Redwood fence repair

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Old 07-10-16, 05:03 PM
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Redwood fence repair

I've got an older 3 rail (capped) redwood fence that is in need of some general repair. Loose nails, pickets warped off, some rail ends failing. Not looking to replace the fence so I thought of the following.

Cut some redwood blocking (7" 2X4))that will fit behind the rails and attach them to the posts (The rails will sort of set in a pocket in the blocking, think an 'L"). Attach the rails to the blocking with through nails (rails currently attached to posts nailed from above and below, rails are on vertical). This would secure the rails better as currently some nails have pulled out. Still enough meat in most rail ends to attach to blocking. I would replace any rails that are too far gone on the ends.

The pickets, I would remove flip upside down (so new meat in the wood is available) and reattach to rails. Some of the pickets are too far gone or warped and would be replaced. I would reattach the pickets closer together (as of now due to shrinkage you can easily see through them as you drive by). I am interested in reusing the older pickets, as I did a section of fence in another area where the new wood shrank considerably when it dried, plus the newer cuts of wood are thinner than what is up there now.

Obviously there would be a chunk of pickets (grouped together) that would be new that replaced the non-usable pickets.

Not too concerned about looks (new wood vs old). Just looking to get some more years out of the fence before a total repair. Fence is pretty solid, only 1 post I know of needs replacing (Going to use steel).

Back of the Napkin says I save over 80% vs replacing the whole fence (About 100' linear feet). Any plus or minuses with this idea?

Thanks
 
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Old 07-10-16, 05:45 PM
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If you don't mind it looking a little patchwork, then your plan sounds fine. And you could always give it coat of solid color stain to blend it all together if it looks too rough. You may find using screws gives you more holding power than nails, especially if the wood is a little punky in spots. Stainless steel screws or nails will give you longest life, but at least use exterior screws or galvanized nails.
 
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Old 07-10-16, 05:48 PM
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Post some pictures so we can see what your seeing.
No way do you want to be using galvinized nails unless you want black stains running down the fence.
 
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Old 07-10-16, 08:10 PM
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Old 07-10-16, 09:05 PM
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I'll get some pics tomorrow. I have a ton of 3" HD galv RS nail for my gun I'll be using, then aluminum RS for the pickets. The black streaks will be hard to see as the wood is pretty dark (aged) as it is. Plus they don't bother me. It's not a front of the house fence.
 
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Old 07-11-16, 05:46 AM
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I'm not certain galvanized nails will pose a staining problem. It's probably been 40 yrs since I've seen a redwood fence but in recent yrs I've painted/stained a few houses that had redwood siding and more that used redwood for the fascia. They were all nailed with galvanized nails and stain wasn't an issue.
 
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Old 07-12-16, 12:49 PM
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Name:  20160712_123644.jpg
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First photo shows gap

Second photo shows nails pulling out (resetting won't work as nail holes are too worn)
 
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Old 07-12-16, 12:54 PM
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Since the nails aren't holding and larger nails/screws probably isn't a good idea - just move the location of the fasteners.

Cleaning that fence with a bleach/water solution would make it look a lot nicer [needed if you intend to stain]
 
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Old 07-12-16, 01:03 PM
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I tried that, the wood is too dry and splits. The wood isn't solid enough on the vertical. That was why I was going through the flat plane with a blocker behind it. Shave off a little wood and the redwood looks like new so I know the heart of the 2x4s is still good. Since I'm removing the pickets to close the gaps (and replace the bad ones) I have an opportunity to access the 2x4s easily.

Again, not looking to have a brand new fence, just seeing of there is any downside to shoring it up for another 5-7 years and letting me get as much life out of the wood before it is too far gone.

RE: Cleaning the fence....I maintain the front fence to make it look nice. This is to a side yard and back fence which for the most part is blocked by landscaping. No desire to spend the time maintaining it for looks.
 
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