High Falls Property Care

May 13, 2024

How to Fix a Broken Fence Board

Broken Fence Board

Fences add privacy, security, and a finishing touch to your Rochester property. But weather, accidents, and everyday wear and tear can take their toll. Broken fence boards are an eyesore, and they weaken your fence's overall integrity.

Don't worry! Often, fixing a broken fence board is a project most homeowners can tackle with a few basic tools and some know-how. At High Falls Property Care, we believe in empowering you to handle certain home repairs confidently. Let's dive into the different ways you can fix a broken fence board, restoring your fence to its former glory.

Types of Fence Board Damage

Not all broken fence boards are created equal! Here's a quick breakdown of what you might encounter:

  • Split or Cracked: A board might have a lengthwise split while staying mostly intact.
  • Completely Snapped: The board is broken cleanly in half or into multiple pieces.
  • Rotted Section: Part of the board has deteriorated due to moisture and decay.
  • Warping: The board is severely warped or twisted, potentially impacting the whole fence panel's stability.

Assessing the Fix

Before starting, figure out the best approach:

  • Small Splits: These may be fixable without replacing the entire board.
  • Larger Break: If more than roughly 1/3 of the board is damaged, replacement is generally required.
  • Single Board vs. Several: Extensive damage in one section of fencing might require replacing a whole panel.

Fixing a Split Board

  1. Clean the Area: Gently wash around the split with soapy water, letting it dry.
  2. Wood Glue: Apply waterproof wood glue generously along the split.
  3. Clamping: Use several clamps to tightly squeeze the split back together. Wipe excess glue with a damp rag.
  4. Reenforcement: While optional, adding screws perpendicular to the split strengthens the repair after the glue dries. (Pre-drill holes to avoid further splitting).

Replacing a Broken Fence Board

  1. Remove the Old Board: Carefully unscrew the broken fence board from the fence rails (horizontal supports). If screws are rusted, penetrating oil may help; if necessary, cut the board out.
  2. Measure and Cut: Use the old broken fence board as a template to cut your new one to size. Choose matching wood and stain or paint it beforehand to blend it seamlessly.
  3. Secure the New Board: Screw the new board into the fence rails, ensuring it's level and flush with surrounding boards.
  4. Finishing Touches: Apply matching stain or paint if needed and dispose of the old board responsibly.

Tips for Success

  • Safety First: Eye protection and gloves are essential, especially when dealing with splintered wood.
  • Use the Right Materials: Choose exterior-grade wood glue, screws, and finishes to withstand the elements.
  • Consider a Sister Board: For major breaks, attaching a new board along the back of the damaged one ("sistering" it) adds strength and avoids removing the original.
  • Inspect the Rest: One broken fence board may mean others are nearing the end too - check for weak spots elsewhere on the fence.

When to Call the Pros at High Falls Property Care

There are instances where DIY fence repair may not be the best route:

  • Extensive Damage: If multiple sections of your fence are compromised, a professional assessment will determine the best course of action.
  • Rotting Posts: Weakened fence posts jeopardize your whole fence's stability, and require proper replacement.
  • Matching Styles: We can source specialty fence components or replicate outdated styles if you're unsure where to find the right materials.
  • Major Fence Projects: If you want a whole new fence or a different style, that's where our complete fencing services come in!

Your Rochester Fence Experts: High Falls Property Care

We're here to help you keep your fence looking great and functioning as it should.

Contact us today for a free assessment if you're facing fence damage beyond a simple fix, or if you're dreaming of a whole new fence installation!

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