How Do I Unwarp Wood Fences?

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Fences can warp over time due to weather conditions.
Fences can warp over time due to weather conditions. (Image: picket fence detail image by Aaron Kohr from Fotolia.com)

Over time, installed fences that are made of wood can warp. Sometimes wood is not dried sufficiently before being sold, and this can cause warping. A lack of sealing (primer and paint) can also warp the wood. In any case, the wood cannot be straightened once it warps but the warped pickets and rails can be replaced, making your fence look like new.

Things You'll Need

  • Screw gun
  • Primer and paint
  • 2-inch galvanized screws
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Power saw
  • Medium sandpaper
  • 3-inch galvanized screws

Unscrew the warped vertical pickets from the fence. Prime and paint all sides of new pickets and wait for them to dry.

Place the new pickets in the location of the old ones, making sure their tops are in line with the tops of the pickets surrounding them. Attach the pickets to the fence rails with galvanized 2-inch screws, three screws per rail. Touch up the new pickets with paint as necessary, also covering the screw heads.

Unscrew and remove the horizontal warped rails from the vertical posts. Measure and cut new rails to the same size as the old ones. Remove any splinters from the ends with sandpaper.

Prime and paint all sides of the new rails. Wait for the paint to dry.

Attach the new rails to the posts in the same place as the old rails, using 3-inch galvanized screws. Touch up the rails with paint, also covering the screw heads.

Tips & Warnings

  • Other than primer and paint, the wood can be stained, or other sealers can be used to protect the wood.

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References

  • "Home Improvement 1-2-3"; Benjamin W. Allen, Christopher Cavanaugh; 1995
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