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How To: Fix a Fence Post

The elements can be harsh. We’ve all woken up one morning after a particularly stormy night to the fence scattered across the garden. Save yourself from paying for a whole new fence and repair the one you have… or used to have.

TIP: Always wear gloves to avoid splinters.

STEP 1

Start by detaching the fence panels from the damaged post, using a hammer or nail bar to help you. Ensure this step is done carefully, to reduce the risk of damaging any salvageable panels. You could use a hacksaw blade to cut the nails, then hammer them flat for safety, this is the best way if you want to recycle your fence panels.

If you have a gravel board, it could be nailed in. If this is the case, then repeat the process used for removing the panel. If the gravel board is screwed in, then simply unscrew the supports and pull away.

STEP 2

Once you’ve moved the panels to one side, you should begin digging out the damaged post. Using a builder’s spade, dig around the existing post and its concrete plug, then wiggle the post until it’s free enough to pull out.

Hillsborough How To Fix a Fence Post 

STEP 3

Once the damaged post is removed, use a tape measure and check the depth of your hole. The most common problem with damaged fences is that the post wasn’t initially dug deep enough into the ground. The depth of the hole is determined by the height of your post (above ground) divided by 3. For example, if you’re erecting a 9’ post (275cm), 1/3 of 9 is 3, so the depth of your hole should be 3’.

STEP 4

Next, lay down two plumb lines in order to ensure your new post is the correct height and in line with the rest of your fence. To set the first line in place, fix a piece of string close to the ground and to the front of your posts, stretching across the gap where your new post will go. This line will show you the inside boundary of your fence and will keep everything in line. The second is fixed across the top of your posts and will give you the guidance needed to set your new post to the same height as the rest.

STEP 5

With the plumb lines sorted, you can now put the new post in place. Check with the top line that your height is correct – if it’s not, you will need to dig or fill your hole accordingly until the post sits at the required height. Use your second plumb line to check the post is correctly aligned, and remember to use your spirit level to ensure the post is standing up straight in the centre of the hole.

Next, attach three supports to your new post positioning so it can stand without any assistance. Use three lengths of timber angled outwards, towards the ground.

Use your spirit level to check the post is vertical and upright, the wooden props help keep the post upright while the concrete, or Postcrete, is poured into the hole, surrounding the bottom third of the post.

Hillsborough How To Fix a Fence Post

Half fill the hole with water, then top up with the Postcrete until you’re almost at soil level. Postcrete comes ready to use so there is no mixing required, plus it dries quicker than concrete.

While the mix is still wet, use your spirit level to check the post is still vertical again.

TIP: Use a mask, goggles, and a pair of gloves.

TIP: The size and depth of your hole will determine how much Postcrete to use so check the instructions on the bag as to know how much it will make.

STEP 6

Just before the Postcrete has fully set, use a trowel to shape the Postcrete into a slight mound, sloping away from the base of the post. This will help to stop water collecting at the bottom of the post and avoid the post rotting.

Once the Postcrete has set (look on the packaging as manufacturers may vary), fix your panels back to the posts.

TIP: If you position your panels 20cm from the top, 20cm from the bottom and one in the centre of your post, you will have a secure fence.

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