Home warranties are an investment in peace of mind for homeowners. These comprehensive service agreements can cover the costs of repairing or replacing many of your home’s systems and appliances when they fail due to normal wear and tear. But what about the structures on your property? Specifically, do home warranties cover fences? Knowing what’s covered in your home warranty is paramount in making an informed decision.
Are fences covered under a home warranty?
Generally, standard home warranty plans focus on covering the major systems and appliances within your home, these plans do not extend to include structures like fences.
The rationale behind this is quite simple. Home warranties help homeowners manage the risk and cost of unexpected repairs or replacements of systems and appliances due to normal wear and tear. Fences, being outdoor structures, are exposed to the elements and are subject to a different set of wear and tear factors, including weather conditions, insects, and potential damage from landscaping activities.
However, the coverage offered by home warranties can significantly vary among providers, and some companies may offer flexibility. Some home warranty providers could offer optional add-on coverage, often termed “Rider” or “Optional Coverage,” which may include external structures such as fences, pools, sprinkler systems, etc.
For example, Porch Warranty, among other providers, offers a variety of home warranty plans. While their standard plans might not cover fences, they may have options to add coverage for various external elements. Examining any available add-ons carefully is recommended, as they could provide the additional coverage you need.
It’s important to note that there could be restrictions even when fences are included as optional coverage. Coverage may vary based on the material of the fence (wood, metal, vinyl, etc.), age, pre-existing conditions, or specific types of damage. Some plans might cover damage caused by specific events like a storm but exclude others like damage from insects or rot in wooden fences.
Tips to maintain your fence
Whether a home warranty covers your fence, proper maintenance can help extend its life and improve its appearance. Here are some basic maintenance tips for common types of fences:
- Regularly clean the fence with a mixture of warm water and a mild detergent.
- Inspect the fence for signs of insect damage or rot.
- Refinish the fence every few years with a new coat of paint or stain.
Chain link fences
- Clean with soapy water and a brush to remove dirt and rust spots.
- Tighten any loose parts.
- For rust spots or scratches, apply rust-resistant metal paint.
- Clean the fence with a vinyl cleaning solution or mild detergent.
- Avoid painting vinyl fences as this can lead to cracking or peeling.
- Replace any broken or damaged pieces as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
- Clean with water and mild detergent, using a soft brush.
- Inspect for and promptly repair any damage to prevent rust.
- Reapply a protective coating if the original is wearing off.
Wrought iron fences
- Regularly check for rust. If found, scrub it off and apply a rust converter and fresh paint.
- Wash the fence with warm soapy water.
- Apply a protective coat of wax or a sealant.
Regardless of warranty coverage, the longevity of your fence largely depends on how well you maintain it. Regular cleaning and prompt repairs can go a long way in extending the life of your fence, whether it’s made of wood, chain link, vinyl, aluminum, or wrought iron.
Remember, it’s essential to understand your home warranty coverage to make the most of your plan. For more detailed information on what’s covered under a home warranty, refer to your contract or consult with your provider. After all, an informed homeowner is a prepared homeowner.