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  • david04220

Fix a Vinyl Fence

A missing picket made this homeowner’s decorative vinyl fence look like it had a tooth knocked out. The pickets had originally been attached with no visible hardware, and that’s the way we wanted to keep them when repairing. This meant we needed to reattach the picket with adhesive. 

To make the repair, I sanded down all points of contact between the picket and fence rails using 80-grit abrasive to remove any old glue and grime. I measured between the adjacent pickets and marked the center point on the fence rails. I then marked the center point of the loose picket to align with the rail marks. The adhesive I used to reattach the picket successfully was Gorilla Glue Super Glue. The manufacturer recommends applying only one drop per square inch to the work area, so I did. I then positioned the picket and clamped it into place, letting the glue set overnight. The next day, the picket was firmly attached. Good stuff.

Sand all attachment points.

Be sure to remove old glue and grime.

Mark the center points for alignment.

Apply the adhesive.

Clamp the work piece firmly in place.

Let the glue set overnight.

Hurray, it worked!

CONFESSION BOOTH: My work here wasn’t as simple as it sounds, because my first attempt failed. I’m no expert on plastics, and white plastic of a certain thickness looks to me like PVC. So, initially I tried to make the repair using the PVC primer and PVC cement I had in my workshop. This method works well when joining PVC, but it ONLY works with PVC. On this fence, my efforts failed completely–the cement didn’t even get tacky. Evidently, I had misidentified the type of plastic; the fence was in fact not made of PVC. I only mention this here to save you folks some time and frustration, in case you were considering attempting the same thing for your fence.

WRONG: PVC primer and PVC cement work well when bonding PVC, but this fence evidently was not made of PVC.

WRONG: This attempt at repair failed, and I’m only including here so you can learn from my mistake.

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