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Fence Repair

I don't care if you are Superman or Batman, you will need to repair your fence at some point. The elements in North America are a harsh mistress and a fence has to spend all day and all night standing up straight in them.

Whether it is a wood or a metal fence, the basic steps for repair are similar.

Replace or Repair?
First you will have to decide if you are going to replace the fence or repair it. This will take a bit of an evaluation. Take a look at the fence; see how much work you think you are going to have to do. Then get an estimate for a new fence. After that, you make the call. Generally a wooden fence is much easier to repair than a metal fence.

Fence Repair Cut Out The Damage
If you are going to repair the fence, pry the damaged section out with a pry bar. Then remove the nails, as the pry will have most likely damaged them beyond repair. If you cannot pry the nasty section out, get out the ol' handsaw and get cutting.

Wash The Fence
Then scrub the fence with a mild detergent and metal scrub brush. This will prepare it for a new painting. If there are stains on the fence too tough to scrub with detergent, use a bit of bleach diluted in water. If you've got plants around the fence, use some baking soda to scrub the fence. Be sure to wear protective gloves and goggles when washing with bleach.

You can also clean metal fences with this same method. You may have to use a tougher detergent for the stronger stains.

Get New Fencing Material
Go out and buy new fencing material. Try and buy the same material that was used in the original fence. That is to say, if you have a pine fence, try and buy more pine. Measure and cut new pieces and hammer them in.

Match The New Fence
Once this is complete, you'll surely notice that your fence looks 'patchy' due to the scrubbing and replacement posts. This is where you get out the bucket of paint or stain and get to work.

Fence painting is easy, but hey, if you have kids, just give them a copy of Tom Sawyer and a paint brush and let them earn their keep.

Hammer Have more questions about fence repair? Visit our Fence forum and talk to other do-it-yourselfers who may just have the answers you're looking for.