Ask a Tradesman
Fence loose, blowing in the wind
I've got a 10 foot fence in the back of my garden, and with all the wind lately it is loose. I've pinpointed the fence post that is loose, but I can't tell what's wrong. It's a big, thick timber post, and I'm assuming that it has been concreted in but I can't tell. For the time being I've tied the post to a tree, but I'm just wondering what the best approach would be for setting the post. Should it dig around it and pour some new concrete? I really don't want to take the fence down because it's huge. In general it's in good condition.
The first thing to do would be to dig using what us fencers call a "grafter" and "pincers"to the base of the post to establish if the post has rotted and snapped or simply not concreted properly.If it has rotted away then you have one of two choices,1;simply replace the post no matter how big it is and paint the new post in matching fence paint to the existing colour,that would be my prefered option.2;Put what we call a concrete godfather in the hole then bolt it,level the post then re-concrete using a semi dry mix,(a wet mix of concrete does get into every space but with a semi dry mix you can prod it into soft or loosened soil) and it will support the post until it goes of,even on a breezy day.If it has only been concreted at the top of the hole when it was first put in which people do surprisingly!we have come across a lot of corner-cut jobs over the years,simply dig all around the post to the bottom of the post and level and re-concrete.Problem solved! Rob
Answered 19th Feb 2011
2 possible resons. 1 check the post hasnt rotted at the bottom and snapped. if so it will have to come out and be renewed. or 2. lack of concrete and the hole is not square. if so dig round the hole alot bigger and make it square and flat then add more concrete. i personaly find making it really wet gets in all the gaps better and makes it stronger. and postcrete goes off in 15 minutes and easy to use. roy....just noticed someone adding dont use postcrete..theres a clue in the title of why its called postcrete.. and to use it PROPERLY..add water to hole empty the mix in the hole poke it alot with a batten add more water. walk away. ive just been to a house where i put up a fence 11 years ago and still solid..
Answered 19th Feb 2011
As above the post will either be rotten at the base where it meets the soil or soft ground. If it is soft ground we hammer in timber pegs in to the side of the hole to give the concrete something to wrap around and hold on to, this will prevent movement in the hole. We always replace rather than repair and always with at least a 100mm x 100mm class 4 hazard post, treated for in ground use. Repair spurs are not pleasant to the eye. We use postcrete but mix it in a flexi tub with an electric paddle mixer, this sets in 5 mins whilst holding the post in place. I wouldn't use this way if you are not used to using a mixer or working with postcrete. In 12 years we have never had to go back to a job. Always go a minimum of 600mm deep on 1.8m high fencing and any fence height below 1.8m, generally we dig a third of the fence height so 10ft / 3m would be a 1m hole. The top of the concrete you should come out of the ground slightly and slope it away from the post to prevent sitting water. If the concrete is level under the ground the water will just puddle and rot the post.
Answered 22nd Feb 2011
Hi, dont complicate things, if fence is rotten change it, if just loose then dig round it as deap as possible then concrete it colin.
Answered 20th Feb 2011
poor workmanship is all the way post rotting the best way and simple and cost effective and cheap will be to get depending on the post size 3" or 4" to get a concrete spur and 2 coach screws 2 squire washers any fencing shop will be able to help you
dig in front of the post that is damaged around 500mm if allowed and have the concrete spur into the hole attached to the wooden post and get a bag of post mix and have the spur fitted in concrete,make sure the spur goes with the 3 holes up standing and screw the coach screw into post and set it in level
even if the post are rotten or snapped the spur will hold the fencing in place and level
materials cost around £20
Answered 15th May 2011
Hi there. Just reading some of the answers there and to be honest, my opinion your post prob hasn't been dug down 600mm which is the common length you would digdown to. But in this case its a 10ft fence so i think digging down 750mm would be a good idea especially if its in a windy area. is the fence post 4x4 whitewood treated timber? if not i reccomend you use them. If the fence post has been concreted in and is solid at the base i would, to make life easier put a new post at either side this way it will be solid and you wont see them anyway as they are at the other side of the fence panels. Use postcrete as concrete is not reccomended as it takes longer to set and could move due to wind while setting. fill half your hole up with water add postcrete, mix it then fill other half up and mix it.
Answered 23rd Feb 2011
A 10 foot fence would definately be concreted in to hold all the weight, it seems the post and fence has been done to a high standard and concreted properly and with the weight of the fence, the post has no give in the wind and obviously has snapped at top of concrete. If post has snapped at concrete level you would either have to dig out post and concrete and replace with new timber post or you can break down one side of post and concrete in a 'concrete repair spur' which should be about 400mm above concrete level and they have 2 holes to bolt post to using i.e. coach bolts or timber locks, which are available from most timber yards. The only downside with this method is you see a concrete repair spur.
Answered 11th Mar 2011
Hi it could be several reasons why your fence post is wobbly there are several answers it could be the post is rotten or the ground around the concrete is very soft . Apart form replacing or pouring more concrete around the post you could buy a concrete repair spur which is a square length of reinforced concrete about 2-3ft long with two holes in, you then dig down the back of the post concrete the repair spur in and bolt this too the post. This is a great way of repairing feather edge post and rail fencing when the post are starting to rot. However it can be quite difficult to break out the concrete on the back of the post .I would always try to get the repair spur or any post a good 18 inches to 2 ft in the ground and if its 10 foot high fence 2 ft should be a minimum . If the repair spur is not long enough to go 2 foot in the ground then still dig tne hole as deep as possible but partially fill the hole with concrete place spur in hole and then fill up to ground level, do pour all concrete in one mix i.e dont allow tne first bit to dry out. Yours figjam
p.s. Don' t use post mix or any other dry mix. And it could be worth hiring a breaker also check rest of post.
Answered 20th Feb 2011
Would agree with all , you would need 2 -3 bags of post mix for a 12ft post
Answered 23rd Feb 2011
eithe the post has snapped below ground, in which case you would need to dig out existing concrete and then place new post in at about 800mm because of the height of the post. Also it would depend on the size of post you are using, i assume they are 4inch by 4 inch, which is man enough to support 10ft panels.
Answered 9th Mar 2011
Simple response....put your hand in your pocket and hire a real fence erector who will put it right, the right way, the first time!!!! Colin above has the right attitude. Do not use postcrete or a semi dry mix.
The best method for repair is to secure the fence then dig all the way around the post right down to the bottom and concrete it using 10mm or 20mm ballast and cement on a 3 to 1 ratio. If the post is rotten or snapped then a concrete godfather and 2 coach screws should be used if a new post is out of the question. You will probably encounter concrete when digging the hole, which should be extremely difficult to break, unless its a semi dry mix, which breaks up quite easily.
So to sum up, if you have not got a "grafter", a pair of "scissors" and possibly a breaker then call in a fence erector.
Answered 7th Mar 2011