Lots of use, Mother Nature take toll on gate, fence

Q: I have a wooden fence that has seen better days. Its vertical posts are not so vertical anymore and they wobble. Although the posts are in concrete, they move with the wind. To make matters worse, the gate is starting to sag more than the bags under my eyes. I can’t afford a block wall, and this fence needs some surgery. What should I do?

A: As you’ve learned, wood doesn’t last forever. I remember when my brother and I were little, we would vault over a wooden fence into our neighbor’s backyard to chase balls. Eventually, the fence started to lean. Well, we spent the rest of that summer replacing the fence, and from then on we used the gate.

But it’s not just kids who can damage a fence. Mother Nature also has plenty of influence in that area. Moisture, heat and wind all play a role in the longevity of a fence.

Before deciding whether to repair the fence or replace it, test its strength. If most of the framework feels solid, I would repair it. If most of the posts are falling down, it’s probably best to rebuild.

The gate is usually the first to go. It will loosen from the post and drag on the ground. Even the post it’s attached to will separate from the fence. If the hinges are loose from the post, replace the old screws with longer ones to make sure they bite into good wood. If the post has separated from the fence, use “L” brackets to reattach them.

If the gate sags because it is out of square, buy a turnbuckle (no, not the kind you see on wrestling) for about $10. Raise the sagging side of the gate to its normal height using some scraps of wood. Make sure the latch is aligned with the opening and attach the turnbuckle diagonally using lag bolts. One end of the turnbuckle should be attached at the top of the hinged side, while the other end gets attached to the bottom of the latch side. Tighten the turnbuckle until the gate is square, and then remove the scraps.

Once you repair the gate, you’ll have to reattach the pickets to the cross boards with galvanized screws.

Vertical posts in concrete that are wobbly may be repairable. If the concrete is solid but the post still moves, try hitting some wooden shims in any gaps between the post and the concrete. Cut off any of the shims that stick up above the concrete, then fill any gaps with silicone caulk.

If the concrete and the post are wobbly, it is likely that only a thin collar of concrete was poured around the post, leaving the bottom of it to rot and swim in the moist ground. In this case, replace the post.

To do this, pull the nails that hold the sections of fence to the posts. Then, move the sections of fence away from the post by a foot or two. Rest the fence sections on some scrap wood to keep them at their normal height. Nail a block of wood near the bottom of the post you are going to remove.

Stack some scrap blocks on the ground about a foot away from the post. Place the end of a two-by-four underneath the block of wood that you nailed to the post, and use the pile of scrap blocks as the fulcrum for your newly created lever. Push down on the two-by-four and watch the post rise out of the ground like spring daisies. Depending on the weight of the post, you may need a helper to keep the post from falling back into the hole.

After the post is out of the hole, dig the hole down to a depth of at least 18 inches. Insert your new pressure-treated post into the hole and move the sections of fence back to the post. Nail the fence back on the post making sure that the post is plumb and the sections of fence are level. Brace the post with some two-by-fours staked in the ground to keep it plumb.

Fill the hole with concrete, and trowel the top of the concrete at a slope so that water will run off instead of puddling on the new wood.

Because the color of the new wood won’t match the old, you can stain the fence to help the pieces blend together and also add a little protection against the elements. That is, all elements except the neighborhood kids.

Mike Klimek is a licensed contractor and president of Pro Handyman Corp. Questions may be sent by email to: questions@pro-handyman.com. Or, mail to: P.O. Box 96761, Las Vegas, NV 89193. His Web address is: www.pro-handyman.com.

