Sometimes, wooden fence posts can be broken. The best repair is to remove the old post and replace it with a new one, but this method is not always feasible. If you have to repair a wooden fence post, follow the steps outlined below.
Replace or Repair?
Examine the damaged wooden fence posts. If the post is broken at ground level, it will be difficult or even impossible to repair in a lasting way. On the other hand, if there is at least 6 inches between the break and ground level, you can install a reinforcing patch that gives strength to the post, and saves you the expense and trouble of replacing it.
Step 1: Make a Post Patch
Your patch should be at least 1 foot long. When placing it, extend the extra patch length equally above and below the broken area. If necessary, dig a hole into the soil to extend the the patch farther down. For a round wooden fence post, your patch will consist of a single piece of metal flashing that can be wrapped around the post, overlapping 2 inches. For a square or rectangular post, cut the patch in 2 pieces. Both parts should wrap around 3 sides of the post. When both pieces are in place and screwed together and into the post, they will serves as a form of support.
Step 2: Remove Fence Rails or Panels
Before trying to repair a wood fence, remove any fence rails or panels that are connected to the post. In some cases, the repair can be made without removing the other pieces, but the job is faster and easier if you have a bare post to work with. Rather than trying to work around other attached pieces, it makes more sense to remove the extra parts for now, and put them back on after the patch is completed.
Step 3: Install the Patch Cup
For a round post, install the patch. Using nail or screws with a heavy-duty shaft, attach the patch with vertical lines of screws every 2 to 4 inches around the post. For a square post, install the patch cup around the damage area. Start at one edge of the patch, and install screws or nail as described previously.
Step 4: Install the Post Cap
Install the second piece of the patch by placing on the opposite side of the post. The two pieces of patch will overlap completely on two sides of the post. Insert two rows of vertical screws or nails, spaced about 2 inches apart. Shake the post to make certain your patch is holding.
Step 5: Reattach Fencing
Any fence rails or panel that were removed while you were working on the post can be replace now. Be sure to attache all nails, and take care that you do not install the panel tipped to one side, preventing it from blending in with the surrounding fence panels.