Repair to fence posts

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Scott

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May 24, 2022, 7:56:02 AMMay 24
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My friend has a wooden fence with wooden posts about 10 cm x 10 cm. It
is not in great condition but she does not want to replace it as it is
a mutual fence for nine flats and the others seem unwilling to
contribute. We have secured any loose slats using screws (instead of
nails) and painted it using Ronseal.

However, the tops of most of the posts have either rotted inside or
been eaten into by the birds. Also, they are not level. I suggested
levelling them and fitting galvanised steel caps but my friend does
not want to incur this cost. She suggested pouring in cement. I
think concrete would be better. Wood filler would be too expensive
unless bought in bulk. One Strike would be expensive and I suspect
unsuited to outdoor use. I wondered about squares of plywood but my
friend thinks the birds would eat them too.

Any ideas for a low budget repair to some rotting fence posts?

Brian

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May 24, 2022, 8:25:43 AMMay 24
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They’ve rotted. The birds may peck at them but the rot is the problem.

Cutting corners won’t save money in the long run. Any porous filling/ cap
will simply delay the inevitable.

You could make caps from plastic milk bottles, if you aren’t fussed about
appearances. I noticed some like these on a walk. I looked liked they’d
just cut a few inches from a milk container ( 4 l I suspect) and fixed it
upside down on the end of the fence posts with a few roofing nails.


Andrew

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May 24, 2022, 8:38:40 AMMay 24
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On 24/05/2022 12:55, Scott wrote:
> My friend has a wooden fence with wooden posts about 10 cm x 10 cm. It
> is not in great condition but she does not want to replace it as it is
> a mutual fence for nine flats and the others seem unwilling to
> contribute. We have secured any loose slats using screws (instead of
> nails) and painted it using Ronseal.
>

The freeholder or management company should be making this decision.

> However, the tops of most of the posts have either rotted inside or
> been eaten into by the birds. Also, they are not level. I suggested
> levelling them and fitting galvanised steel caps but my friend does
> not want to incur this cost.

Level ?. Do you mean no longer vertical, so not in line ?
Could this be because they are rotting away at ground level ?.

> She suggested pouring in cement. I
> think concrete would be better. Wood filler would be too expensive
> unless bought in bulk. One Strike would be expensive and I suspect
> unsuited to outdoor use. I wondered about squares of plywood but my
> friend thinks the birds would eat them too.
>
> Any ideas for a low budget repair to some rotting fence posts?

Don't fill the indents with anything solid because you will
accelerate the problem. Buying a 5 litre can of Barratime solvent-
based wood preservative is one option. Just wait for a dry period and
fill the indent with this and allow it to soak into the end grain.

Before VOC2010 it was possible to buy solvent-based end-grain sealer
which would also have protected the tops but it all seems to be
water-based now and useless for older damaged or previously treated
timber.


You can buy proper wooden fence caps for 4 inch posts, but if there
a significant indentation at the top of the post caused by end-grain
water penetration then attaching caps might be tricky.

If they had been fitted with caps from new, then this problem
would not have occurred.

caps made of lead or zinc would keep the water out and slow down
the inevitable point where complete replacement is needed but
such material is vulnerable to theft.



Scott

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May 24, 2022, 9:06:59 AMMay 24
to
On Tue, 24 May 2022 13:38:35 +0100, Andrew
<Andrew9...@mybtinternet.com> wrote:

>On 24/05/2022 12:55, Scott wrote:
>> My friend has a wooden fence with wooden posts about 10 cm x 10 cm. It
>> is not in great condition but she does not want to replace it as it is
>> a mutual fence for nine flats and the others seem unwilling to
>> contribute. We have secured any loose slats using screws (instead of
>> nails) and painted it using Ronseal.
>>
>The freeholder or management company should be making this decision.

This is Scotland, where support of a majority of owners is needed. It
is clear this support is not forthcoming.
>
>> However, the tops of most of the posts have either rotted inside or
>> been eaten into by the birds. Also, they are not level. I suggested
>> levelling them and fitting galvanised steel caps but my friend does
>> not want to incur this cost.
>
>Level ?. Do you mean no longer vertical, so not in line ?
>Could this be because they are rotting away at ground level ?.

For some reason they have been cut at an angle (maybe to try to
prevent water ingress).
>
>> She suggested pouring in cement. I
>> think concrete would be better. Wood filler would be too expensive
>> unless bought in bulk. One Strike would be expensive and I suspect
>> unsuited to outdoor use. I wondered about squares of plywood but my
>> friend thinks the birds would eat them too.
>>
>> Any ideas for a low budget repair to some rotting fence posts?
>
>Don't fill the indents with anything solid because you will
>accelerate the problem. Buying a 5 litre can of Barratime solvent-
>based wood preservative is one option. Just wait for a dry period and
>fill the indent with this and allow it to soak into the end grain.
>
This will still leave a great big hole which seems to attract he
birds.

