debris. 

The good news is that there's a better way.

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Junk King: Your Answer for Affordable and Safe Fencing Removal

Trash hauling and site clean-up might be considered “part of the job” for contractors, but it really doesn’t have to be.

And that's true for homeowners, as well.

Whether your new fence is a DIY project or you have a contractor doing it for you, the old fencing material and debris has to be removed. 

The good news is that Junk King provides an efficient, safe and eco-friendly wood debris removal service so you don’t need to worry about the pick up or disposal of the debris after your new fence project is complete.

In addition, Junk King is a 100 percent "green" junk removal and disposal company which simply means that we make it a priority to reuse or recycle as much as possible. In fact, we routinely recycle up to 60 percent or more of everything we pick up - including old wood debris materials.

So, not only do we offer great service, low pricing, and expert junk removal - we help the planet and the environment in all that we do.

And, whether you need our services several times during your demolition project or just once after it is complete, our hauling professionals will ensure that the fence boards, posts, and other debris is out of your way so that you can get on with building a new fence.

Our professional and insured hauling and removal team will call 15 to 30 minutes before we arrive on site, and we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your debris takes up in our truck. You just point and we haul the old fencing debris into our junk removal trucks - and all without any hidden fees.

So, ready to have us take care of your old fencing removal? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.

Just make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865)


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Topics: Yard Waste Removal, landscaping debris, backyard, wood debris removal, old fencing removal

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