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Old 03-29-2013, 07:24 PM   #1
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Sinking Fence Posts


We have a really nice four rail white vinyl fence surrounding our pasture. Any place the snow drifted, the posts have sunken and now a perfectly level fence looks a bit funny in places. Any ideas how I can remedy this?

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Old 03-29-2013, 07:35 PM   #2
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how old is the fence? Unfortunately, this is not going to be an easy fix..

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Old 03-29-2013, 07:37 PM   #3
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how old is the fence? Unfortunately, this is not going to be an easy fix..
We moved in last fall, but it can't be more than 4 or 5 years old. I popped the cap off the posts and there's no wood post, it's just hollow with the rails running through the slots.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:42 PM   #4
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We moved in last fall, but it can't be more than 4 or 5 years old. I popped the cap off the posts and there's no wood post, it's just hollow with the rails running through the slots.
Ok, well that less of an issue to figure out.. but just as labor intensive. No post means the fence has no real support. How set are you on making this a diy project?
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:47 PM   #5
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Ok, well that less of an issue to figure out.. but just as labor intensive. No post means the fence has no real support. How set are you on making this a diy project?
Well, I guess im open to doing it. Until I know what is involved, it's hard to say. Just wanted to get a feel on weather there's a fix or not.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:09 PM   #6
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I'm aware of there being vinyl fences that don't need the wooden post and can simply be put 3' in the ground and filled with gravel and concrete. However, the fact that its sinking means a bad install. The original installer obviously didn't know what they were doing. You shouldn't take the gamble, what if the post are not deep enough. It should come out and be redone.

This link from Lowe's should help you better understand whats involved in a traditional install.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:37 PM   #7
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I'm aware of there being vinyl fences that don't need the wooden post and can simply be put 3' in the ground and filled with gravel and concrete. However, the fact that its sinking means a bad install. The original installer obviously didn't know what they were doing. You shouldn't take the gamble, what if the post are not deep enough. It should come out and be redone.

This link from Lowe's should help you better understand whats involved in a traditional install.
I'm not looking at installing a new fence... Just to fix my current one. The fence is only about four feet high and the posts are 6x6. I'm guessing the weight of the snow pushed it down, which makes me wonder if it can be raised back up. Obviously I could rip it all out and install a new post but that seems a bit extreme given a few inches of sagging.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:04 PM   #8
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Regardless of height, your going to have to re-set your post, the only thing that changes is the depth in which the post need to be set. A fence shouldn't sink, period. I'm afraid I don't have an answer for you besides doing it right.

Good luck, and have a great day!
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Old 03-30-2013, 05:28 PM   #9
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Did you mean what you said, the posts are 6" x 6" (or 4" x 4"s)? Seems like if they are hollow something could be done to cut them off and than raise them back up.

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Old 03-30-2013, 10:23 PM   #10
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Did you mean what you said, the posts are 6" x 6" (or 4" x 4"s)? Seems like if they are hollow something could be done to cut them off and than raise them back up.

puttster
Yes...it's a 6x6 vinyl sleeve. The corner posts and gate posts are filled with concrete, but all of them, in between are hollow, or at least appear that way. I'd like to dig down a ways and find out if they are set in concrete or what, but e ground is a bit too hard yet.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:12 AM   #11
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http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...=post%2Bpuller

To late now but at least a shovel full of stone in the bottom of the post hole to allow for a firmer base or 2, pieces of rebar placed in holes that were drilled into the sides of the post would have help stoped them from sinking or raising.
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:54 PM   #12
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As a last ditch save you could sawzall the post bottoms, then insert a tight fitting board like a 2x6 and screw it in to the sides of the post. Let it stick out no further than you can separate the post halves. Then use a sleeve the same size as the top cap and some glue to help splice the post back together and cover the gap.

If it didn't work, though, you'd never get the post out with Joe's post puller.

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Old 03-31-2013, 05:07 PM   #13
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Have the posts sunken or have the other heaved up temporarily from the frost?

Snow is a great insulator and minimizes heaving in the winter. Without snow, the frost goes deeper and causes heaving.

I have seen frozen ground with -10F or colder for 2 months and the frost even went down only 6" because the snow came before the real cold. Other bare area (minimal or no snow), the frost went down about 5'. Cleaned plowed roads had about 10'of frost because of the exposure.


Mother nature may even out things after everything thaws and settles.

Dick

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Old 04-01-2013, 02:03 PM   #14
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Have the posts sunken or have the other heaved up temporarily from the frost?

Snow is a great insulator and minimizes heaving in the winter. Without snow, the frost goes deeper and causes heaving.

I have seen frozen ground with -10F or colder for 2 months and the frost even went down only 6" because the snow came before the real cold. Other bare area (minimal or no snow), the frost went down about 5'. Cleaned plowed roads had about 10'of frost because of the exposure.


Mother nature may even out things after everything thaws and settles.

Dick
They have definitely sunk. The rails are no longer parallel to the ground. I might price out what the posts (sleeves) cost and think about cutting it off and stabilizing as mentioned above. Other thoughts/ideas welcomed.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:23 PM   #15
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What are you measuring from? Some of the ground could have heaved. This is the time of the year where the maximum heaving is showing up. We just had a section of a county road heave up about 3'for 300' length when the soil moisture went up. Heaving comes from ice lenses that develop in wet soils and very often soil around/under structures and roads is not uniform, especially in the top 1 to 4' of if there are veins of granular soil that can carry water to a point or away from a point.

Just a possibility that I have seen many times.

Dick

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