How to Repair a Wooden Fence

Posted on: July 19th, 2019

How to Repair a Wooden Fence

What causes damage to wooden fencing?

Wooden fences and their supporting posts are subject to all types of weather throughout the year.

Winter offers snow and ice, the weight of which can put a lot of pressure on the fence if left for periods of time.

Trees are also under pressure and falling debris such as branches can also impact your fence causing damage.

Cold snaps and freezing temperatures can make wooden fences expand and contract suddenly which can create damage such as splitting and holes.

Spring brings showers and damp weather which can promote mildew and rot and weaken the fence. This is especially the case where any damage (holes, splits) may have removed any protective coating the fence had on it.

Summer offers heat and thunderstorms – again there is a risk of falling debris causing seen or unseen damage. Extreme heat can dry out the fence and cause warping, affecting the aesthetics and effectiveness of the fence.

And Autumn can have it all!

To keep your wooden fence in good working order they will at some time require maintenance.

It may be more than a lick of paint or preservative, but these slightly more involved fence repair ideas could save you the hassle and expense of an entire new fence!



Quick Fixes for Fence Posts and Boards


Concrete Fence Spur     

It is the fence post that holds up the fence and gives the structure stability and rigidity.

Over time it is very often the posts which are the first to show signs of wear and will require repair. This is because the fence posts are fixed into the ground and so are subject to the effects of damp and rotting. However, this does not mean you have to dig or chip the old post out to solve the problem.

Rather, simply concrete in an upright pre-drilled concrete fence spur, embedding it into the ground against and in front of the original damaged post. The spur will act as an anchor and re-stabilise the fence.

  • Dig out the hole to take the spur
  • Once the spur is embedded correctly in the prepared hole, mark the position of the fixing holes into the wooden post by poking a pencil through the pre-cast holes in the spur
  • Drill through the holes in the concrete spur and through the wooden post, tightly affix the two together using coach bolts of a suitable length
  • Fill the hole with concrete and allow to set

A word on concrete, I always use the ready mixed variety specially made for post fixing. Just put the dry mix into the hole and pour in the water – no mixing.


Metal Spike and Support Posts    

An easier way of re-securing a damaged post is to repair it using a metal spike or support post.

Concrete is not necessarily required here.

These metal spikes and support posts are easily available and are relatively inexpensive. They can be drive in like the spike; just hammer into the ground in the correct position. Or they can be bolted down – Absolute Hardware have both options available.

Hammer the post into the ground and slot the bottom, broken end of the existing post into the socket, tighten up the bolts, and hey presto job done.

It is inadvisable to hammer directly onto the metal of the spike as this can damage the edges and bend the pike out of shape.

Slot an old piece of timber into the top to use as the contact which will prevent the damage. But, it can sometimes be a fiddly to remove this, so I would always use a post driving tool which is easily removed and can be used over again.

Although this is a quick way of securing fence posts, it is not recommended for use in stony ground as it is difficult to keep the spike straight.

Drive In Post Support

Product ID: 42294

from £7.00

Bolt Down Post Support

Product ID: 42295

from £6.50

Replacing Fence Boards    

The cladding on a closed board fence consists of feather edge boards, 100-150mm wide and 16mm thick on one edge tapering to 3mm thick on the other. If the top of any of the boards is rotten or damaged, your eye will always be drawn to this area as the whole fence will take on a dilapidated appearance.

Remove the rotten fence board and nails. If you cannot claw out the old nail or the head snaps off, then hammer it flush.

Ease up the thicker edge of the adjacent board by removing the edge nails and slip in the thinner edge of the new board under it. Hammer nails through both boards.  Coat and Finish.    

When the post has been fixed using either of the methods mentioned then all that remains is to apply some form of protective coating to the new post or fence boards.


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