Home Improvement / June 7, 2018
Fencing in your home’s yard with a wooden fence provides many benefits, from preventing pets and little ones from wandering off, to shielding you and your family from prying eyes. An attractive fence is an excellent addition to your home and property which can add to its value –providing it’s well-maintained.
The downfall of wooden fences is that they’re more vulnerable to moisture and insects than other fencing materials, which means that at some point you’ll be in need of fence post repair. Last month, we covered how to repair loose and damaged rails and leaning posts, as well as how to replace rails that are damaged beyond repair. This month, we’d like to share a few more tips specifically for post repair or replacement.
If you have a fence post that is still fairly straight but seems a little rickety, the wood could be shrinking inside the concrete footing. If the concrete is still in good shape, the post can be temporarily reinforced using shims placed around the bottom of the post and secured with exterior silicone caulking. For posts that don’t have a concrete footing, they can be braced with a sister post, which is a thinner post of the same width. The sister post should be driven into the ground next to the current post to a depth of 2-3 feet, then the two posts can be secured together with bolts. Or, for a more permanent solution, go ahead and add a concrete footing around the post.
Due to their exposure to moisture in the ground, wood fence posts often rot underground, near the footing. For posts such as these that are beyond repair, replacement is the only option. Start by separating the fence from the post you’re replacing, then dig a semicircular hole on one side of the post, making it wide enough that you’ll have enough room to swing a sledgehammer and break up enough of the old concrete footing to lift the post out of the ground. (Safety tip: Make sure to use gloves and protective eyewear during this step). Place the new post in the hole and begin pouring the new footing. The best way to prevent future wood rot is to pour the footing so the concrete extends a few inches above the ground, with sloped edges that will enable water to drain away from the post. This is not the most aesthetically pleasing option, but it is more likely to prevent you having to replace the post again in the near future. It’s also a good idea to brace the post while the new footing cures to keep it level and plumb.
Fence repair is fairly simple and straightforward, but it can also be hard, tiring work. If you don’t have the time, energy or patience to take care of fence post repairs on your own, just call in a craftsman from Handyman Connection. How do I find a handyman near me, you ask? Just give us a call at 1-800-88-HANDY, and we’ll have someone on the job as soon as possible.