What You Need to Know About Wood Fence Repair
The durability of a wood fence depends on how you as the owner maintains it. Even so, wood fence repair is unavoidable especially when climate, termites, or mold have their way with it.
Causes of Wood Fence Damage and the Repairs Needed
- Shifting Ground (Under the fence)
Rain can result in the shifting of soil subsequently causing your fence posts to sag and move. This will ultimately damage the posts and necessitate repairs. To avoid total damage under such conditions, you should install your fence posts deep into the soil (at least three-feet under) to minimize total damage of the posts in case of a soil shift.
- Rail and Post Damage
Wood fence posts comprise of rails and posts and damage to either usually mandate for repair. Damage can be due to high winds, beetles, and termites among others. The wood fence repair process and costs vary with the wood type and fence design.
Naturally, wood is prone to rotting especially when exposed to external weather elements. Damaged posts can be fixed either by supporting the rotten rails/posts or patching them or even a replacement where the rot damage is severe. Alternatively, you can invest in ‘waterproof’ wood species such as redwood and cedar as well as purchasing types of wood fences that although not waterproof, are treatable with paint or a stain.
- Cracks and Holes
Inevitably, wood develops cracks and holes over time due to external factors such as climatic conditions and pests. And depending on the damage extent, minor repairs such as refinishing or patching can do the job. However, severe damage will usually require replacement.
- Weather Damage
You need to add paint or stains on the wood for protection against weather damage and to boost its durability. Nonetheless, the quality and type of stain or paint will dictate its resilience and durability.
Before painting or staining, power-wash the wood surface to get rid of the dust buildup to ensure it adheres properly.
- Sagging Posts & Gate
Sagging is a consequence of various factors. However, the decision to consider wood fence repair or wood fence replacement depends on the overall damage extent. Posts can sag due to rotting at the base (underground). In such instances, the best way to fix is to repair. You can dig around it, reposition it to an upright position, and then pour concrete around its base for a firm hold in the right place. Alternatively, you can also prop it by incorporating a diagonal brace and adding cement for a firm hold.
Gates can also sag either because the surrounding posts are also sagging or some of its parts are loose or faulty. Moreover, if the gate is too heavy, it can force the frame off its alignment. You can fix this by removing the maligned gate off the hinges and attaching a new diagonal bracing (wood) to realign it. Alternatively, you can insert a tension rod with a turnbuckle adjustment.
- Replacement Panels
Rot, storms, and wind may result in missing panels, and as a result, replacement may be necessary. The replacement costs may vary depending on the stain and wood types used during the first installation. Additionally, the figures may also change on the inclusion of labor and the number of panels.
- Gate Repairs
Over time, factors such as broken hinges and latches that won’t catch can hinder the effectiveness of a wood fence gate, hence the need for gate repair.
Hinges can especially do so especially when they are not in good condition or working correctly. For instance, faulty hinges can lead to the gate dragging against the hinges. This is because with time; the weight of the gate misaligns the posts eventually. In such case, a small wheel is fixed underneath the gate’s moving part to support the gate and also enable smooth hinge movement.
Factors That Determine the Repair Costs
- Fence Height
The height of a wood fence varies depending on the owners’ preference and the local area codes. As such, depending on the fence height, the costs of repair may vary.
- Extent of Damage
The extent to which the wood is damaged (as well as what type of wood it is) will dictate the costs of repair. Cedar, pressure-treated wood, and redwood (although costly) are quite durable and may require less amount of paint or stain as opposed to other kinds of wood. Investing in such as opposed to cheaper options (which experience a greater extent of damage eventually) may mean less expensive repair costs in the end.
- Supporting Structure
Fence posts primarily support the entire wood fence, and as such, any damage to them must be repaired. If the post shifts from its usual position due to various external factors like the weather, for instance, you may have to reset them deeper into the ground or in a concrete foundation. Damaged posts can also be refinished, replaced, or patched.
- Concrete Foundation
Where the damage occurs on a post secured by a concrete foundation, repairs may usually require digging out the old foundation and fence post and pouring another concrete foundation to set another post. Alternatively, you can also dig around the damaged post and saw it down. Afterward, you can set your new post just above the old post and pour concrete over the old foundation.
The costs of repair will factor in the damage extent, wood type, post numbers, and labor.