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Repairing Fence Rails:

How to Repair a Wooden FenceThe fence rails are the 2×4’s that run between the posts at the top and bottom of the fence. Rails that have pulled loose from one or more of its posts may or may not be salvageable. This depends on wither it is loose because of pressure, abuse or rot and how bad the rot is.

Mending the break with a piece of 2×4 is not difficult.

How to Repair a Wooden FenceStep 1: The first thing to do if the problem is rot is to saturate the damaged area with a liberal amount of wood preservative. This will keep the rot from spreading.

Step 2: You can use a cleat to support the rail by fitting a short piece of 2×4 snugly underneath the rail. Make it as long as possible as the shorter it is the easier it is to spit. Nail the 2×4 to the post with galvanized nails then nail down through the rail into the cleat.

Step 3: You may want to try to keep moisture from getting into the area by caulking the top and sides of the repair. Do not caulk the bottom as this will hold moisture in, which is worse then not caulking at all.

Another method would be to add a 2×4 to the full length.

How to Repair a Wooden FenceStep 1: The first thing to do is the same as with the cleat method if the problem is rot. Saturate the damaged area with a liberal amount of wood preservative. This will keep the rot from spreading.

Step 2: Cut a 2×4 the fell length between the two posts.

Step 3: Apply it to the fence tight above the rail that is already there securing it both to the posts and to the other 2×4 that is rotten on the ends with 3” galvanized nails. If the old rail is installed flat and there is enough room under it you could install the new 2×4 on edge under the old one. This sometimes solves a secondary problem which is a sag in the bottom 2×4 from the weight of the fence.

With a little more effort you can pry the fence boards off the rail that is rotten and replace the rail completely. This is the best method but you have to be careful as you may break some of your fence boards trying to pry them off the rail.

Step 1: Carefully pry the fence boards off of the rail using a flat bar or small pry bar being careful not to break or crack the boards.
Step 2: Measure and cut the new 2×4 rail to fit snugly between the posts. Position the rail between the posts slightly different then where the old one was if at all possible. Nail the rail into place with 3” galvanized nails driven at an angle through the end of the rail and into the post and on each side.

Step 3: Re-nail the boards back onto the rails keeping the same spacing as before with 2” galvanized nails. If you have to replace some of the fence boards they should be cut the same length and style as the ones you are replacing.

Repairing Fence boards:

Replacing broken or rotted fence boards is a simple carpentry job.

How to Repair a Wooden FenceStep 1: Measure an unbroken piece of fence board to get the correct length and width for the new piece or pieces you’ll need. Using lumber that’s the same width as the old boards makes this job simpler; otherwise you will need to rip boards to the proper width with a saw.

Step 2: Remove broken pieces by prying them away from the rails and pull out any nails.

Step 3: If you’re replacing pickets that have decorative tops or sides, set an old board on top of a new one and trace the style onto a new board. Then you are able to cut the boards using an appropriate kind of saw. (chop, jig, or circular)

Step 4: Set the new board or picket against the rails and nail them in place with 2” galvanized nails, being sure to align them properly with the existing boards.

Now we have only one job left to ensure our fence is at its best ready to take on the winter.

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One Response to “How to Repair a Wooden Fence, part 2”

Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article