Wooden Fence

How to Fix a Leaning Wooden Fence Post – Step-by-Step Guide


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Whether its due to environmental factors or due to age, leaning posts can pose a problem in any type of fencing. Heavy rains and erosion are one of the topmost causes for leaning of the wooden posts in fences.

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you keep your wooden fence posts strong and upright:

Step 1: Analyze the Situation

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The first step in how to fix a leaning wooden fence post is to examine why it is leaning in the first place. The reason may be rotted wood at the base. The post may be wobbly if the ground beneath the post has given way and the post is moving in its hole. Some sort of external impact may also cause the wooden fence post to leave its position. In extreme cases, the post needs to replaced. But, with little knowledge, you can make the post upright in no time. Most of the times, the leaning posts require some earth work done at their roots.

Step 2: The Post Must Be Relieved from Pressure

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The important step in straightening and how to fix a leaning wooden fence post is to first free it from the rest of the wooden structure. In a chainlink fence, all you need to do is to remove the fencing clips and the cap of the post in order to free the post from the panel. In order to brace the wooden panels, you will need few 2 by 4 by 8s. This will provide strength to the entire panel. These braces should be attached to both sides of the fence and should be staked to the ground. After this, pry off the metal stringers gently from the fence.

If you are working in a tight condition or do not have access to the other side of the fence, then you can remove pickets from just the sides of the post. Here, you can use your 2 by 4s in order to create temporary posts on both sides of the fence.

Step 3: Excavate Around the Root of the Post

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This is the hardest part in your journey of straightening and how to fix a leaning wooden fence post. At the beginning when you properly set the post, a large chunk of concrete gets left behind at the base of the post. The goal is not to break off or to uproot a large chunk of concrete stone. But, you need to excavate around the root of the post. You need to excavate at a depth of 2 feet and around 18 inches from the root of the post. The aim is to dig out enough concrete so that the wooden fence can stand strongly and is properly braced.

A level should be used. This will ensure that the post is in vertical position. A light test-fit of he fence panel should be done before making the final decision to make sure that the fence will stand in the right place when the digging work is done.

Step 4: Fill the Hole Back

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To make sure that the leaning wooden fence post is properly put in its place and stays there, you need to backfill the hole that you dug. There are many options from which you can choose how to fill the hole back in. If you manage to have dry and rocky soil then you can mix small gravel and wet sand in equal proportions. Then, pack it tightly and heavily into place. You must not remove your brace post at once. They should be left in there position for a few days until the posts are secured and the base of the post becomes dry. You can reinstall your face panel even after days if you leave the brace posts in their place.

For a more dependable and strong remedy, you can use fast-setting concrete. Pour the mixture directly at the root of the post. Pour the mixture in the dug hole and around the wooden post. Next step is to pour a gallon of water into the base of the post. Pour the water until the concrete fully absorbs it. The concrete will take a time from 40 mins to an hour to set properly. After that, within a period of 4 to 6 hours, you can reattach your fence panel.

What Other Remedies You Can Try?

You can provide a good range of products in your home improvement store that will aid you a lot with the problem of how to fix a leaning wooden fence post. These products may also help you in handling a tight post.

Here is a list of tools that will be of great help in this situation:

  • Steel Wedge: A steel wedge is a good solution if your wooden post is loose at the base and is rocking around the concrete footing at its root. The wedges can be driven between the concrete footing and the post to straighten a wobbly or leaning post.
  • Straps: Straps are of great use when you need to suddenly and urgently how to fix a leaning wooden fence post. They provide a temporary solution to the problem. They save you the hassle and are very easy to install.
  • Heavy-duty Bracket: A heavy-duty bracket comes of great help if you can access the post only from one side of the post. It is a very strong remedy for leaning wooden fence post and provides a durable solution to the problem.

It is better to replace the leaning wooden fence post at an early stage. This will help you to keep the original structure of the entire fence in place along with saving you the trouble of buying and installing a new post. With some knowledge and tools, you can easily fix a leaning wooden fence post. Fixing the fence posts regularly is a good habit to keep the fence panel in a good condition. A properly organized fence not only looks beautiful but it also ensures that the area for which they are meant is well protected.