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Fencing Information

Three Common Types of Fence Repairs

No matter what type of fence you have, there will come a time when fence repairs are necessary. There are many causes behind the damage that leads to fence repairs. Age and exposure to the elements are one of the most common reasons that fences become weakened and damaged. Sometimes the need for repairs happens because someone has vandalized the property. Another common reason that people have to repair their fence results from pests. These may be the tiny termites or bees that often go unnoticed may be larger animals climbing on or leaning against the fence. Take deer, for instance, these foragers may create gaps or push a fence over through persistence.

Prevention Is the First Step of a Successful Repair

Making sure that the fence has been built correctly in the first place is one key element of preventing damage to your fence. Another preventative step to take is to walk the perimeter monthly looking for damages or the potential for damage. Appropriate fence maintenance is another vital step in reducing the amount of damage to which your fence is exposed. However, there are some common repairs that many home and property owners should be able to perform when the need arises.

Repair 1: Fix a Leaning Fence Post

leaning-fence-post

There are many things that can cause your fence to lean, but most of the time, the fence repair will be the same:

  • If the concrete supports have been buried, remove all of the dirt and debris until you expose the concrete at the base of the posts.
  • Determine whether you will need to replace the concrete or go ahead with the concrete that still exists.
  • Dig enough room around the cement to insert a fence mender. Make sure that this guide is settled into the soil very securely before you begin to pull the post back into position.
  • Use a rope to pull the fence back into an upright and straight position. Brace the fence there until you have completed your repairs.
  • Use deck screws to attach the fence mender to the post.
  • Reinforce the post with new concrete or with firmly packed soil.

Repair 2: Replace Hinges or Level a Post on a Sagging Gate

sagging-fence-gate

Give yourself a couple of hours for this repair and inspect the gate before tackling the project so that you are sure to have the correct tools and supplies on hand.

  • Inspect the posts at either side of the gate. They should be level horizontally and should stand straight up and down. If the posts are causing the sag, then you will need to return it to its proper position.
  • Remove the hinges, starting with the bottom hinge and moving up. Hinges are generally attached to the gate with a pair of lag bolts. During your initial inspection, you should make note of the type of hinge and size of bolts if they need to be replaced. The lag bolts used on fence hinges are generally ¼-inch, ½-inch, or 3/8-inch.
  • After you have removed the bottom hinge and are ready to move to the top hinge, make sure to have someone to help steady the gate as you remove the hinge and set the gate to the side.
  • Use a level to determine when you have moved the post into place and reinforce the post with the appropriate fencing compound.
  • Reattach the top hinge. With your helper, you can secure the gate into position while you work on reattaching the bottom hinge.
  • It is not uncommon of the lower hinge bolt holes to be out of position at this point. You may need to drill some new holes for the screws which are using to attach the hinges. Replace the lag bolts on the bottom hinge.
  • Spray the bolts and hinges with a lubricant to be sure that the gate will swing easily.

Repair 3: Replace Missing Pickets or Boards in Your Fence

missing-boards-in-fence

Boards are easily broken or damaged, but are also easy to replace. If you find that one of your fence boards has gaping holes or is showing signs of rotting, then replace the board to return your fence to its original state.

  • Purchase your tools and supplies before you remove the damaged board.
  • You may be able to remove the damaged fence board with a power drill if the boards are held on by screws. If the boards are secured with nails, then you’ll probably need to hammer from the opposite side of the nail heads.
  • Hold replacement boards into place. Before you attach the new boards, make sure that you have cut the boards to the right length.
  • Nail or screw the new boards into place.
  • You may want to re-stain the fence to achieve a uniform look from older boards to the newer boards.

With proper prevention, hopefully you won’t have to do too many repairs. When you do see that there is damage to your fence, however, respond quickly so that further damage doesn’t happen.

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