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How To Fix A Leaning Privacy Fence

by Zachary Drumm on Aug 23, 2019

The privacy fence is the holy grail of suburban living. Most families work for years, saving their funds until they can afford a yard with a privacy fence.

Privacy fences are not cheap. Even if you install it yourself, the wood is costly, and the time investment is high, requiring several weekends of work.

The best bet is to buy a home that already has one installed. While privacy fences cost a lot to install and increase the sell ability of a house, they don't add a lot to the home's selling price.

When you buy a house with the fence already installed, the fence comes along as a nearly-free upgrade.

Of course, any existing fence is not going to look as new as the day it was installed. They weather quickly and, depending on the quality of the installation; they may sag or warp.

An easy fix for appearances save is to pressure wash the fence and spray it with a protective stain. This will slow any weathering while providing your fence with a fresh, new, look.

Leaning fences are a common problem for homeowners. In rare cases, high winds have overcome the fence and pushed the fencing over. On the west edge of town, there is a new subdivision that gets the brunt of every storm. There isn't a straight privacy fence in the entire community.

However, most leaning fences are a result of rotted boards or poor concrete.

Here is how you fix it.

Option #1: Use The Existing Support

Ideally, the vertical posts will still be usable. There are few things in life that are as frustrating as digging a new posthole.

If you are dealing with a situation where the cross members or pickets have rotted, but the vertical supports are fine, then simply invest in replacing those pieces.

If might require you to disassemble and reassemble a section of the fence, but it is an easier task than spending all day digging a couple of post holes.

Most fences are held together with nails. Our recommendation when repairing a damaged portion is that you perform the repairs with screws for added reinforcement. An impact driver allows you to drive the screws quickly, even into hardened 4x4 lumber.

Option #2: Add new Posts

If your vertical supports are wobbly, there is no alternative: you must install new posts. (Note: Before digging new holes, be sure to contact the proper authorities to make sure there are no buried cables that you might strike.

The challenge with digging new post holes is that your post hole diggers require some space to operate. There is no way to use them in close proximity to the fence without removing the old fence.

There have been suggestions to use a crowbar to dig the hole. This could work, but sounds even more arduous than using a posthole digger.

An easier method is to dig the hole about 2 inches away from the fence with a posthole digger, and then use a metal strap to bridge the gap.

After you get the hole about 2 feet deep, add the 4x4 post, and use a quick setting concrete to secure it. Using a level, ensure that the post is vertically level and allow it time to cure.

The next day, attach one edge of the metal strap to the fence. Working with a partner and some extra boards, you can force the fence into an upright position. The other end of the metal strap can then be attached to secure the fence into the upright position.

Fixing a leaning fence is an easy weekend task that increases the sellability of your house and prevents a total fence collapse.

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