Weather elements and underground frost subject wood fences to a terrific beating. Iron fences are also subject to corrosion, weather, and time. You need to repair your fence (whether iron or wooden) from time to time. When it comes to wood fences, you should use the most rot-resistant lumber you can afford. Another trick is to use pressure-treated lumber. This type of wood will last almost indefinitely, even if it is buried in the ground. However, pressure-treated lumber is expensive. Exterior paints work well above ground. When below ground, they are almost useless. Repairing an iron fence is simple since you look for loose posts, rust or cracks. Here are five tips for improving and repainting your fence.
1. Repairing Fence Posts. When a post becomes loose, determine the cause before fixing. If it is broken or rotted, you can repair it with a pair of splints or replace the whole post. If the post has a concrete base, take a drill fitted with a concrete drill bit and drill down beside the loose post. Drill out enough around the post to allow you to set it upright again. Use some quick drying concrete to refill the drill holes, and you will have repaired the post.
2. Repairing Fence screening. You only need a few hours to replace broken or rotted screening in wood fences. Look for the broken piece and measure its width and length to get the right measurements for the new piece. Cut the new wood using a handsaw or power saw. Remove the broken piece from the rails by hammering and prying them away. Pull out the nails. Set the new board against the rail, align it, and nail it into place. Now paint the piece to match the rest of the fence.
3. Repairing Fence Rails. Before fixing, saturate the damaged area with a wood preservative to keep away rot. You can use 2X4 scrap or some metal T-braces to repair a loose rail. Make sure that the rail is level then nail the 2X4 scrap underneath. Caulk the top and sides of the repair to keep off moisture. If you are using the metal T-brace, level the rail and drill pilot holes into the post and rail. Use galvanized screws to secure the T-braces and caulk the joint. Paint the repair to match the rest of the fence.
4. Painting. Every professional knows that for any paint to last, you have to use a paint conditioner mixed with primer before painting. Paint conditioners seal the surface and smoothen it to prepare the surface for an even coat of paint. For an iron fence, remove the rust before painting. If it is a wooden fence, prepare the surface by removing any dirt before painting. Use one of the best fence paint sprayer featured here.
5. Controlling rot and rust. You can use sandpaper or emery cloth and rust neutralizer to control rust on your iron fence. Sometimes you will not be able to remove all the rust, but if you can create a smooth surface to paint on, it will just be fine. Use pressure-treated material or apply stain to control rot in wooden fences.