Immaculate, well-kept wooden fences look picturesque and are a perfect aesthetic addition to any beautiful home. White pine or red cedar, costly or inexpensive, wooden fences can add unique character to an otherwise mundane-looking house.
Wooden fences withhold environmental aggression day after day. Sun, wind, rain, and snow… you name it. The challenge is in keeping the wooden fence looking picturesque for a long time, and the task can be pretty daunting for most of us.
The problem that most property owners have to face when maintaining their wooden fences is rot. Paint and stains can protect the wood effectively for some time, but the wood underneath the ground is especially affected and decays easily.
Here’s the basics of how to mend your wooden fence.
If you discover a part of your fence rotting, rather than replacing the whole thing, you can replace or mend only the rails.
Rails are the support system of a fence. They run horizontally from post to post. If you find a damaged area, take immediate steps to repair it so that the rot doesn’t spread.
You can use two kinds of materials to mend the rails: 2×4 scraps or T-braces.
Before you start pounding with your hammer, you need to prep the damaged area and the 2x4s.
1. Slather both the damaged area and the 2x4s liberally with wood preservatives to keep the rot from spreading.
2. You need to create a support for the rail. The rail needs to be perfectly level, and when you are satisfied with it, place a wedge of 2×4 adequately underneath it. Drive several galvanized nails into the post to nail the 2×4.
3. Block the top and the sides of the repair very carefully. This will ensure that no moisture can get through.
T-braces are a better choice for repairing as they are long lasting and are not easily visible. You can also easily find them in any hardware or home improvement store.
1. When mending with T-braces, you need to level the rail just like with a 2×4. After that, you will need to drill holes into the rail and the post.
2. Adjust the T-braces and screw them into place. Use galvanized screws to ensure they’re long-lasting.
3. Now, block the joint to protect it from moisture.
4. Lastly, paint the T-braces the same color as the fence so that they blend in with it.
Repairing teetering screens might seem like a job for a carpenter, but rest assured that you can do it too with ease. It’s only a matter of a few hours and some basic carpentry skills.
1. You will need a carpenter’s square to measure the precise length and width of the area that needs to be mended.
2. Cut boards and shape them in the proper width and length needed for the repair. Check with the carpenter’s square before you make them and again when you install them.
3. Pry away debris and pointy pieces from the damaged rails with a hammer. Don’t forget to pull out the nails as well.
4. Align the cut-out boards along the rails and nail them firmly into place with 8d galvanized nails.
5. And finally, paint the mended area with a stain or color that matches the fence.
Mending or replacing posts might seem very intimidating, but it gets easier if you find the source of the damage first. If a post is broken or decayed, you can fix it with a pair of splints. If you feel the post is beyond repair, then the only solution is to replace it.
1. You will need 2×4 wood pieces that can be extended to 18 inches. The pieces must also be long enough to extend below the fence’s frost line.
2. The next step is to cut one end of the 2×4 pieces and implant them on each side of the post to hold it up.
3. Now, drill holes through the 2x4s and the post to bolt them together. It’s recommended to use galvanized carriages.
4. You can also pour concrete or put temporary plumber braces around the post for a long-lasting repair. To make sure there are no air-pockets or excess water on the concrete, don’t forget to stir it well and also mound it.
It’s a work that requires you to be precise so it’s imperative that you have the right tools to get the work done perfectly. Here are some of the tools and materials you will commonly need.
A versatile tool for mending fences. It’s useful for swift cutting and shaping of wood. As a precaution, wear eye protection as it uses a motor to move the blades up and down to cut an object.
These are used to cut delicate materials, and they make curvy cuts. It uses very thin metal blades, and you must hold the tool with a clamp or a vise to use it.
Primers are undercoatings that smoothe out uneven surfaces. They are also cheap and easily available.
Handheld nailers offer control and precision over nailing in tight or hard-to-reach spots. They are not the fastest tool, but they will deliver great accuracy.
Gloves, eye protection, screws and not to mention … a hammer.
If wooden fences are not routinely checked for rot, the damage can spread to a bigger area and affect the whole fence. It’s therefore quite imperative to check for damages at least once a year.
Preventing damage with routine checkups is always better than investing time and money into fixing it later on!