>Before VOC2010 it was possible to buy solvent-based end-grain sealer
>which would also have protected the tops but it all seems to be
>water-based now and useless for older damaged or previously treated
>timber.
>
>You can buy proper wooden fence caps for 4 inch posts, but if there
>a significant indentation at the top of the post caused by end-grain
>water penetration then attaching caps might be tricky.
>
>If they had been fitted with caps from new, then this problem
>would not have occurred.
>
>caps made of lead or zinc would keep the water out and slow down
>the inevitable point where complete replacement is needed but
>such material is vulnerable to theft.
>
My friend is disinclined to pay for caps on her own and is looking for
a cheap fix. What about squares of plywood? I suppose this might be
unsuitable outside.

Andrew

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May 24, 2022, 9:16:08 AMMay 24
to
Get a square of fine-mesh galvanised metal support from a
garden supplier. My local Mole farmers outlet sells a variety
of mesh sizes in sheets about 2x4 feet intended for plant support
or making rabbit hutches etc.

Cut these into pieces about 8 inches square and fit over the
fence tops, then bend down the overlapping edges, remove small piece
from each corner where is bends down and used the cut ends to make
a secure rim.

John Rumm

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May 24, 2022, 9:35:02 AMMay 24
to
On 24/05/2022 14:06, Scott wrote:

> My friend is disinclined to pay for caps on her own and is looking for
> a cheap fix. What about squares of plywood? I suppose this might be
> unsuitable outside.

WBP ply is fine outside...

Is there enough spare height to cut the posts off square at the top (to
make a conventional cap work better, and get rid of some of the rot?)

Any spare bit of tannalised timber can be made into a cap if you saw
some bevels on to the edges. I needed some small caps for 2x2 post, so
just chopped down an ofcut of larger fence post:

http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php/File:PPDinkyPostCaps.jpg

--
Cheers,

John.

/=================================================================\
| Internode Ltd - http://www.internode.co.uk |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
| John Rumm - john(at)internode(dot)co(dot)uk |
\=================================================================/

Animal

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May 24, 2022, 5:44:00 PMMay 24
to
On Tuesday, 24 May 2022 at 14:35:02 UTC+1, John Rumm wrote:
> On 24/05/2022 14:06, Scott wrote:
> > My friend is disinclined to pay for caps on her own and is looking for
> > a cheap fix. What about squares of plywood? I suppose this might be
> > unsuitable outside.

> WBP ply is fine outside...

No, it is not. I found that out the hard way. WBP is no longer a legally valid descriptor, if you see 'WBP' ply it's often in no way water tolerant.

OSB3 is water tolerant. (1&2 arent)

Chemical to stop rot & a cover might work for a while. Maybe. But if it's that bad its life is limited.

John Rumm

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May 24, 2022, 8:29:30 PMMay 24
to
On 24/05/2022 22:43, Animal wrote:
> On Tuesday, 24 May 2022 at 14:35:02 UTC+1, John Rumm wrote:
>> On 24/05/2022 14:06, Scott wrote:
>>> My friend is disinclined to pay for caps on her own and is looking for
>>> a cheap fix. What about squares of plywood? I suppose this might be
>>> unsuitable outside.
>
>> WBP ply is fine outside...
>
> No, it is not. I found that out the hard way. WBP is no longer a legally valid descriptor, if you see 'WBP' ply it's often in no way water tolerant.

Then it wasn't actually Weather and Boil Proof (EN636, Class 3) then was
it! (even if it was mislabelled as such)

> OSB3 is water tolerant. (1&2 arent)

Indeed, although it will swell a bit in thickness if left saturated IME.

Andrew

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May 25, 2022, 6:33:52 AMMay 25
to
On 25/05/2022 01:29, John Rumm wrote:
> On 24/05/2022 22:43, Animal wrote:
>> On Tuesday, 24 May 2022 at 14:35:02 UTC+1, John Rumm wrote:
>>> On 24/05/2022 14:06, Scott wrote:
>>>> My friend is disinclined to pay for caps on her own and is looking for
>>>> a cheap fix. What about squares of plywood? I suppose this might be
>>>> unsuitable outside.
>>
>>> WBP ply is fine outside...
>>
>> No, it is not. I found that out the hard way. WBP is no longer a
>> legally valid descriptor, if you see 'WBP' ply it's often in no way
>> water tolerant.
>
> Then it wasn't actually Weather and Boil Proof (EN636, Class 3) then was
> it! (even if it was mislabelled as such)
>
>> OSB3 is water tolerant. (1&2 arent)
>
> Indeed, although it will swell a bit in thickness if left saturated IME.
>
>
>

WBP? was used as security hoarding round a new house development near
me a few years ago. They gave it a coat or two of blue oil-based paint
and used uPVC fascia boarding along the top with the short edge over
the top of the hoarding. When it was all removed it was obvious that
the plywood was completely delaminating.

OSB3 edges will swell unless they are treated with end-grain sealant.
If you then expect to line up boards that have been exposed to a
variable amount of 'rain' then you will end up with 'steps' where there
is a join.

Years ago the stack of OSB could be spotted because all the edges
were green, sealed by the manufacturer, but they don't seem to do it
these days (and when I redecked my garage roof the only endgrain
sealer I could find was water-based).

