Wood posts may lean or crack over time, leading to the need to repair them.
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No matter what style fence you have on your property, at some point you may need to know the basics of wood fence post repair. Each fence post bears vertical weight on it. The tension from the wire or board fencing puts a horizontal strain on it as well. As the elements wear at the wood, it eventually develops weak spots that you must repair.
Typically, you can complete a post repair project with tools you probably already own. You need a shovel to dig out the old post and set the new one. Handheld post hole diggers, or jobbers, are a useful tool to clean out the post hole to make it deep enough to set the new post. If you are setting the post in concrete, a wheelbarrow is handy for mixing and hauling the concrete to the location of the repair project. You also need a hand tamper, tape measure, level, hammer, fencing nails and fencing staples. If you are repairing a wire fence, you may also need a pair of wire stretchers or a come-along tool to help you re-stretch the wire. Wire cutting tools are also necessary. Handheld power sanding tools and saws may come in handy for repairs and finish work on wood fencing.
Assess the Problem
In some cases, it’s not necessary to remove the entire fence post to repair it. The post simply needs shoring up. In other cases, it’s a matter of straightening the post rather than replacing it. Both of these repairs are much simpler than digging up the wood fence post and replacing it. As you look at the damaged posts, you must also consider the type of post you are repairing. It’s much easier to take the wire or wooden boards off a line post to fix it than it is to pull out a gate or corner post to work on them because of the amount of tension placed on them to support the entire fence row.
If the fence post is leaning but doesn’t appear to have any other defects, dig away some of the dirt on the side of the post that has the most exposure. Pull the post back into position. Pack the dirt you removed into the area left open by realigning the post. If the post is showing signs of rot or other damage, but still appears to be structurally sound, attach a fence post bracket to it. These are specially-designed metal forms that attach to the side of a post to give it additional strength.
Complete Post Removal and Replacement
Digging out a post that’s set in a hole in the ground is much easier than pulling out one that’s been set in concrete. If the post has a concrete base, you must dig it out as well. Once the old post is out, set the new post in place. Placing a 2-inch layer of gravel in the base of the post hole allows drainage around the post which helps prevent decay. If you encase the post in concrete, take care to extend the concrete all the way to the top of the post hole. Slope the top of the concrete away from the post to allow adequate drainage.
About the Author
Denise Brown is an education professional who wanted to try something different. Two years and more than 500 articles later, she's enjoying her freelance writing experience for online resources such as Work.com and other online information sites. Brown holds a master's degree in history education from Truman State University.
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Brown, Denise. "Wood Fence Pole Repairs." Home Guides | SF Gate, http://homeguides.sfgate.com/wood-fence-pole-repairs-98849.html. Accessed 11 November 2019.
Brown, Denise. (n.d.). Wood Fence Pole Repairs. Home Guides | SF Gate. Retrieved from http://homeguides.sfgate.com/wood-fence-pole-repairs-98849.html
Brown, Denise. "Wood Fence Pole Repairs" accessed November 11, 2019. http://homeguides.sfgate.com/wood-fence-pole-repairs-98849.html