Broken fences can be a safety hazard and make your home less secure.

Gates hard to open/close

This can be a hazard and a security risk.

Check the hinges to see if they have dropped or are inadequate for the size of the gate.

Alternatively, the gate may be swollen due to moisture. Allow it to dry and, if possible, paint it. If it still sticks, check the hinge alignment. If this still hasn’t solved the problem, plane off on the hinge side, paint the planed off area and re-hang.

The frame, fastenings or posts could also have been water damaged or pulled out. Repair or replace accordingly.

If the gate is sticking at the bottom and the above remedies do not work, try planing or sawing off a portion of the bottom of the gate.

Tilting fence

This could be due to rotting or badly anchored posts, earth movement/settlement or tree roots.

Repair or replace the rotting posts with H4-treated timber, ensuring they are anchored 100mm deep for every 200mm above ground. Recompact the ground around the posts, then realign the posts. Badly anchored posts may need to be concreted in, which would give you a better result.

Warped/twisted cappings or rails

This is due to moisture or temperature variation. Replace the fastenings and/or install additional fastenings. Consider painting the fence to reduce the amount of moisture absorption.

Sagging rails

This can happen on timber fences if the spans are too large for the timber size or if the fence is old. It can also be caused by rot. If the span is too large, replace the rails with larger ones or add additional posts.

If rot is the problem, replace the affected timber with H3.2-treated timber. For timber in contact with the ground, use H4-treated timber.

Fencing law

See our article on the Fencing Act to learn about your rights.