How to Strengthen Fence Posts

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Things You'll Need

  • For wood reinforcement:

  • Shovel

  • Two 2x4s treated with moisture-resistant preservatives (length will vary depending on your needs)

  • Eight 3-inch wood screws

  • Electric screwdriver

  • For sleeve reinforcement:

  • Shovel

  • Metal sleeve

  • Sledgehammer

  • 10D nails

  • Hammer

Tip

The metal sleeve is designed to fit between the rails and the post, so no need to remove the rails. You can add concrete after installing the metal sleeve if you feel like the old concrete is inadequate. If the post has no concrete, you can still use the metal sleeve to reinforce rotting wood before adding concrete. You need to dig a sufficient depth to support the post, depending on its heighth, to add concrete. On wood reinforcement, you may need to dig out one side first before determining how long the 2x4s need to be.

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A leaning fence is a sure sign that one or more posts need to be strengthened or reinforced. If the wood is completely broken or if the concrete is cracked or less than 3 inches thick, the post will need to be replaced. Otherwise, you can use wood reinforcement if the post doesn't have concrete or you can reinforce the post with a metal sleeve if the post is rotting or cracked.

Wood Reinforcement

Step 1

Dig 6 inches below the bottom of one side of a fence post that is leaning using the shovel.

Step 2

Attach a 2x4 to one side of the post using four wood screws and the screwdriver. The top of the new 2x4 should be at the bottom rail of the fence and extend to the bottom of the hole.

Step 3

Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the other side of the post.

Step 4

Straighten the fence, fill in the hole and compact the soil. Make sure the post remains straight.

Sleeve Reinforcement

Step 1

Dig with the shovel to expose the concrete at the bottom of a post that is leaning.

Step 2

Drive the bottom edge of one side of the metal sleeve to wedge it between the fence post and the concrete using the sledgehammer.

Step 3

Pound the sleeve to rest vertically against the wood. Make sure the bottom edge of the sleeve stays wedged in the concrete.

Step 4

Nail the sleeve into the post with the 10D nails using the hammer.

Step 5

Repeat steps 2 through 4 for the other side of the post with the other side of the sleeve. Straighten the fence and replace any dirt removed.

references

Darin McGilvra

Darin McGilvra is a writer in Southern California. He has been a writer since 1997. He worked as a sports writer and copy editor for newspapers for more than 12 years before becoming a freelance writer. His articles have appeared recently in "The Californian" newspaper in Temecula, Calif. McGilvra holds a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics education from Northwest Nazarene College.