How to Repair a Wooden Fence
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- Repairing a Fence, Fences, Damaged Wooden Fence
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How to Repair or Replace a Damaged Wooden Fence?
Wooden fences make a great addition to any garden. They add a decorative function to your outdoor environment and separate your garden from your neighbours. But a wooden fence is easily damaged over time, especially due to the elements, wind, sun, rain and dust.
In the UK, we experience a range of weather conditions, from vicious seaside winds to northern downpours. This is why knowing how to repair a wooden fence effectively is vital to save you time and money whilst giving your garden extra privacy.
Firstly make sure you have the right tools, products and protective equipment. This could include; a wood sealer, waterproof glue, protective gloves and replacement timber. Whatever you do, DO NOT jump the gun and replace an entire fence panel just because of a few small damages, or it looks slightly battered.
There are plenty of tricks and tips to restore and repair an older fence panel with minimal effort. Doing it yourself can save you a lot of money, in the short and long run, as garden fences last much longer with maintenance! If you're still not sure what to do, contact our friendly team at Isle Landscapers for some professional advice, repairs and replacements.
Damaged Wood Fencing in the UK
The weather in the UK has always been a mixed bag, ranging from sunny and calm days to savage winds and downpours destroying anything not secured in place, all in one month or even a week! Having a basic set of DIY skills can be incredibly beneficial during these stormy summer months and frosty winters.
Fence panels are often damaged during storms owed to their protuberance position as boundary divides. Although they provide cover for the garden, nothing protects the fence from natural elements like high winds.
High winds are known to rip fence panels out of their slots and cause older, weaker panels to fall to pieces. Fence panel repairs or replacements are one of the most common issues encountered after stormy weather, so knowing a few tricks can prove useful.
Fence panels aren't exactly cheap, and after multiple storms in one season, it can become a game of cat and mouse when repairing and replacing them. Checkatrade estimate that the repair/replacement of a fence panel can range from £40 to £1,839, so wanting to learn how to do it yourself can be incredibly tempting.
There's never been a better time to learn some simple DIY tricks, with YouTube, useful online blogs (like this one!!) and even online instructors that can help you along the way.
Once you start, it's a relatively easy job to complete, with minimal steps you can mess up. Below we break down how to successfully repair or replace a fence panel yourself, saving money and effort by organising a time for someone to come by. Furthermore, there are some easy ways to ensure the longevity of your fences, from outer coatings to regular maintenance.
When Should You Repair or Replace Fence Panels?
How do you know when it's time to repair or replace a fence panel? Well, it's best to complete repairs when damages are minimal, as it'll likely cost less and be easier to repair yourself. DIY tricks can help for small repairs, so before involving money, check if you can do it yourself.
To comprehend the extent of the damages, inspect the panel, checking its structure and integrity. By being aware of when your fences may need a cleaning, repair or replacement, you can save a lot of time and money!
Before making any rash decisions, be sure to read our tips below and determine the extent of the damage. Some clear signs to look out for when inspecting a fence panel include:
- Wood Fences: Insect damage, Small Holes, Split Boards, Fence Panel Damage and Split boards
- Vinyl Fences: Warping, Fading, Rotting, Damaged boards and panels
- Aluminium Fences: Bubbling point and Loose individual rails
- For metal fences: Rust and loose rail
How to make an old fence look new again?
You can easily make an older fence panel look new and regain strength by following these simple steps!
- Dish Detergent
- Protective Gloves
- Paint Brush
- Pump Up Sprayer
- Ready Seal
- Paint Roller
Step 1: Create a mix of water (70%), bleach (35%) and dish detergent (5%) to cover your fence panel. The mixture works perfectly to clean off and lighten fence panels, giving them a fresh lease on life.
Step 2: Using protected gloves, fill up a pump sprayer with the mix and evenly spray the fence panel. If the wood doesn't begin to lighten immediately, then you may need to increase the percentage of bleach in the water in the mix.
TIP: Test the mixture on a small area before using it on the entire fence panel to ensure it's perfect.
Step 3: Once evenly coated, allow the fence to sit for 20 minutes before rinsing it off with a hose. After this, the fence panel should be left to dry out completely before application of Ready Seal or other outdoor wood sealants.
