Winter can be rough on your fence. As the frost leaves the ground and you start to wander around the backyard, you may notice that some of your fence posts have moved around.
Is your fence leaning? Are their sections snapped off or threatening to? Does your gate take heavy machinery to open? All of these conditions are a result of frost heaving the concrete around the post and doing a number on your fence.
With some sweat, a sledge and a shovel, you can fix these up before the summer hits. Here’s how.
1. Start by detaching the section from the post. Assuming we’re dealing with a wood fence, you can just zip off the nails all of the way down. If the section is screwed in place, give yourself a pat on the back. Removal is simple and should take only a few minutes with a power drill.
2. Once the section is off, dig out the fence post, concrete and all. Use the sledge to smash the old concrete off as much as possible. You can buy a new post too, if that’s easier.
3. Now turn your attention to the hole. You’ll need to clean it out and dig it deeper to get below that pesky frost line. A minimum of 42″ depth is needed, but going to 48″ inches won’t hurt. Clean out the hole well afterwards.
4. Set your post in the hole and fill with quick setting concrete. Using that will allow you to get the fence back up as quickly as possible and remove the need for anything temporary. While you have the concrete mixed and the energy to dig them out, you might as well repair any other heaved fence posts.
5. Make sure the new or reset posts are level and in line with the rest of the fence and re-attach the sections.
Now your posts are well set and should be able to resist the power of next winter’s frost.