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The Home Depot

Fence Gate Repair Guide

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Fence > Fence Gate Repair Guide
Fence Gate Repair Guide

The structure of a fence is relatively simple. A fence is basically made up of posts with material spread out over the posts (be it wood, vinyl or metal) to create a barrier. But, when one thing goes wrong, the fence ceases to function.


Fences aren’t just for keeping your neighbors out of your business. There are fences to keep out dogs, rabbits and even elephants. Humans need electric fences to keep both species safely away from each other. According to South Indian fence maker FenzGuard, elephants can spot the weakest spot on an electric fence and push its way through. The company also says it takes more electric currents to shock a monkey than an elephant.


Chances are your fence wasn’t torn up by a wayward elephant (although that would make for a cool story). Because it’s outside and exposed to the elements, there are all kinds of things that can weaken the structure of your fence.

  1. 1.What is your fence made of?

    When one thing goes wrong, the fence ceases to function.

    Is your fence made of wood, vinyl or metal? All three materials can have different weaknesses. Wooden fences can rot and warp. Vinyl can become brittle and crack. Metal fences can rust. All fences can bend and fall.

  2. 2.Can you isolate the problem?

    Is your problem related to the fence itself, or the way it was installed? If you are experiencing problems with a relatively new fence, poor quality materials could be to blame. Your fence has to withstand a lot and cheaper products often aren’t quite up to the job. The problem could be with your fence posts. They must be deep enough into the ground and spaced just so for your fence to be effective. If your fence is leaning and sloping, that could be the problem. Check the base of your fence posts for places where stagnant water could pool and weaken them. You should look for outside influences, too. Wildlife growing onto your fence, the neighbor’s dog or children leaning against your fence are all possible sources of fence problems.

  3. 3.Who will fix the fence?

    Depending on how handy you are around the house, you could probably fix your own fence. If you are able to isolate the problem, just gather the right tools and get to work. You may have to do a little research to figure out where to go to get any replacement materials you need. If you are lacking the time, know-how and inclination to fix your own fence, contract the job out. Find a professional who knows how to deal with the type of fence you have and the type of land you have. Look online at to find a list of reliable professionals you can choose from.

  5. 4.How can you protect your fence in the future?

    Once your work is complete and your fence is good as new again, take stock of what you can do to make sure your fence stays looking good. If bad materials were to blame, make sure you used better posts, nails and rails. If money is a concern, you can usually strike a balance to find quality materials that are still within your budget. Look at the money you spend on your fence as an investment. If your fence was improperly installed, take steps to make sure that doesn’t happen again. If it was your handywork that wasn’t up to snuff, take your time and learn all you can before attempting the job again. If it was the work of a contractor, contact him or her and see if they will make the repairs free of charge. Or, simply take your business elsewhere to someone more suited for the job.


    Fences exist for a variety of reasons – to make your home look nice, to keep the outside world out, or just to establish your boundaries. Whatever the reason, make sure your fence is well made using good materials so that it can stand the test of time.


    Related: Fence Repair Services

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