brick perimeter wall around residential community of homes

How HOAs can save thousands by maintaining their perimeter fence

Community associations and homeowners alike realize the benefits of having a perimeter fence surrounding their residential area. It provides privacy, protection, sound proofing, and increased property values.

Brick perimeter fences have become the gold-standard for premier residential living. You simply cannot beat the security and above all, peace of mind when having a 8ft high solid brick wall surrounding your home and neighbors.

So it’s no surprise that community associations and homeowners have realized the benefits and return on the property owners investment of having a perimeter fence surrounding their residential neighborhood.

It provides privacy, protection, sound proofing, and increased property values.

In 2020, Zillow discovered that homes within gated communities with brick perimeter walls or fences, sold for over 12% higher than like-for-like properties.

Zillow Research & Development, 2020

However, what homeowners may not realize, and what associations dread, is the impending high cost of repairs and maintenance commonly found with perimeter fencing, if they are not properly maintained.

Brick Perimeter Fence Maintenance Programs

Nearly every single time, these problems can be avoided if caught early with regular inspection and preventative repairs. By doing this, HOA’s can save tens of thousands of dollars in replacement and reconstruction costs over the years.

Panel Fencing: 

Over the past 15 years, many well-planned communities in the Houston area have been constructed with single-brick panel fencing because of its beautiful, durable and cost-effective design. The panels do not have a foundation but rather float above the ground allowing for shifting and root flow so the fence is less prone to leaning and cracking.

Because of the single-brick constriction and floating (no footer) design, these fences cost significantly less in materials and labor than traditional double-brick fences, yet maintain their beauty and value factors. 

Problems with Panel Fencing 

One of the most common and costly issues is deterioration due to water penetration. Through years of experience we have seen that approximately 8+ years after construction, these fences develop problems; many of which are undetectable until it is too late and the structural integrity of the fence has been compromised. 

Generally the deterioration follows a pattern: Water penetrates the panels and columns. The supporting ladder-wire oxidizes causing it to expand and burst through the mortar which weakens the structure.

Since the fence does not have a central support, the brick begins to buckle and sag (bowing), eventually causing the collapse of the entire panel and possible damage to the columns. 

This results in the HOA having to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in expense for the removal and replacement of the system.

Although you can’t stop rain from falling, you can do your part by positioning your sprinkler systems away from the wall to prevent access water from getting into the brick.

How to prevent water and moisture issues with brick walls.

The Solution

If the community’s perimeter fence has been in place for some time, consider having the wall inspected by a professional for any current issues like deteriorated mortar, loose brick, exposed ladder wire, etc.

Push to make it a priority to have any and all damages repaired and take preventative measures to avoid further problems.

Take note of potential hazards such as tree limbs, roots, and ivy, and take the appropriate steps to remove them from the surrounding area to avoid the damaging effects they will likely cause to the fence’s structural integrity. 

Whether your perimeter fence is new, old, or newly restored, it is a good idea to arrange a maintenance plan that will provide regular inspection & repairs. This will insure that the outer face of your community stays beautiful and structurally sound. It will provide peace of mind and considerable savings to your homeowners. 

Are you looking for a masonry company that can provide communities in your local area with a comprehensive restoration and optional maintenance plan for your perimeter fencing walls? only works with the best masonry companies in your area.

Article originally published by Diana Zumeta of Brick Restoration, Inc. in 2011 for CAI

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One comment

  1. While preventative measures may seem to be an expensive cost at first, it’s the much wiser investment decision when it comes to longevity and overall expense when dealing with brick structures. Getting a quality inspection is vital! Can’t speak highly enough of Brick Restoration, Inc. Well done article, thank you!

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