Wood fences are beautiful and functional additions to any home, however from time to time certain repairs may be in order. These repairs could be caused by many factors, but often age is the main reason necessitating a repair. This article will briefly describe the repair of leaning fence panel.
Most of the time the cause of a leaning fence panel is due to a weakening of the main support structure of the fence: posts. Posts are what the 2x4s are nailed to and then the individual fence pickets are nailed to the 2x4s. If something happens to the stability of the fence post then the section of fence that is nailed to the post will begin to lean. Over time, due to the effects of weathering, the concrete that holds the fence post in place may come loose. At first this may not be noticeable but it will eventually lead to the fence post becoming loose and buckling under the load of he fence panels. Other causes could be related to flawed installation or accidents such as falling tree limbs or a vehicle hitting the post and causing damage. It’s also possible that if the post holes were not dug to proper depth or diameter the post could begin to lean even if the concrete is still firmly attached to the post.
Repairing a leaning fence panel is not a difficult repair, but it can be labor intensive. Below is a description of the steps involved in repairing a leaning a fence panel.
Step One: Assess the damage and determine how many posts need to be replaced.
Ocassionaly there will be more than one post that needs to be replaced especially if the problem has been allowed to worsen over time. Knowing how many posts will need replacing will allow you to plan for purchasing posts as well as concrete.
Step Two: Remove the panels that are connected to the damaged post.
Removing the panel from the damaged post will be necessary to allow access to the post and allow for its removal and replacement. A hammer and pry bar will work well for this but if you want to save time and effort using a reciprocating saw with metal blade will make this step much easier.
Whichever method you decide to use remove the panel where the end attaches to the damaged post and move the end of the panel a few feet from the post to allow for movement around the site.
Step Three: Dig the loose post out of the ground
This is the going to be the hardest part of the process. The tools you will need include: posthole diggers, iron bar, and a small chain if you have one.
Start by pulling and pushing on the post to determine how secure it currently is in the ground. With any luck it will be relatively loose and the back and forth movement will allow a little room to manuover the post. At this time you may be able to grip around the post and lift up removing the post from the concrete. It some concrete still adheres to the post try hitting the post from the sides with the flat, round end of the rock bar. This will break the seal of any concrete remaining around the post. If there is movement in the post but you’re still unable to remove the post try lying the iron bar on the ground and wrapping the chain around both post and the bar using the leverage to pull the post out of the ground.
Regardless of the method used to remove the post in will likely be necessary to do a little digging around the concrete with the posthole diggers to make room to free the post and concrete. Be sure to clean the hole of all debris and ensure the hole is to the proper depth and diameter.
Step Four: Set The New Post in Concrete
Now that you have the panel disconnected from the post and the hole prepared for the new post it’s time to set the then new post in concrete. The most important part of this process is to verify the proper distance from post to post. The new hole maybe be larger due to the removal of the old post and concrete. Since the original panel was built to fit the original distance between the posts setting the post with a longer distance will result in the panel not fitting the new opening. It’s worth the effort to ensure that the new post is set properly.
Now you are ready to set the post in alignment with the other posts and pour concrete around the new post. Allow enough time for the concrete to cure, follow instructions from the material used, and re-nail the panel to the fence. You should now have a fence row that is correctly aligned and no longer leaning. Congratulations!
As I mentioned before the repair is not very complicated, but it can be physically demanding and takes a little time if you are not familiar with the process or have the necessary tools to complete the project. If are in the Louisville, KY area and would like the repair completed by The Fence Guy of Louisville then simply call 502-389-0368 to schedule a free estimate.