How To Repair A Broken Fence Post
If your fencepost is wobbling or not staying quite as sturdy as it should, it’s likely you have a broken fence post. While this isn’t an easy thing to fix necessarily, it can be done at home without needing to call a professional. There will be a point that you’ll need to make a decision – should you repair the broken fence post, or replace it? DreamyHome is here to answer those questions and walk you through the repair, should it be needed.
To repair a broken fence post, you’ll need to remove the boards that are on the post, dig to the concrete, and replace the post and concrete. This is not easy, so call a professional if you can’t do this safely.
Now without further ado, let’s get to it!
Repair Vs. Replace
This is the first question to ask – should you repair or replace the fencing? Depending on how your fence is looking, you’ll need to make that decision for yourself. If multiple sections of the fence are drooping, you’ll want to replace it more likely than not with an entirely new fence. If, however, pressing on the fence post makes it only yield slightly (no more than a few centimetres), then you can likely replace a single fence post and solve the problem in a single day.
Now, how do you repair a broken fence post?
Let’s begin by looking at the fence post in question. Is it clearly rotted or askew? Then your question is answered – it needs repairs. Before beginning, figure out where the fence is on your property line. Depending on who owns the property, you may not be able to replace the fence. Here’s where to start:
If your fence is laid like most, it has a concrete base in the ground to which it’s attached. Rotting or not, you’ll need to remove the base and lay a new one. To begin, you’ll need:
- A shovel
- New concrete mix
- Access to clean water
- A new fence post
- Sledgehammer or chisel
- And either a hammer and nails, or a power drill with screws.
Now – to remove the concrete base, do the following:
- Remove any boards or parts of the fence attached to the fence post.
- This is where the pry bar comes into play. You can also cut it free, if you want.
- Dig roughly 30 cm deep, or until you can clearly see the entire concrete base. You’ll want to be able to wiggle the fence post and, eventually, lift it out.
- Remove the post and concrete, and break up the base with a sledgehammer. Throw out the old concrete and post.
Replacing the Fence Post
Once you’ve pulled all concrete out, it’s time to properly place your new fence post. Do the following:
- Ensure your post hole is deeper than your frost depth where you live. Too shallow, and your post will come right back up. You can use a post-hole digger, if you have one, to make this easier.
- Add roughly 10 cm of gravel to the hole’s base, tamping it down. This will allow it to drain water, and prevent wood rot.
- Place the new fence post in the hole, measuring the distance between the bottom hole of the post, and the bottom rail of your fence. Cut excess to ensure it’s flush with the rest of the fence.
- Reinstall the post.
Getting a Flush Fence, and Bracing
Place two fence panels (scrap wood or metal) on the post to ensure it stay upright where you’d like it. Now, it’s time to measure:
- Run a string line along your post. Use this to ensure your fence is straight before laying concrete.
- Use a level to ensure it’s plumb and aligned properly.
- Screw or nail in the posts and brace to ensure the fencepost stays where it should be – these will be removed later.
- Do this twice to make sure it’s entirely stable while you lay concrete, our next step.
Laying New Concrete
Now comes the fun part! And by that, I mean the part that will likely hurt your back and knees the most. It’s time to lay some concrete, baby!
- Mix your concrete in a wheelbarrow or similar container. You can even use a large bucket, if you’ve got it. A wheelbarrow just makes it easier to move.
- The concrete is done mixing when it’s roughly the consistency of extra-thick oatmeal.
- Use a shovel to evenly apply concrete around the post, making sure to have it as level as possible.
- Keep adding concrete until it’s where it needs to be in order to ensure stability.
- Taper the concrete at the top directed away from the post. This will help water to drain and prevent the wood from rotting.
- The concrete will set in roughly two days, sometimes earlier. Once it’s set, remove the braces and cover it with dirt, replacing the parts of the fence you had to remove.
Fence Post Repair – Gate Edition
If you have a drooping fence gate, there’s actually a much easier solution than the above, assuming the fence post isn’t rotted. You can buy anti-sag kits from most hardware stores that come with eye hooks, some cable, and a turnbuckle.
To repair the gate, do the following:
- Screw eye hooks into the corner of the upper hinge, and another at the lower, opposite side.
- Attach your turnbuckle and tighten it with the cable through the eye hooks. You can use a pry bar to help here, if it’s giving resistance.
- If the gate now swings too far, you’ll need to use either a hydraulic gate stopper/closer or just a piece of wood to stop it from swinging too far.
It is possible to repair a broken fence post. However, it’s a lot of work – so keep your limitations in mind. If you either don’t have the materials or physical capability to do the work mentioned above, this is where professionals come into play. There’s no sense in spending a bunch of money on tools just for this, especially if you’re inexperienced in fencing.
If you’re not comfortable with these steps, just call a pro. You get to sit back, make a drink, and let them do their job. And the best part? They’ll likely do it faster and better than you could.