Saturday, 26 January 2013

Broken fences make what kind of neighbours?


The last storm we had brought a tree down in my back yard.  It came down across my back fence and seems to have snapped two posts at or below ground level.  What would be the cheapest way to repair this without having to take the fence all apart and replace it?  Thank you for your help,



Thanks for the question Pete,

It sucks to lose a tree to a wind storm, but its sucks worse when the falling tree causes property damage of any kind.  I know, I had one come down on my garage several years ago.

Well, you have a couple of options:  the easiest is to go to the hardware store and purchase what is known as a post mender.  This is a steel u-shaped apparatus that, driven into the ground beside a broken post with a sledge hammer acts as a kind of splint for the fence post. This repair is permanent but may not hold up to a lot of future abuse.

A better repair, slightly more labour intensive though, would be to “sister” the broken post with a new post.  This will require you to dig down beside the broken one about three feet or so and have access to the bottom of it.  Once down there, clean off the post and get a new post the same size, drill ½ inch holes through it every foot or so, and drop it in the hole.  Using some 6 inch x 3/8”  lag screws, screw the new post to the old one every foot or so all the way up. Back fill your hole and you should be good now for the life of your fence.  Be sure you cap the new post to protect it from rot.

Now you need to keep in mind that if the posts are breaking off below ground level, this probably is an indication of the woods deterioration from age and moisture.  You’ll want to properly assess the condition of all the fences component parts and determine a reasonable lifespan for the entire assembly before it becomes a safety hazard.

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