Theo

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May 25, 2022, 7:02:15 AMMay 25
to
Andrew <Andrew9...@mybtinternet.com> wrote:
> Don't fill the indents with anything solid because you will
> accelerate the problem. Buying a 5 litre can of Barratime solvent-
> based wood preservative is one option. Just wait for a dry period and
> fill the indent with this and allow it to soak into the end grain.
>
> Before VOC2010 it was possible to buy solvent-based end-grain sealer
> which would also have protected the tops but it all seems to be
> water-based now and useless for older damaged or previously treated
> timber.

This stuff is 50-70% hydrocarbons according to the MSDS:
https://www.wickes.co.uk/Barrettine-Timber-Cut-End-Preserver---Clear---1L/p/254898
(Jacksons have a 500ml branded 'Jakcure' version)

Theo

Andrew

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May 25, 2022, 10:10:37 AMMay 25
to
"Specially formulated oil/spirit based preserver to protect cuts, drill
holes and notches in pressure treated timber and decking where untreated
wood is exposed."

So pressure-treated wood only does the outer layer ?. I thought the
timber went into a giant vaccuum vessel and the preservative
sprayed in while there is a vaccuum drawing it deep into the timber.

The stuff I am thinking off was either green or brown and used to
treat the exposed cut ends of rafters on roof structures that
have exposed timber ends.

Robin

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May 25, 2022, 11:15:26 AMMay 25
to
On 25/05/2022 15:10, Andrew wrote:
> On 25/05/2022 12:02, Theo wrote:
>> Andrew <Andrew9...@mybtinternet.com> wrote:
>>> Don't fill the indents with anything solid because you will
>>> accelerate the problem. Buying a 5 litre can of Barratime solvent-
>>> based wood preservative is one option. Just wait for a dry period and
>>> fill the indent with this and allow it to soak into the end grain.
>>>
>>> Before VOC2010 it was possible to buy solvent-based end-grain sealer
>>> which would also have protected the tops but it all seems to be
>>> water-based now and useless for older damaged or previously treated
>>> timber.
>>
>> This stuff is 50-70% hydrocarbons according to the MSDS:
>> https://www.wickes.co.uk/Barrettine-Timber-Cut-End-Preserver---Clear---1L/p/254898
>>
>> (Jacksons have a 500ml branded 'Jakcure' version)
>>
>> Theo
>
> "Specially formulated oil/spirit based preserver to protect cuts, drill
> holes and notches in pressure treated timber and decking where untreated
> wood is exposed."
>
> So pressure-treated wood only does the outer layer ?. I thought the
> timber went into a giant vaccuum vessel and the preservative
> sprayed in while there is a vaccuum drawing it deep into the timber.

It goes deeper than [most] other treatments but I've never seen any
producer claim it goes to the core of everything from a fence panel to a
250 x 250 mm post.

Also bear in mind that in English "where" can also mean "if".



--
Robin
reply-to address is (intended to be) valid

John Rumm

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May 25, 2022, 1:12:41 PMMay 25
to
On 25/05/2022 15:10, Andrew wrote:
> On 25/05/2022 12:02, Theo wrote:
>> Andrew <Andrew9...@mybtinternet.com> wrote:
>>> Don't fill the indents with anything solid because you will
>>> accelerate the problem. Buying a 5 litre can of Barratime solvent-
>>> based wood preservative is one option. Just wait for a dry period and
>>> fill the indent with this and allow it to soak into the end grain.
>>>
>>> Before VOC2010 it was possible to buy solvent-based end-grain sealer
>>> which would also have protected the tops but it all seems to be
>>> water-based now and useless for older damaged or previously treated
>>> timber.
>>
>> This stuff is 50-70% hydrocarbons according to the MSDS:
>> https://www.wickes.co.uk/Barrettine-Timber-Cut-End-Preserver---Clear---1L/p/254898
>>
>> (Jacksons have a 500ml branded 'Jakcure' version)
>>
>> Theo
>
> "Specially formulated oil/spirit based preserver to protect cuts, drill
> holes and notches in pressure treated timber and decking where untreated
> wood is exposed."
>
> So pressure-treated wood only does the outer layer ?. I thought the
> timber went into a giant vaccuum vessel and the preservative
> sprayed in while there is a vaccuum drawing it deep into the timber.

That is so, but it only penetrates consistently to a certain depth.
While certainly more than surface deep - by the time you are 10mm in you
will be back to untreated wood in many places.

This was a bit of tanalised 50x50 KD kiln dried sawn timber:

http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/images/9/99/PPExtendingRail.jpg

You can see the CCA penetration is much better on the newer growth rings
than the older ones. It managed to reach right to the centre at one
spot, but less much less at others.

> The stuff I am thinking off was either green or brown and used to
> treat the exposed cut ends of rafters on roof structures that
> have exposed timber ends.

Most spirit based wood preservers will wick up end grain nicely. You can
get special products for use on green timber though to slow down the
rate of water loss and control checking.
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