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4 Ways Fall Leaves Damage Fencing

Fall leaves are beautiful to look at and fun to play in, but that doesn’t mean that you should let them pile up in your yard. These leaves can damage your fencing in ways you may not expect. Let’s take a look at some ways fall leaves harm fences so you can prevent the damage ahead of time.

Water Retention

Water usually evaporates from fence posts quickly because the fencing is exposed to air. Piles of leaves at the bottom of your fencing will block air from getting to your fence, and they will hold onto water that would have otherwise fallen to the ground. The leaves curl up like small bowls, so the water forms into tiny pools. This excess moisture can warp and damage wood fencing over time, and it can attract bugs that may cause further damage.


As we just mentioned above, insects are often drawn to leaf piles because they hold water. They may also use these piles to hide in as they bury their way into your fencing. Insects are particularly dangerous because signs of their damage aren’t always noticeable at first. You may accidentally bump up on a fence post one day and feel that it’s soft and brittle. That’s because the insects have been eating the posts from the inside out. By keeping things like leaves, toys and garden supplies away from your fence line, you can prevent unwanted bugs from making a home there.


The leaves on the edge of your fencing will cause water to splash up when it rains. This will leave a line of dirt at the bottom of your fence, similar to the “beard” your vehicle may get when driving through the snow or rain. Dirt is relatively harmless for the most part, but the small particles may etch away at your fencing over time. At minimum, this will require you to clean your fencing more often to keep it looking its best. If you take care of the leaves, you won’t have to worry about the dirt.

Poor Drainage

Leaves act as miniature blockades in your property’s natural drainage system. Water is supposed to flow away from your home in a predetermined path, guided by your gutters and the slope of your land. If you have a lot of leaves in the yard, that water may go off course. This can create puddles in areas you don’t water being built up, like around your foundation or fence line. Having the right drainage system in place is crucial for overall home maintenance.

How to Protect Fencing from Fall Leaves

The solution here is pretty simple. Once leaves start piling up in your yard, you should rake them, bag them, and throw them away. You could also use a leaf vacuum to collect and grind the leaves. If you’re going to rake your leaves, don’t just put them in piles. Those piles will blow around again, and you will still have issues around your fencing. Eliminate the leaves from your property at least once a week, and you should be set through fall.

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