Replacing a fence is not a cheap endeavor, so it's completely normal to want to put this task off for as long as possible. But there's a difference between a fence that's starting to show signs of age and one that desperately needs to be replaced. Here are three signs it really is time to call the fence company for a replacement.

Metal components are starting to rust and protrude.

If you're seeing a lot of screws, nails, and hinges start to protrude from the wood and rust, this is a sign it's time for a new fence. These items present a hazard to anyone who walks by the fence. They could easily injure a pet or child. Plus, by the time enough wood has rotted away to leave screws exposed, the boards are usually about to fall off.

The posts are leaning and uprooting.

While a single leaning post may mean you just need to have the fencing company come re-set that post, a whole collection or leaning posts means it's time for replacement. The concrete anchoring the posts into place below ground is probably starting to break down. Without it to serve as a firm anchor, your whole fence is soon going to be toppling over.

Termites are infesting the fence.

Do you see jagged, rough chew marks on the wood? Are there trails of what looks like mud leading around the posts and rails? You probably have a termite infestation. If you've caught it very early, having an exterminator treat the wood may be sufficient. But if the fence boards are starting to weaken and crack as a result of the damage, it's probably just time to replace the fence. Termites can chew through the thin wood used for fence boards very quickly, and since fences often stay moist for days at a time after rain, they're really appealing to termites.

Before you have the new fence put into place, you'll want to have the ground around the fence treated for termites so they don't ruin your new fence, too. Choosing painted wood is also a good idea as most termites won't bother wood coated in a good layer of paint.

If the time has come to replace your fence, contact a fencing company, such as AAA Fence and Gates, in your area today. They can give you estimates for several types of fences, enabling you to choose the one that best fits into your budget.