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Fencing Repairs – Posts and Boards

Skill Level: Intermediate

Introduction

 

Wooden fences will at some time require maintenance; it may be just a lick of new paint or preservative that is needed - but it may be a little more serious than that. Wooden fences and their supporting posts are subject to all that the elements may throw at them, as well as the kids and grandkids. Sections of damaged fencing and broken or rotten fence posts can be quite easily and quickly repaired using just a few basic tools.

 

Fence posts

 

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 require repair. Fencing 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 in order 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; this acts as an anchor and so re-stabilises the fence. Dig out the hole to take the spur, but don’t pour the concrete mix in just yet.

 

Secure the damaged post with a concrete 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. Next, 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. Once complete infill with concrete and allow setting. 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

Stabilise the fence using a Metal Spike

An easier way of re-securing a damaged post is to repair it using a metal spike. No concreting required here. These metal spikes are easily available and are relatively inexpensive. 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. 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.

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. Unless you are considering re-coating the whole of the fence with a different colour scheme, then it’s just a matter of painting-staining- the new sections to blend in with the existing.

Tools you will need:
100mm x 100mm Bolt Grip Post Support to Drive with 750mm Spike - Brown
100mm x 100mm Bolt Grip Post Support to Drive with 750mm Spike - Brown
- 100mm x 100mm Metpost Driving Tool
100mm x 100mm Metpost Driving Tool
- Faithfull 16oz Fibreglass Handled Claw Hammer
Faithfull 16oz Fibreglass Handled Claw Hammer
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