Repair Guide For Wooden Fences

Posted on

A wooden fence is attractive, but it isn't maintenance-free. The fence will need periodic repairs if it is to have a long and useful life.

Finish Maintenance

On a wood fence, the finish is the main guard against future damages. A fence is typically painted, stained, or sealed, to protect against weathering and moisture damage. Paint and sealers are relatively common, but naturally rot-resistant woods like cedar may be stained instead.

If the paint or sealer has begun to bubble or peel, it is time to have the fence sanded and repainted. Faded paint, stain, or sealer is another sign that it is time for repair. The sealer is usually clear, so it can be especially hard to tell when it is wearing thin. One test is to sprinkle water on the fence boards. If it soaks in, it's time to re-seal the entire fence. If it beads up on the surface, you can put this off for another year.

Rot Concerns

Wood rot is a common problem on a wood fence. It happens when moisture soaks into the wood fibers, causing them to swell and begin to break down. Fungus and insects may move in next, speeding the process. If one board or rail has rotted, it can spread it to any other board or fence rail it is in contact with.

A fence repair service will check each board, post, and rail for the warping and softening that indicates that rot is present. If the problem is only surface-deep, they may be able to sand off the damage and then re-seal the board. If rot has permeated deeply into the wood, though, the rotten boards or rails will need to be removed and replaced. In the case of fence posts, which tend to rot at ground level, replacement of the old post with a pressure-treated post may be necessary.

Damage and Breakage

Fence damage can come in many varieties. A broken board or rail is probably the most common, and it is also simple to fix. Your fence repair technician will remove the old board or rail and replace it with a new one. Splintering is another common problem, which is typically repaired by sanding or replacement, depending on the severity of the problem.

The screws, nails, and other hardware on the fence can also suffer damage over time. Nails and screws can work their way out, for example, or a hinge may become damaged or loose. Rust can also damage the hardware, as can poor lubrication of items like hinges. Replacing when necessary, tightening when loose, and lubricating regularly can solve the problems.

Contact a fence repair service if your wood fence looks like it could use some maintenance.