Your Loose, Leaning or Wobbly Fence May Not Be Hopeless... And May Be a Simpler Fix
Welcome to GottaGuy Services handyman fence repair blog article. In this article, we will be exploring wood fence repair. Do you have a fence that is leaning, sagging, wobbly and ready to fall down? Often there can be easier cost effective ways of repairing your older fence to its former glory instead of replacing it.
There are many ways that wooden fences start leaning and become wobbly and loose.
Some causes are:
Fence post rot at the base: older fences were usually built where the post had direct ground contact, so water would sit at the base and eventually cause dry rot to the post. Newer techniques now have concrete sitting over the ground and are enveloping the base of the post to protect it from destructive moisture.
Changing of the seasons: wood expands when wet and shrinks when dry. This constant back and forth eventually works the nails loose, generally making the fence slats loose.
Trees, plants and bushes: Some greenery, (mostly trees and vines) that outgrows its area next to a fence starts to push against it, or in the case of vines - growth through crevices and spaces between fence slats and railing. I have seen cases where the vines and trees have so overgrown over the fence that it is both dismantling it and holding it together at the same time.
Wood Fence Repair Cost and Solutions:
Does that always mean costs of a thousand dollars or more in replacing and rebuilding your old leaning fence?
Not always - it’s good to get an estimate from both fence companies and handymen who specialize in fence repair. There are fences that are definitely at the end of their life, but ofter there are fences that can be saved for a fraction of the cost of a new fence.
Generally, fencing contractors may turn down jobs that may be too small for them, such as repairing a section of fence panels. Smaller jobs are not very profitable for fence companies, so they prefer to focus on a large replacement, even when your fence is still in good shape (despite being loose).
Handyman fence repair services can be beneficial if you don’t want to replace part or all of your fence.
If you have a 4x4 fence post that is leaning or rotting, there are fence post brackets on the market, generally in the range of $10 - $45 that can generally straighten and secure your fence post to get approximately another 10 years of life out of it. There are different degrees of difficulty in fastening in the brackets, depending on soil, fence construction and design of the fence bracket.
Once the fence posts are secure, generally tightening the rails and the fence boards using exterior deck screws is the best alternative if the fence slat or railing isn’t too far gone.
There are some exterior screws engineered with reversed threads (just below the screw head at the top of the shaft to counter loosening. The threads also hold tighter to the woods. There are also zinc covered screws that prevent staining of the wood after the fence become wet, that will prevent streaks coming from all the screw holes.
Prices can range from $9 - $45, depending on the level of engineering and amount of screws needed.
Calculating labor to secure your existing fencing, it can save you hundreds of dollars (or potentially thousands) and time fixing the repair.
Check out a recent job I completed (Before and After Pics Below) -
This fence is approximately 15 years old. It had three loose posts and was barely hanging on (from both recent rains and bushes dismantling it at the other end). The only solid post was at the end, attached to a neighbor's fence, which prevented it from falling over completely.
I hammered in three Fence Menders (made by Simpson) - one to each loose post (three total). This took about six hours as each section had to be partially dismantled in order to fit the fence mender brackets in. The result was a strong, sturdy, rigid and solid fence! My client was ecstatic about having her fence restored to its old self at a fraction of the cost and time of a new fence.