Sometimes, your fence just needs a simple repair.
If it’s an older fence, maybe you’re just trying to get a couple more years out of it.
And if your fence is fairly new, routine maintenance can really help extend the life of your fence.
In this post…
We’ll take a look at common problems that happen with a wood privacy fence.
And offer some helpful guidance so you know how to fix your fence.
As always, if you need a hand from a local fence contractor, we’ll be glad to help.
How to Fix a Fence That is Leaning
There are a few common culprits that can cause a fence to lean.
As your fence gets older.
And some of the wood components begin to rot, a panel or two may lean.
The lean may begin after a wind gust that blows into your fence.
Or it could start to lean as a slow growing tree or some other object pushes against it.
If your fence is leaning, first inspect the post at the center of the lean.
If the post is wood.
It could be rotted at the bottom.
Or it could be leaning due to the ground shifting around the post base.
You may need to replace a fence post, which we will cover in the next section.
If the post is simply leaning (and it’s not rotted).
You might be able to dig around its base and straighten it, then backfill with compacted rock or concrete.
How to Replace a Fence Post
If you need to replace a fence post, it’s usually due to a wood post that’s rotted.
Wood fence posts have a tendency to rot right at the ground where they meet the concrete or dirt.
That’s one reason we recommend metal fence posts for a new fence.
Replacing a fence post begins by detaching surrounding pickets and fence rails (stringers) from the post.
If your post is not set in concrete, you may be able to pull it out of the ground.
If your post is set in concrete (like a lot of wood posts)…
You might be able to use an E-Z Mender as a cheap and temporary fix.
Here’s a video that shows how to fix a broken fence post with the E-Z Mender.
An alternate method to this quick fix approach would be to replace the fence post (and concrete) completely.
Here’s a pretty good video that describes one method of doing this.
A rigid fence post should help fix a leaning or wobbly fence problem.
How to Fix a Fence Panel
You have a fence panel that blew over.
And your posts are still standing strong.
It could be that the 2×4 fence rails between posts pulled loose from the force of the wind gust.
In this case, you may be able to simply remove the old nails or screws and re-attach each rail end to the posts.
If the rails were crumbled at the ends due to rot.
You might need to replace the entire fence panel.
Here’s one method for replacing the panel when your posts are in good shape.
How to Replace a Fence Picket
If a fence picket has simply pulled loose from the stringers (and it’s still in one piece), just install new fasteners to re-attach it.
Maybe you have a fence picket that broke due to a falling branch or some other object.
Or maybe a few pickets have simply rotted out.
If you need to replace one or a few fence pickets (sometimes called slats)…
First, try to find pickets of similar size and shape.
Remove the old pickets without disturbing adjacent boards.
Then install the new ones with sufficient nails or screws.
If you need to match a custom fence profile, check out this video to see how you can match up lines with your new pickets.
How to Fix a Sagging Fence Gate
As a fence gate gets used and fasteners begin to loosen slightly.
Your gate might start to sag on the side opposite the gate’s hinges.
When this happens, the gate may drag and be difficult to open or close.
To fix it, we need to lift and “square up” the gate.
Thankfully, there are some simple kits on the market to fix this problem.
One is a simple anti-sag cable kit available at most hardware stores.
Here’s a description of how to install an anti-sag cable kit on your gate.
There are also adjustable metal brace kits for fence gates.
These kits perform in a similar manner, lifting the far corner of the gate to prevent drag.
While helping to maintain consistent gate gaps on the sides and bottom.
How to Stain & Seal a Fence
If you’d like to prolong the life of your fence.
The application of a fence stain and sealant can help lock out moisture and protect the wood.
The protection offered by a high-quality fence stain product helps in many ways:
- Protect your fence from insects and wood rot
- Protect your fence from harmful UV rays
- Protect your fence from warping
- Protect your fence from absorbing excess moisture
- Protect your fence from drying out
In addition to that, stain products make your fence look great.
And can really enhance the curb appeal of your entire property.
To make the job easy.
Look for a proven, self-leveling, oil-based stain that does not show runs, streaks or overlaps.
Staining a fence starts with a thorough power washing of your fence.
Fence stain can be rolled on or sprayed on.
Here’s a good video that compares the pros and cons of rolling vs. spraying.
Be sure to protect surrounding areas while staining your fence.
And have some of the recommended cleanup products on hand to deal with overspray or spills.
Manage Landscaping & Trees to Help Fence Last Longer
A few things we rarely think about can have a huge impact on the life of your fence.
Trees and bushes that grow adjacent to a fence can put pressure on the fence over time.
Sometimes they grow over or into pickets.
Expanding tree trunks can push into your fence, and falling branches may break sections of your fence.
In addition to that.
Root systems can disrupt post stability.
And vegetation that touches your fence can lead to wood rot and also serves as a breeding ground for destructive pests.
Help your fence last longer by managing trees, bushes and other landscaping.
Also, set your sprinkler heads to avoid spraying directly on the fence if possible.
This will help reduce excess moisture absorption into the wood.
It will also avoid that mildew “halo” you see on fences that sit in line with regular sprinkler patterns.
In fact, if you see light wood on the lower part of your fence that gets hit by a sprinkler.
It may be due to chlorines in city water that cause that section of the fence to get “bleached.”
Let Empire Help
DIY fence repairs can be simple or very complex.
If you don’t feel comfortable tackling the job, or you need help dealing with a larger fence repair…
…contact us to discuss your repair options.
We’ll be glad to help!
Contact Empire Fence
As a regional leader in residential and commercial fencing, Empire Fence of Tulsa is here to help… by providing professional service at an affordable price. We’ll be glad to help you with repairs or installation of a new fence. Contact Empire to get a quote ›