I have only lived here in Bend, Oregon for a few months, but one thing I noticed right away is the staggering number of old rotten fences. Due to the weather extremes here in in Bend and using the wrong materials fro the job almost every fence in town needs to be fixed in one way or another.
There are many ways for fences to fail, and depending on what the problem is, it will require a different method for repair.
1. Rotten Posts. It seems that when most of the fences were built here in the bend area, they skimped on the material. By using posts that are not pressure treated it has exposed the bottom of the posts to moisture in the ground and the wood just absorbs it right up and starts the decomposition process. This problem is the trickiest to repair, in certain cases the post must be removed from the ground, which proves to be quite difficult because it has been cemented in. But after all the hassle the post can be replaced with pressure treated wood and that will prevent further problems later on.
2. Rails Separating from the Posts: This is another very common problem, and is usually the case when you see a fence fall over like in the photo above. In my experience this is from improper hardware. Often times whomever built your fence decided to Toenail (Driving a nail at an angle through one material and into the other) the rails. Toe nailing has a time and place and can be effective but not in this situation. Proper brackets should be used when connecting the rail to the post, screws and brackets make the ultimate connection for these components. Again due to the weather extremes here in Bend a few toe nails will not suffice.
3.Rotting Pickets: This is all too common and is just caused from improper fence maintenance and or poor materials. Luckily it is the easiest to repair. Just remove the old pickets and replace them with the new ones. Nails are acceptable here due to the fact that the work load is minimal on these components and they aren't under very much stress.
Poor Maintenance: It doesn't take much to keep a fence healthy, but it will prolong your fences life significantly. Keeping mold and mildew off of your fence is very important, moss and mold will eat up your fence very quickly. Sealing, staining, or painting are also very effective ways of preserving a healthy fence.
Repairing a fence after the famous Bend weather takes hold is a pretty big job. If your aren't up to it or don't have the time I would love to do it for you. I personally love repairing and building fences, it was what got me started down the road to being a Handyman. So feel free to drop me a line and tell me about your fence problems because I would love to help.
The Bend Handyman
Licensed Bonded Insured CCB# 208915