Getting a wood fence is a great investment. It protects your homestead garden from pests, prevents kids from running into the plants, and boosts the aesthetic of your outdoor living space.
However, over time, you may notice a few rotten patches sprout. This is the result of prolonged exposure to elements such as water, moisture, and air.
It’s important to address these water damages right away. Otherwise, they’ll spread throughout the fence and compromise its structural integrity.
Keep reading for the full DIY guide on how to repair a rotted wood fence!
In this article:
- Step-By-Step Process to Fixing a Rotted Wood Fence
- Rotted Wood Fence Prevention
- Common Mistakes Homesteaders Make When Putting up a Fence
A Quick, Easy Guide to Repair Rotting Wood Fence
Step-By-Step Process to Fixing a Rotted Wood Fence
What You’ll Need:
- Saw or power saw
- Hammer or mallet
- Nails or screws
Step 1: Detach the Fence’s Rotted Section
The first thing you need to do is remove the sections of the fence with rotted wood. You can do so by sawing the sections down, banging on them with a thick hammer, or pulling the nails/screws out one by one.
Step 2: Remove Rotted Patches of Wood
Using a saw, carefully remove the damaged areas. Make sure to cut straight and separate the damaged sections from the non-infected ones.
Step 3: Replace the Rotted Patches
Once the damaged and uninfected sections of the fence are separated, it’s time to overhaul them. Nail a 2 x 4 piece of wood on the base of the uninfected section and along both sides of the infected area. Make sure the 2 x 4 piece of wood covers the entire rotted area.
Step 4: Attach the Fence Posts You Just Fixed
Afterward, reattach the section to the fence post and nail the 2 x 4 piece of wood the bottom lip for solid support. Make sure there’s a one-inch gap between the ground and the fence. Distancing the wood from the ground will prevent similar water damages in the future.
Rotted Wood Fence Prevention
1. Install the Fence Properly
Homesteaders tend to take on home improvement tasks themselves. And that’s great! Just make sure you do the job properly.
When setting up the fence for your homestead garden, always check if the posts are spaced properly from each other and the bottom parts don’t touch the ground. Contact with the soil allows moisture to creep up and cause water damage.
2. Choose the Right Fence Materials
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When choosing what kind of wood to use for your fence, go for tough, durable ones such as redwood, oak, cypress, and cedar. They’re resistant to both age-related decay and water damages.
On the other hand, avoid options such as pine, tamarack, and Douglas fir. These might be cheaper, but they’re also weaker so you’ll end up needing repairs and maintenance checkups a lot more often.
3. Stain the Wood Fence
Wood retains water like a sponge. It naturally absorbs moisture from rain, snow, and even air. And if you want to prevent your wood fence from decaying, you need to stop water from seeping in.
One way you can do so is by staining your wood fence. It prevents long-term water damages by sealing off the pores that moisture can penetrate. That way, all forms of liquid remain on the surface.
Pro Tip: Notice that water doesn’t bead up on the surface of your wood fence anymore? Then it might be time to apply a fresh coat.
4. Clean the Fence Regularly
Nothing beats good, old-fashioned cleaning. The best approach here is to pressure wash and scrub your fence at least once every two to three weeks.
At the same time, check for fungi and pest infestations. See if there’re any burrows or holes wherein water might seep through and cause premature decay.
5. Avoid Placing Things Against the Fence
People tend to place tools such as rakes, shovels, and pails, among others, against the fence while they’re working. This seemingly harmless act can cause the wood to soften or weaken in the long run. Once that happens, your wood fence will be more susceptible to decay.
Common Mistakes Homesteaders Make When Putting up a Fence
1. Installing a Fence Over the Property Line
Accidentally installing a wood fence gate over the property line might seem silly, but it’s an error that happens more often than one would think.
Most of the time, the issue is called out immediately and the homeowners resolve it peacefully. However, there are also cases where all parties involved accidentally overlook the matter.
To prevent these kinds of problems, consult with a surveyor before installing your wood fence gate. Familiarize yourself with the state’s laws on property lines.
2. Hitting Underground Pipelines
Don’t dig too deep unless you’re 100% sure there aren’t any pipelines in the way. Hitting a plumbing or sewer line is a huge, expensive disaster that could end up ruining your entire outdoor living space.
3. Improperly Anchoring Down the Posts
Posts play an important role in keeping your fence sturdy and durable. If you do a poor job, not only will they be prone to water damages, but they might not even be able to withstand heavy rains or storms.
Take your time in choosing what kind of wood to use for the post and where to plant them. These small, simple precautionary measures can go a long way.
4. Not Browsing Fence Design Plans
There are dozens of possible wood fence designs to choose from, so don’t limit yourself to just one or two options. Browse the net and compile the ones that catch your attention.
Draw inspiration from them to create a unique design that captures your personality and embodies your goal with your homestead garden.
Here are more tips on caring for your wood fence by bandq:
Overall, what’s important is to keep your wood fence away from anything that might cause premature rotting and decay. Don’t lean tools against it, regularly clean the surface, coat the wood with stain every two to three years, and always watch out for signs of water damages.
And if you do see signs of rotting, remedy them right away. That way, they won’t have enough time to spread and affect the rest of your wood fence pickets.
Do you know other ways to repair rotted wood fence in your homestead? We’d love to hear your tips! Share them in the comments section below.
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