Step 4: Once the fence is completely dried off, it's ready for a coat of Ready Seal. Using a paint roller, paintbrush, or pump-up sprayer, apply the sealer. The seal will soak into the wood and provide long-lasting protection from the elements.
TIP: Don't worry about perfectly applying the Ready Seal, as it's a self-levelling material! Just focus on covering the whole area.
Step 5: Once an even coat of Ready Seal has been applied to the entire fence panel, then your job is done. The sealer should dry up and create the perfect protection from rain and the other elements.
How do you restore an outdoor wood fence?
After you've cleaned the fence panels using the mixture outlined above, look for any obvious repairs needed to the wood itself. Firstly, look for any loosened boards that can be tightened up; this will strengthen the integrity of the panel.
After this, any cracks, splits, or chipped boards can be fixed using waterproof wood glue. The glue should be applied using strong tape or a clamp to push the pieces firmly together until set; allow the glue 24 hours to dry properly.
After cleaning, allow the fence panel to completely dry before using waterproof wood glue to split and break pieces when the wood has dried for at least 24 hours. Apply the waterproof glue and clamp or tape the pieces firmly together.
Any protruding nails should be countersunk or replaced with new nails or screws, if not possible. Special Drive corrosion-resistant screws can be used instead of nails when attempting to pull two parts of a panel back together.
Fence gates are prone to sagging after a great deal of use or exposure to ruthless elements. Using a turnbuckle, you can re-straighten the gate and use a sealer to coat the wooden fence posts protruding from the concrete, as this area is most prone to rotting.
How do you repair a rotting fence?
The fence is most likely to rot from the borrow, as this part is buried underground and is prone to damage. Leaving a fence panel to rot will decrease the panel integrity lifespan and is likely to collapse or pull other fence panels down with it.
A loose fence panel, whether owed to rot or weathering, can comprise the rest of the fence, so make sure you fix it as soon as you notice. A concrete repair spur can be used to help support the fence posts; however, the extent of the damage will determine whether a repair or replacement is required.
For instance, if the fence post has sunk underground, then it'll likely be rotting and can be in danger of snapping. Rotting posts should be replaced entirely to prevent further weakening of the entire fence. Below we break down what you require and how to successfully replace a rotten fence panel by yourself!
- Wood preservative
- Concrete spur
- Coach bolts (also known as carriage or cup square bolts)
- Pre-mixed concrete
- Panel saw
- Timber brush
- Twist bits
- Digging spade
- Spirit level
- Power drill
- Rigger gloves
- Dust mask
- Safety goggles
Step 1: To support the fence whilst you make a post-repair, use lengths of timber on either side of the damaged fence panel.
Step 2: Dig a hole around the base of the damaged fence past where the concrete repair spur will be placed. The hole needs to be approximately 45 to 60cm deep, although the deeper, the more stable the pole will be.
Step 3: Using a panel saw, saw the rotten area of the post off. Then coat the wood with a preservative.
Step 4: The concrete spur should be then placed into the hole dug against the post. Using wooden props, secure what's left of the wooden post.
TIP: How to make a wooden prop? The wooden props are made with two lengths of timber 19x38mm long, although this can depend on the fence being repaired. Nail the two lengths of wood together to create a 'T' or 'L' like shape. Using a panel saw, craft a spike at one end of the shape; this helps to further drive the pole into the ground. Once the props are screwed together with the broken post, the wooden props will temporarily brace the post. A spirit level can be employed to ensure the fence post is perfectly straight.
Step 5: Coach bolts should then be inserted through the concrete spur holes and tapped in with a hammer for markings. Remove the concrete spur, and using a power drill, create holes on the markings through the wooden post. Replace the spur, and push through the coach bolts so that the tails appear on the port side. Attach the nuts and secure them using a spanner.
Step 6: Finally, mix the concrete and fill the post hole until it reaches just above ground level. Smooth the concrete surface downwards using a trowel; this ensures rainwater drains away from the base of the post, preventing further rot. Leave the wooden props until the concrete has properly set, then remove them after the fact.
Are you looking for fencing and hard landscapers in Maidstone and Kent? We recommend visiting the following pages on our landscaping services website: