Spring Is Coming! (So Are Problems With Sagging And Raised Fence Posts)

Posted on: 29 January 2015

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It won't be long before spring is here and the ground will start to thaw, then freeze, then thaw...then freeze some more. By the time all the freezing and thawing is done, you may be looking out your window at a fence that no longer holds a nice even line. Some of your fence posts may end up sunken into the ground below the rest, and others may be sticking awkwardly in the air! If that happens, it's time to either repair or replace your fence.

The Cause Of The Problem

The basic reason that you end up with fence posts that are sunken or raised over time is that the water in the ground freezes into a solid when the weather gets cold, expanding its use of space. The ground contracts and pushes the fence post upward. Then, when the weather warms, the ice turns fluid again, allow the earth to contract, and the fence posts can sag.

In the process of expanding and contracting, the earth can squeeze on the fence posts from the sides and underneath, pushing them up. Or, the earth can just break away from the posts and let them sink. You tend to see more of this trouble if you live in an area where there is a lot of water run-off, and with old fences that have endured years of changing weather. Even a new fence can have problems if the posts weren't installed deeply enough.

Should You Replace Or Repair Your Fence?

If your fence is fairly new, you'll probably want to repair the fence posts and any damaged fence areas, rather than replace it. Fixing the fence posts usually requires digging the hole for the fence post both deeper and wider than before, and setting it with enough concrete or gravel around it to keep the ground from squeezing the posts up and down with the weather changes.

If your fence posts were originally set with concrete instead of crushed gravel, it can be really difficult to tackle this project on your own. The tension put on the fence by the misaligned posts can also damage your fence if you aren't careful. If you have more than one or two posts to fix, consider hiring a professional fence contractor to get the work done with minimum risk to the rest of your fence.

If your fence is older, has experienced a lot of neglect, and is showing more than one or two areas where the wood has rotted or the metal has rusted, consider replacing the fence altogether. Sometimes, shifts in the ground over time can cause what was once a good fence to become a dilapidated mess, and replacing it is quicker and cheaper.

A fence can be both a beautiful addition to your home and a practical measure to keep pets and children in, and strangers out. However, even one or two posts that are sagging or raised will pull on the remainder of your fence, damaging it as a whole unless you get the posts fixed quickly. Contact a fence contractor such as Hahn-AA Fencing and discuss your options to see if your fence is repairable, or if its time to replace it.