Here at A-1 fence we often get calls from customers wanting to know how to fix a leaning fence. We’re happy to do this project for any of our customers, but we also recognize that some people will want the satisfaction of doing the project themselves.
Here is a relatively easy fix that you can use, even if you don’t have access to the neighbor’s side of the fence. If you do have access to both sides of the fence than the repair can be even more successful.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A mutt, which is a tool for mixing and leveling concrete.
- Fence-post concrete.
- Fence mender metal supports, one for each post.
- A shovel.
- A hammer.
- A power drill.
- Deck screws.
- A drill bit that matches your deck screws.
- Safety goggles.
- Safety mask.
- 6 foot long 2 X 4.
- Sturdy rope.
You’ll want to start by clearing the ground around the fence posts. You want to get a good look at what’s going on.
The fence posts are where the leaning is actually happening. They may be rotted or trying to snap apart.
You’ll want to scrape down there until you can see the state of the concrete. Chances are good that you’re going to have to go ahead and repair and reset the concrete.
If you don’t find concrete or if it looks like you’ll need to replace the concrete dig a six inch hole around the fence post. If you can do it on both sides you’re ahead of the game, but don’t worry if you can’t. You can usually set the fence from your own side.
Note that if you can’t reach your neighbor’s side of the fence you probably have a boundary fence to begin with. That means part of the responsibility for the fence’s upkeep falls on your neighbor. See this post for how this reality can effect both the costs and the labor involved.
Next, you’re going to want to level the area inside of the hole as much as possible so that you can hammer in your fence mender. You want to hammer that in straight and tall, in the position where you want the posts to eventually stand.
Next, you’re going to use rope to pull your fence straight again. Your posts should now be resting snugly against your metal fence mender.
Tie off the rope and use a 2 X 4 to prop up the fence, giving it extra support while you work.
Now you’ll need to drill your deck screws into the fence mender to secure it to the fence post.
Once all of your fence posts are secured with your fence menders you’ll need to pour the concrete. You need to make absolutely sure that three things are happening here:
- That you’re using fence post concrete which is rated for this task.
- That you have read and understood all of the instructions.
- That you are wearing your safety goggles, mask, and gloves while handling concrete, because it is toxic.
Fill up your 6″ hole with concrete and mix it with water until you have something that is roughly the same consistency as pancake batter. Let the concrete set and dry.
When the concrete has dried you should be able to remove the ropes and the 2 X 4. By then the fence should be standing straight and tall.
Here’s a video from the Weekend Honey Do List which shows this entire process in action. They have some additional challenges because they have a tree putting pressure on their fence.
Please note that you should only attempt to repair a leaning fence if you are feeling very confident in your skills. If you feel timid or nervous about any DIY project it’s safest to turn it over to a professional.
A-1 Fence has been fixing and repairing leaning fences in Bayside, West Bend, Port Washington and the rest of the Milwaukee metro area for over 35 years. Call us today for a free estimate.
The only step here I am not comfortable with is the 2×4 prop. How exactly is propping the fence in the direction of the lean helping? Wouldn’t that encourage the fence to continue leaning in that direction?
Can a 6 ft vinyl fence, with vinyl posts be repaired ? Posts are leaning.
This is a great guide for repairing leaning fences. It’s important you noted to use fence post concrete too, many people make the mistake of thinking all concrete works the same. Couldn’t be further from the truth.
For mating the wood I prefer to use ring shank nails. How do you think the deck screws you recommended compare to those? By the way, those before and after pics look awesome!
The Fencemender product is just what I need – can I buy it in UK. If not, do you ship overseas and if so, how much would it cost.
When your paling fence is basically in good condition with only a slight lean and a couple of rotted posts, don’t replace the whole fence, just support the posts.
Dig a narrow, 600mm-deep hole in front of the rotted post. Order a 50mm-diameter pole that is at least 500mm longer than the fence post. Mark in two bolt holes so you can bolt the steel to the old fence post. Add a third hole 200mm up from the bottom for a cross bolt to anchor the steel in the concrete. Mark the hole centers with a center punch, then drill holes with a 5mm bit, followed by a 10mm bit. Spray the holes with cold galvanizing paint to protect the steel against rust. Insert a bolt in the bottom hole with equal lengths either side of the pole; hammer it so it is bent at each end. Clamp pole to the timber post so it is slightly higher than the timber, to fit a 50mm cap on top. Feed a long 10mm auger bit through the holes in the steel and drill through the fence post. Secure with a bolt, washer, spring washer and a nut. Repeat for the bottom hole. Add cap on top.