How to fix a heaving fence post

Written by aurora lajambre
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How to fix a heaving fence post
Frost heaves can push a fence post from the ground, damaging the entire fence if not repaired. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Frost heaves are the result of water freezing and thawing in the ground. When water freezes, it produces a pressure that pushes or "heaves" fence posts out of the ground. Heaving makes fence posts uneven, but this is an easy fix. Setting the fence posts correctly in the ground will fix your fence and prevent damage from frost heave.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Screwdriver, hammer or pliers
  • Shovel
  • Sledgehammer
  • Jobbers
  • Gravel
  • Quick-setting concrete

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  1. 1

    Detach fencing material from the heaving fence post. Disconnect wires if the fence is woven; unscrew privacy panels or pull out nails if it's a picket fence. Use pliers, a screwdriver or the back end of a hammer to remove connections without damaging fencing materials.

  2. 2

    Use the shovel to dig out the dirt from around the post. Remove dirt until the fence post is loose enough to pull from the ground.

  3. 3

    Evaluate the condition of your fence post. A wooden fence post that shows any signs of rot should be replaced.

  4. 4

    Knock off any concrete from the bottom of the post, using the sledgehammer.

  5. 5

    Remove loose dirt from the hole with the shovel or fencing jobbers. Fence posts heave when they are not set deep enough below the ground's frost line. Dig the hole 42 to 48 inches deep and make it wider at the bottom. Once the concrete holding the fence post hardens, the wide bottom will anchor underground so it won't heave again, according to the website Charles and Hudson.

  6. 6

    Pour 2 to 4 inches of gravel into the hole, then insert the fence post. Use the hand tamper or have a friend hold the post. Place a level on the post to ensure it is straight and in line with the other posts. Add an inch of dirt in the ground.

  7. 7

    Mix a batch of quick-setting concrete in a wheelbarrow. Fill the hole with concrete and use the trowel to build a slight mound around the post so water runs away from it. Let the concrete set for the recommended time specified on the product instructions.

  8. 8

    Reconnect the fencing material to the post with a hammer, pliers or power drill.

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