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  • Writer's pictureVW Patio & Fence

Why Is There a Gap Between Your Fence and the Ground?

Updated: Jun 11

There are several reasons why you may have a gap underneath your fence. Larger gaps are due to the grade or slope of your yard. If you expect to have such gaps, we have some tips below on how to plan ahead. However, a small gap is intentional. Leaving a space between the bottom of your fence and the ground allows for landscaping changes and/or growth, prevents moisture absorption from occurring, and it also makes it easier to do yard maintenance and clean up along the base of the fence.

How do I fill in the gap?

Too late to plan ahead? One of the easiest ways to fill in the gap is with dirt. You could also use rocks, lattice, pieces of wood, chicken wire, or even concrete. Pick a material that suits the shape and size of your gap. You might also like it to match the fence (if you have a white vinyl fence, white vinyl lattice may look best.) *To learn more about why there's a gap in the first place, read on.

fence with gap between ground

Grade and Slope of Your Yard

The grade and slope of your yard can have a major impact on the amount of gaps you have under your fence. If your yard has an uneven grade or slope, you may expect to have larger gaps in some areas of your fence. It is important to plan ahead for these gaps, as you may want to fill them by making some landscape changes. For instance, you may need to bring in topsoil or create a mow strip to cover the gaps under the fence. This way, you can ensure that the gaps are filled, and the fence looks uniform and even.

Landscaping Considerations

If you don't have an existing, mature landscape and are planning on working with a local landscaper, this will allow space for your landscaper to design the yard you're looking for and allow for proper vegetation growth. If you have an existing landscape, it will allow your vegetation to breathe and grow without becoming smooshed and potentially moldy. Or, if you decide to make changes to your landscaping in the future (such as bringing in gravel), you don't have to worry about burying the fence.

Moisture Prevention

When your fence is surrounded by lush vegetation, you want to be sure to give the vegetation room to breathe so it doesn't become moldy. Although the majority of our fencing is maintenance-free, leaving the proper room and discouraging the growth of mold will help you in making sure your fence looks beautiful and continues to be easy to clean with a simple hose down. If you experience a heavy rainstorm or series of storms, the gap also allows for proper drainage. This prevents you from getting an excess build-up of water and is useful in all yards, but especially for sloped yards.

Yard Maintenance and Clean Up

Having a small gap between the bottom of your fence and the ground can make yard maintenance and clean up much easier. Uneven landscaping or ground cover can make it difficult to mow, weed eat, and edge around your fence. A gap allows for leaves and debris to be easily cleaned up, rather than getting stuck under the fence. If you are weed-eating or edging your yard, a gap also allows you to be able to do so without having your weed eater run against your fence and cause scrapes, scuffs, or other damage. To cover any gaps you might have, consider putting in a mow strip of topsoil along the base of your fence. This will help protect the fence from any uneven landscaping or changes in yard grade or slope.

To explore any of these in more depth, please feel free to reach out to one of our team members.

Should my fence be level or should it follow the ground?

Fences should be built level (as opposed to following the ground). This naturally creates gaps between the level fence and uneven soil. If your yard is uneven, a fence built to follow the ground would look very crooked. That would be tougher to fix than filling in a gap with dirt.


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