Easiest fix for this problem?
1. Remove the old damage fence boards. Easiest to do a whole section at once.
2. Remove excess dirt and earth from the fence line. Earth movement caused by water can be a challenge. You will often need to remove dirt and re-slope the yard to provide a relief gap under the fence.
3. Measure and cut replacement boards. Plan for about an inch gap under the fence. By leaving the gap you will help prevent future water damage to the wood. This will help avoid premature rot of the replacement boards.
Ever hear the advice to keep dirt away from the bottom of your fence boards? There is definitely a reason to keep a clear space for any piece of wood that is close to the ground. Dirt and earth in contact with the bottoms of fence boards are a perfect place for water and moisture to be in prolonged contact.
Any kind of wood in prolonged contact with moisture will eventually rot. The fence boards in these pictures had their ends buried in the dirt for the past few years. The moisture retained in the dirt has been slowly rotting away the ends.
This fence section is fairly damaged and the affected boards need to be replaced. To prevent future damage, the homeowner should keep a clear space between the bottom of the boards and the earth. The easiest solution is to raise the replacement boards up by an inch or so on the rails. Alternatively the dirt could be removed and sloped away from the fence line. By keeping a clear space under the boards, water contact is kept to a minimum and the fence will last a lot longer.
Brian Jovag, owner of Jovag Home Inspection.