A strong wooden post kelps keep a fence standing.
Maintenance is the key to the long life of your wooden fence, and you should inspect the fence at least once a year to find any faults.
Checking the posts is vital and if one is loose or split you may need to replace it.
Replacing a wooden post can be a simple task if you do it correctly; do it wrong, and you may weaken the structure of your fence.
A list of tips for replacing a wooden fence would include:
- Find the damaged ones.
- Remove it safely from the fence structure
- Extract it from the ground
- Dig the foundation again
- Fit the wooden post securely in the ground
- Attach the rails again
Let’s take a closer look at each point.
Find the damaged ones
If you are doing a replacement project, you should do it properly.
Walk along the fence and check each post. Shake and push them and get down on your knees to check for termite damage.
There is a good chance that you have more than one broken fence post.
Mark each damaged post as you find it.
A good tip here is that it will be cheaper to buy a bale of wooden posts, than to purchase them one by one.
Remove it safely from the fence structure
This may not be as straightforward as you may think.
You will need to take out all the screws, nails and clips connecting the rails to the post.
To prevent the loose rail doing damage to the structure you will need to disconnect it from the two posts either side of the damaged one.
You may need a willing helper to hold the rails while you disconnect them from the posts, to prevent cracking or splitting.
Extract the post from the ground
If the fence post is in concrete, you will need to take that out too.
Dig around the outside of the concrete, to loosen it from the earth.
Jiggle the post until you get the concrete and the post out from the ground.
You can dig out a post hammered into the dirt, but don’t break it if possible.
Secure the foundation
After removing the post, you should dig the hole again.
Clear out any loose stones or pieces of concrete.
The post will need to go about a third of its length into the ground, so make sure you go down deep enough.
Pour a good amount of aggregate into the hole, covering about a third of the depth.
Replacing the post
Paint the bottom of the post with a strong preservative, to protect it from rot when in the ground.
When ready shove it into the aggregate and keep it in line with the other posts.
To line the post correctly with the ones on either side of it, use a builder’s line.
The new post should be at the same height as the other ones too.
Use a level to ensure the post is standing straight and wedge it into place using small rocks.
Pour in the concrete when you are happy with how the post is standing.
Get your willing helper to hold it straight while the concrete sets. Scrape away any concrete that overflows and slope it away from the base of the post, to help the rainwater flow off into the ground.
Attach the rails
Wait for the concrete to set fully, about four hours should do it.
Apply a layer of outdoor caulk around the base of the post, in case the concrete contracts during cold weather.
Paint or stain the post, if you haven’t done so already.
Fit the rails into the posts either side first, and when ready screw or nail them back into the new post.
If you are thinking of doing some fence maintenance, then ask our experts for any tips.
We are only too happy to talk fencing and the upkeep of an existing fence.