Last winter was tough on fences everywhere. Maybe your wood fence is leaning or the sections are beginning to bend and crack. If your fence posts have shifted up or to the side, it’s likely a result of frost heaving the concrete around the post.
A lot of homeowners find this a particular problem with wood gates. If your gate worked fine last season, but seems impossible to open now, your post probably experienced some heaving over the winter.
It’s time to call a pro to correct the problem. Or with some hard work and a friend or two to help you out, this can be a great DIY project.
First, detach the section from the post. If the wood was screwed in place, simply unscrew and lay it off to the side. If it was nailed (as is more common), cut the nails off against the post and remove the whole section.
Now it’s time to dig out the fence post. You’ll have to get all the way around the concrete and lift it straight out of the ground. Take a sledge hammer to the concrete and smash it off as much as possible. If you’d rather, picking up a new 4×4 is just as easy.
Clean out the hole in the ground. Make sure you dig it deeper to get below the frost line so that the same problem doesn’t happen again. Get at least 42” deep, but all the way to 48” inches in depth is better.
Once the holes are ready, set your post back in and mix some quick setting concrete. Use the quick setting brand so that you can get the fence back up as soon as possible, for safety and convenience. Repair all heaved fence posts at one time to get the best use out of the concrete mix (and those friends who offered to help out).
Check that the posts are level and in line with the fence. Finally, re-attach the sections.
Pat yourself on the back. You’ve tackled the frost damage yourself and now have a stronger, taller and straighter fence.