HOW TO REPLACE A FENCE PANEL – Constructing a fence using fencing panels is a great idea because they are so easy to put up. But what happens if one of your panels, and a post for instance is damaged? Well that’s easy enough as it’s just a case of buying a new panel and post. If you do spot a panel, in your fencing, that is damage or a post that is loose, then you should replace it as soon as possible otherwise you run the risk, in a high wind, of damaging the rest of the fence. In this guide we’ll show you, with easy to follow steps, how to replace a panel in your fencing.
The first thing you need to do is see if the fence panel has been secured to the post with nails. It is much easier if fencing clips have been used as these are designed so that you can easily slide the panel out. Because, in this exercise we are replacing a post as well, and the adjacent panel is sound, you need to cut the nails using a hacksaw blade.
SAFETY - Remember that you’ll be using a bare hacksaw blade, so wear heavy duty gloves to protect your hands.
Cut the nails down the length of the panel on the post on the sound fence panel and then using a nail bar praise the damage panel from the other fence post and lift out the damage panel. You will find this easier if you have a friend to help you.
Remove the loose or broken fence post, including the concrete plug by digging it out.
Once you have removed the fence post, dig out the hole to a depth of 450mm.
Place TWO string lines along your fence – one at the top so that your new post is level with the other post heights and one along the bottom to ensure that your new post is in line with the other posts. This will ensure that your panel fence is straight.
Take two lengths of rough timer and make some props for the fence post. This will help keep your post in position while you are concreting it in. Hammer the length of timber diagonally across the post and into the ground and then secure to the fence post with a nail.
Check that the post is sitting upright by using a spirit level and making any adjustments that need to be made. Repeat this with another piece of rough timber but ensure that you place it 90 degrees to the other piece. This is important as the timber props will then ensure your fence post remains vertical in both directions.
Now that your new fence post is in place you can concrete it in. It is best if you use a Rapid Setting Concrete Post Mix. These are used by placing water in the hole around the post and then adding the post mix powder. There are a few different varieties of these on the market and all will do a satisfactory job but you MUST read the manufacturer’s instructions to get the best results.
SAFETY - Wear a dust mask and protective eye wear when using this product as a lot of dust can be produced.
Once you have concreted in the fence post it is a good idea to create a mound using a trowel. The mound should be shaped so that the high point is on the post and then slopes down towards the ground. This will prevent rain water from collecting and sitting around the post which will cause the post to rot quicker.
Leave the concrete to completely cure before putting in the fence panel. Read the manufacturer’s instructions on the post mix to determine drying times.
Now that your concrete is completely dry you can see about fixing the new panel into place. Instead of using nails, which can damage a fencing panel by splitting the wood, use Fence Clips. These are ‘U’ shaped clips that are secured to the fence post at the top and bottom of either side on each post and in the middle of the post.
Once the Fence Clips are in place take your fence panel, and you will need to help, lift it and slide it in the fence clips. The beauty of the fence clip is that if you ever have to remove a panel, for whatever reason, it is simply a matter of sliding the panel in and out.