How to Repair a Split Rail Fence

Split rail fences are a country classic.

A well maintained split rail fence complements its natural surroundings.A well maintained split rail fence complements its natural surroundings.
They are durable and resistant to even harsh weather conditions. Over time however, the rails can become rotted or damaged and require replacement. Repairing a split rail fence is not a difficult task once you understand the process. The rails slide into holes in the posts and rest between posts. Therefore, replacing a rail requires that the one post that the damaged rail is resting between will need to be removed for replacement. Cedar is a common wood used for split rail fences because it is naturally rot resistant.

Dig a hole using the post hole digger right next to one of the posts on either end of the rail you need to replace. Dig the hole down to the bottom of the post so you will be able to lift the post out.

Pull the post up and slide it over toward the hole you dug enough to be able to remove the damaged rail.

Remove the damaged rail. Insert the replacement rail in the place of the damaged rail.

Slide the post back into place and fill the dirt back in around the post and into the dug out hole. Pack the dirt around the post in with your feet to complete the repair.

Things You Will Need

  • Post hole digger
  • Replacement rail

Tip

  • Inspect your fencing routinely as you do yard work to make sure it is in good condition.

Warning

  • Wear work gloves to avoid getting splinters from the rough wood.

About the Author

Jonah Morrissey has been writing for print and online publications since 2000. He began his career as a staff reporter/photographer for a weekly newspaper in upstate New York. Morrissey specializes in topics related to home-and-garden projects, green living and small business. He graduated from Saint Michael's College, earning a B.A. in political science with a minor in journalism and mass communications.