A damaged fence panel makes even the most meticulous lawn look shabby. You can clean and repair fence panels with superficial damage using mild cleaners and abrasive materials. If a panel cracks or breaks due to weather conditions or trauma, you must remove and replace it. The same goes for rotted panels; the rot in one panel can spread through the fence if left unchecked. When choosing supplies to repair a fence, select the right tools for the job. Choose the same wood type when replacing panels, and select the right nails and screwdrivers or drill bits to remove and replace the old nails or screws.
The necessary materials vary depending on whether a fence panel needs repairing or replacing. Replacement requires more hardware and may take longer than repairing a fence panel with minor damage.
Repairing a panel with minor damage requires sandpaper to reduce the appearance of dents and scratches in the surface of the wood. When sanding, start with coarse sandpaper and smooth the wood with fine sandpaper. After sanding, the fence panel requires varnish to protect the wood. You can also stain or paint it, if necessary, to match the other panels on the fence.
When buying replacement wooden fence panels, check that the panels fit the fence. If the fence panel screws into the railing, get a screwdriver or drill with the appropriate bit to remove it without damaging the railing. If the panel secures with a nail, you must use a wrecking bar and hammer to remove the old panel and nail. Purchase new nails, such as 10D galvanised nails , to secure the new fence panel to the railing. Use a measuring tape to measure the space below the fence posts, and cut or purchase 2-inch by 4-inch blocks to fit under the fence. The blocks later prop up the new fence panel before securing it to the fence railing.
Clean dirty panels with mild soap, water, and a sponge; wipe the panel with the grain of the wood. Once the panel is clean and dry, use sandpaper to remove shallow scratches, scuffs, or dents. Sanding also reduces the appearance of deep gouges. Sand slowly and with the grain of the wood. Sanding also removes any paint and protective varnish on the panel. You must replace the varnish to protect the wood from outdoor elements.
Before replacing the damaged fence panels, check that the new fence panels work with the existing fence; while it may look right, the width or length of the post may be wrong. If the new fence post is not the right size, use a saw to trim it to the same length as the current fence panels. To ensure the best nail placement, place the panel up against the railing and use a pencil to mark the nail placement on the panel.
Remove the screw or nail holding the damaged fence panel to the railing. When using a drill, check that it moves in the correct direction to remove the screw; the wrong direction may tighten or strip the screw. Do not pry screws out, as this may damage the railing. With nails, use the backside of a hammer or wrecking bar to pry the nail from the panel. If the wood does not have too much damage, hammer the backside of the panel to separate it from the railing, and then pry the panel and nail out.
Use the 2-inch by 4-inch blocks of wood to prop the fence panel up so that it is the same height from the ground as the other panels on the fence. Use a level to straighten the panel, and then screw or hammer two nails into the top of the panel to secure it to the railing; do this again on the bottom to secure the panel to the fence. Remove the block from beneath the new fence panel.
When purchasing fencing products on eBay, be specific; search for " cedar fence panels" over simply "fence panels". Search terms can also include dimensions, such as " 1.8-m fence posts". Look for local sellers who are able to arrange a local pick-up to reduce your shipping costs. Check the listing to assess the condition of the lumber, and ask the seller if there are any questions. Consider purchasing other items necessary to the fence repair as well; in addition to nails and power tools, eBay sellers provide sandpaper and paintbrushes. Buy plenty of the small supplies, such as nails, to avoid running out at a crucial moment.