Life
MAGIC fashion convention showcases men's clothing trends
The MAGIC fashion convention has come to Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center to showcase some of the hottest clothing trends for men. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Army medic’s Afghanistan story told in new book
The graphic novel “Machete Squad” is based on journals written by Las Vegan Brent Dulak.
Las Vegas man talks about losing his wife
Dwayne Murray, 37, lost his wife, LaQuinta while she was at Centennial Hills Hospital. A jury awarded him $43 million last week after it said the hospital failed to perform the standard of care in administering a drug for her sickle cell disease.
Barber sets up shop in grandfather’s old shop
Andres Dominguez’s new barber shop is filled with memories of his grandfather, who ran the El Cortez landmark for more than 30 years. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Life and times of a 90-year-old horse player
Leo Polito of Las Vegas describes meeting legendary jockey and trainer Johnny Longden on the beach at Del Mar. Mike Brunker/Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Learning the history of singing bowls
Presentation at Summerlin Library teaches residents about the history of singing bowls (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Learning live-saving techniques in Stop the Bleed class
Leslie Shaffer, an AMR paramedic, shows how to control bleeding during a Stop the Bleed course at the Summerlin Library. The class is designed to teach anyone how to control and stop life-threatening bleeding. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vicki Richardson speaks about on the power of art
Artist and arts advocate Vicki Richardson talks about the power of art to inspire and challenge. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DressCoders pairs tech with haute couture
DressCoders is a startup focused on haute couture garments. The company uses illuminated thread that is washable and can be sewn right into the fabric. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Brava infrared oven
In cooking with the Brava infrared oven,there’s no preheating. the bulbs can reach 500 degrees in less than a second. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sinks Merge Style And Utility
Study could determine cause of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s diseases
Dr. Aaron Ritter, director of clinical trials at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, discusses his research on how inflammation in the brain impacts Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holocaust survivors talk about tragedy and friendship
Janos Strauss and Alexander Kuechel share their perspectives on life. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
'Siegel Cares' Santa delivers toys to kids at Siegel Suites in Las Vegas
Siegel Cares, the charitable wing of The Siegel Group, delivered toys to families at their apartment complexes in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Revisiting “Christ the King” sculpture
A longtime admirer of the sculpture at Christ the King Catholic Community in Las Vegas shares her perspective. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Terry Fator Christmas House
Arguably better than a hotel holiday display, is Terry and Angie Fator's home located in southwest Las Vegas.
UNLV Winter Graduation Packs Thomas & Mack
UNLV's 55th winter commencement ceremony included approximately 2,146 undergraduate and graduate students who recently completed their studies. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Build-A-Bear comes to Reed Elementary School
Students participated in a Build-A-Bear-Workshop at Doris Reed Elementary School in Las Vegas, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018.
Rev. Father Seraphim Ramos talks about Greek Orthodox icons during an interview with the LVRJ
Rev. Father Seraphim Ramos talks about Greek Orthodox icons during an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center art depicts names of God
Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center founder Sharaf Haseebullah talks about new diamond-shaped art panels featuring some of the 99 names of Allah at the main entrance the Las Vegas mosque. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holiday poultry with Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine
Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine explain the different types of poultry available for the holidays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Catholic Charities hosts early Christmas meal
Students from the Bishop Gorman High School football and cheerleader team helped to serve food at the Christmas meal sponsored by the Frank and Victoria Fertitta Foundation at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada on Sunday. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Incarcerated Christmas
This is the fourth year HOPE for Prisoners has worked with the Nevada Department of Corrections to create a Christmas for prisoners to visit their families. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
2018 Homeless Vigil
Straight From The Streets holds its 23rd annual vigil to remember the 179 homeless individuals who died in Clark County this year.
Getting through the Holiday blues
Psychologist Whitney Owens offers advice on keeping your mental health in check during the Holiday season in Henderson, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military program gave meal kits to 200 families at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10047 in Las Vegas Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. It all started with a chance encounter in a supermarket in Utica, N.Y., near Fort Drum. A soldier, his wife and infant had a handful of grocery items they couldn't afford. A Beam Suntory employee picked up the $12 cost for the groceries. The program has grown from providing 500 meal kits to military families in 2009 to providing more than 7,000 nationally this holiday season.K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women at WestCare Women Children Campus in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Former 51s manager Wally Backman chats about new job
Former Las Vegas 51s manager Wally Backman talks about his new job with the independent league Long Island Ducks during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing