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5 Common Fencing Problems and How to Repair Them


Well howdy folks! If you’re a homeowner with a fence, you’ve probably dealt with a fence issue or two. Fences sure do take a beating from the weather and general wear and tear over time. But not to worry, many common fencing problems are fairly easy for a handy homeowner to repair. Here are 5 of the most common fence issues and how to fix them.

Leaning Posts – Most Common Fencing Problem

One of the most obvious signs your fence is in distress is leaning posts. If your posts are leaning, it likely means the post hole depth was insufficient or the concrete footer is unstable. Depending on how severe the lean is, you may be able to simply push the post back into place and brace it until the concrete cures. For larger leans, you’ll need to reset the post.

To properly reset a post:

  1. Remove fencing from the post and dig out soil around the concrete footer.
  2. Carefully tip the post over to avoid cracking the concrete and fully expose the footer.
  3. Check the depth – may need to go deeper. Widen the hole if needed.
  4. Mix new concrete and pour into hole. Brace post plumb until cured.
  5. Refasten fencing to post.

Pro tip: Use metal post anchors for better stability!

Read: Best Alternative to a Chain-Link Fence

Broken Boards

It’s no surprise that fence boards experience wear and tear over the years. Extreme weather, normal decay, and general abuse from folks can lead to cracked, split, and broken boards. Thankfully, repairing boards is a simple DIY project.

For traditional wood board fences:

  1. Remove any nails, screws, or fasteners from damaged board.
  2. Measure and cut replacement board to fit space.
  3. Pre-drill holes to avoid splitting new board.
  4. Fasten new board in place with galvanized nails or exterior screws.

For vinyl: use vinyl repair epoxy or replacement pickets.

Routine inspection and proactive repairs will keep your fence boards in top shape. Consider sealant for longevity!

Loose Gates

Sagging, poorly swinging gates are another common fence annoyance. Loose gates are often caused by:

  • Hinge damage/wear
  • Settling of posts
  • Deterioration of wooden gates
  • Improper installation

First, determine the cause of the issue. Inspect hinges for damage and posts for plumb/level. For minor settling, shimming hinges may help, but resetting the gate post is best for substantial leaning.

If the wooden gate itself is sagging, try tightening diagonal cross-braces. Or replace deteriorated wooden gates.

Pro tip: Lubricate hinge pins annually to prevent corrosion and binding.

Rusty Nails and Fasteners

Let’s face it – outdoor steel components like nails, screws, hinges, and brackets will eventually rust and corrode when exposed to the elements. Rust not only looks unsightly, but can also compromise the integrity and longevity of your fence.

To spruce up rusty fences:

  1. Lightly sand rusted areas to remove flaky rust and smooth the surface.
  2. Wipe clean with a solvent like vinegar.
  3. Apply a rust-inhibiting primer before topping with a suitable outdoor enamel paint.

For maximum protection, use stainless steel or aluminum components when building or repairing fences.

Find: How to Attach Wire Mesh to Wood Fence

Usual Suspects for Fence Damage

Wood and vinyl fence pickets alike are prone to warping and bowing over time. Factors like moisture, sun exposure, soil contraction, and thermal expansion can cause deformation.

For minor warping, try clamping pickets straight for several days to reverse the curvature. But significant bowing will require picket replacement.

Preventative measures include sealing wood, allowing proper spacing between pickets, and using stronger picket materials like composite, iron, or aluminum.

With some basic DIY skills and proper maintenance, you can keep your fences looking great for years to come. Repair issues promptly before they escalate. And consider preventative steps when renovating or building new fences. Let me know if you need any tips for your next fencing project!

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