Here at Dynamic Handyman Solutions I specialize in wood fence repair. From replacing a section of fence to adjusting a gate latch, I have your covered!
Here are some of the most common fence issues you will encounter as a home owner.
Wobbly Fence Posts:
This is one of the most common issues encountered with fences. Typically if you can walk up to a fence and can move it back and forth several inches it means the fence post has rotted out. Once the fence post fails it does not take long for the fence to lean and fall over. This is especially true after a windstorm. I offer several solutions to wobbly post depending on your budget.
The first option is using a steel post mender alongside the post. This is a good fast solution that will prevent the fence from falling until the rest of the fence is replaced. I typically recommend these if the post has not completely broken off and the fence will be replaced within 5 years.
The second option is to place a steel post in concrete between the two existing posts. This is a more permanent solution that will last years and is used if the post mender will not give enough support. Since the post is steel it will outlast the fence. However, some folks do not like the looks of steel posts with a wood fence and decide not to go this route. As with the first option, this option can be used until the fence is replaced.
The third and most expensive solution is removing the broken post and replacing it. You can expect a life of 15-20 years with current pressure treated posts. That lifespan drops significantly if posts are in very wet conditions, even down to 5-10 years. I will address fence post life in a future blog. Unfortunately posts fail much sooner than rails or pickets. Some customers in an effort to save money ask if the pickets can be reused. Sometimes they can, but the truth is that that cost of labor usually outweighs the cost of the new materials. Typically the pickets are destroyed in the removal process because they have been attached for so long.
Broken Fence Pickets:
Over the years of expansion and contraction fence boards create cracks or warp. Over time these cracks get large enough where the picket completely splits and needs to be replaced. If you or a neighbor has dogs that jump on the fence, broken pickets are common occurrence. This is a fairly straight forward repair that you can do yourself given the right tools. I always recommend using screws instead of nails when installing pickets. Nails will pull out over time due to weather changes.
Rails are the horizontal boards; usually 2×4’s that the pickets attach to. Over time the rails can rot or pull away from the top of the posts. The reason why the rail rots is because moisture becomes trapped between the rail and the picket. Trying to replace the rotted rail usually causes damage to the fence pickets as well. A better temporary solution is to run a new rail on top of the old one and screw pickets to the new rail.
Sagging Gate/Gate will not latch:
Thanks to gravity gates tend to sag over time. The time it takes for this to happen is dependent on how the gate was built to start with. Some gates will go 20 years without sagging, others will sag less than a year after install. I will leave proper gate building for another day. When gates begin sagging they tend to drag on the ground causing frustration when trying to latch the gate. Over time gates misalign with the catch and need to be readjusted. One solution is to install a cable from corner to cornet to try and pull the gate upward. This typically helps if the gate has not moved a great amount. Other gates that are dragging can have the bottom trimmed so as not to drag each time the gate is opened. This typically also involves moving the gate catch to accommodate the gate drop. At a certain point the gate has deformed enough that it is not worth trying to repair. In the picture below the gate frame has been built incorrectly allowing it sag.
Do you have fence problems?
Dynamic Handyman Solutions is a professional handyman service in Turlock CA. We serve all the surrounding areas, and can help you with all your fencing issues. Fill out an estimate form and we’ll come out to see how we can help.