How to Repair a Fence

fence repair

A fence serves many purposes for homeowners. It can keep unwanted guests out, provide privacy, and add value to a home. But it can also be damaged by people or animals. Damaged fencing must be repaired promptly to avoid problems from escalating. Start by clearing the area around the fence you’ll be working on to ensure no obstructions. Then, take a look at the leaning section to find the cause.

Repairing Rotted Sections

Wood fences often rot because they’re in contact with water for an extended period of time. This can happen at the base of a post where it is in direct contact with soil or in the top portion where it’s exposed to rain or sprinkler spray. The best way to prevent rot is by ensuring that your posts are set into concrete or suspending them well above the ground. Putting a waterproof sealant on your fence will also help prevent moisture from damaging it. To learn more tips, visit this website at

If a section of your fence is rotting or otherwise weak, you need to take action. If left unchecked, a rotting section can spread and eventually cause your entire fence to collapse.

One of the most common causes of rot is fungus that thrives in wet environments. These fungi will take in the water from wetter areas of the wood and transfer it to drier sections, leading to the breakdown of the material. When the fungus consumes the cellulose in the wood, it becomes weakened and susceptible to further damage.

Some types of wood are more prone to this problem than others, and some are more resilient to it than others. However, regardless of what type of wood you use for your fencing, keeping it dry is essential. This can be done by removing any vegetation that’s touching it, keeping the edges of the wood above ground level, and allowing it to completely dry after it becomes wet.

You can also reduce the likelihood of rot by using stain or another form of waterproofing at the time of installation, and reapplying it every few years to keep your fencing looking good and protected from the elements. If you see any evidence of a potential rot problem, remove the affected area and replace it with new wood.

Wood fences tend to sag over time, and the most common cause of this is that rail ends begin to weather or the fasteners securing them to the posts loosen. In many cases, you can tighten these rails by putting a metal post-rail connector in place and securing it to the fence. If you have a severe sagging section, you may need to put in a brace to support it.

Repairing Bent Rails

The fence rails are a structural element that hold the pickets and posts together. When a section becomes bent, the entire fence may bend or lean. The best way to repair this problem is to replace the damaged rails. It is very important to choose a new rail that matches the existing ones exactly and ensures that it is straight.

The first step is to identify the exact location of the bent rail. Once you find it, mark the starting and ending points of the damaged section of rail to make it easier to remove and replace the rail. Next, locate the wire sections that wrap around the rail along its length and use a pair of lineman’s pliers to untwist them. This will free the damaged rail from the rest of the fence. Once the old rail has been removed, measure the distance between the two adjacent posts and cut a new section of rail to match that distance.

Once the new rail has been cut to size, it is time to reinstall it. Using the same technique as you used to uncoil a wire, loosen a rail end on one of the corner posts and slide the replacement rail into place. Once the new rail has been firmly inserted, tighten the rail end to secure it.

A sagging or leaning fence is not only unsightly but it can also be a safety hazard for pets, children and people walking or driving by. This is usually a sign that the supporting posts have shifted due to soil conditions or strong winds. A professional can typically correct the issue by adding a brace or installing additional concrete to support the post.

Wooden fence boards and posts can rot due to a variety of reasons, including moisture, insect damage and general wear and tear. Fortunately, repairing and maintaining your fence is relatively easy. By inspecting and repairing your fence regularly, you can prevent problems such as loose boards or nails and even rotting posts from affecting the integrity of your entire fence. A properly maintained fence will last longer and look better.

Replacing Pickets or Boards

As time passes and your fence ages, it may begin to show signs of wear. Rather than a complete replacement, minor repairs and maintenance work can help keep your fence in good shape for years to come. Whether you’re replacing a few pickets, tightening gate hinges or sanding off mild rust and corrosion, these simple repairs will save you the expense of a full fence replacement.

Wood fence boards, or “pickets,” are long, thin rectangles of lumber that attach to the rails of a wooden fence at regular intervals to create a symmetrical and visually appealing fence. Generally, pickets are painted white, but you can choose any color that suits your property and taste. Often, only one or two pickets are damaged from a single incident, such as a fallen tree branch or a dog running through the yard. Replacing these boards is relatively easy and doesn’t require the use of power tools. Start by removing the old board with a crowbar and carefully prying it up without disturbing adjacent boards. Next, measure the size of the gap and cut a new board to fit it, using galvanized nails or screws for additional security.

If you have a wood fence that is rotting, you can salvage it by digging up the affected post and determining whether the damage is limited to the top of the post or extends down through the post. If the rot extends down through the post, you can replace it by securing a new, shorter post in its place and saturating it with a wood preservative.

Occasionally, you’ll encounter a post that has completely rotted away. If this is the case, you’ll need to dig a hole and install a new post in its place. If the damage is only on the surface of the post, you can often resurrect it by installing a metal post base and securing it to the existing concrete foundation with galvanized bolts.

Sagging fence gates can be easily remedied by purchasing an anti-sag kit at most hardware stores. These kits include a slat that supports the weight of the gate when it’s open or closed, and they’re attached to both the gate posts and the hinges.

Replacing Posts

If your fence has a significant amount of rotted posts, it may be time to replace them. This can be a very labor-intensive repair, but it’s also one that’s worth doing to protect your investment in the rest of the fence structure. Before deciding whether to undertake a post replacement, however, it’s important to assess the overall condition of the fence to determine whether the damage is acute, like from an accident, or chronic, such as from wood rot.

Depending on the cause of the problem, it might be possible to repair the post by removing the rotting section and installing a new piece. But it’s usually more cost-effective to simply replace the entire post if the damage is widespread or if the post itself has already been damaged by an insect infestation or other factors beyond simple rot.

To remove the old post, free it from any fasteners holding it in place. This could include metal brackets that hold prefabricated fence panels in place, screws holding wire fencing in place, or nails attaching wood rails to the post. Use a hammer or pry bar to loosen nails and a drill to unscrew screws. Once you’ve freed the panel, you can rock the post back and forth to loosen it and pull it out of the ground.

Once the hole for the new post is dug, add gravel and tamp it down to create a well-packed base. If the soil has a lot of clay, you might want to dig the hole deeper. If the post was previously set in concrete, you’ll need to dig down to uncover the concrete footing and then break it apart with a sledgehammer.

When the hole is prepared for a new post, position it and ensure it’s plumb using a spirit level. Then, fill the hole with concrete. Ideally, the concrete should extend slightly above ground level to allow rainwater to flow away rather than pool around the post and potentially crack it again in the future.

Once the concrete is poured, you’ll need to wait for it to cure. In the meantime, be sure to block off the area so that curious dogs or kids can’t get into your work and mess it up! Then, reattach any fence pieces that were removed and stain the post to protect it from weather damage.