How to Repair a Broken Or Leaning Wood Fence Post

How to Repair a Broken Or Leaning Wood Fence Post

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As a pro handyman I’ve completed lots of fence repairs of all kinds.

Here I’m going to show you exactly how to repair a broken wood fence post with the fastest and most effective method invented so far.

How do you know if your wood fence post is broken?

If your fence is leaning or moving several inches when the wind blows, it’s likely that you have at least one broken fence post. You can also go up to the fence post and push on it with your hand. If the fence moves more than an inch either way, it’s probably broken.

In some cases the concrete footing is just loose, but that is rare. Nine times out of ten the fence post is broken. You can easily find out by digging down a couple of inches until you see the concrete footing that holds the fence post.

In the image below, you can see a fence post that is not broken sitting in the concrete footing.

Concrete fence post footing

Tools and Materials For Repairing Fence Posts

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Parts and Materials

  • Simpson Strong-Tie EZ Mender (Metal Fence Repair Bracket – Can be found at Home Depot)
  • 2 1/2″ Exterior Wood Screws
  • 3 1/2″ Exterior Wood Screws
  • 2″ Exterior Wood Screws
  • Additional Fence Boards (Only if they are broken)
  • Wood Shims

Tools:

  • Cordless Drill (I like this one)
  • 3 lb Mini sledge hammer
  • 10lb sledge hammer
  • Framing Hammer
  • Circular Saw
  • Drill Bits (3/16″ and 1/4″)
  • Gloves (here are the ones I like)
  • Pry Bar
  • Nail puller (optional but nice)

How to repair a broken fence post in thirty minutes or less, step by step.

You could remove the entire fence post and concrete footing, but that takes way too long. There are easier ways to fix your fence post which I demonstrate in the video above and text below.

Instead, we’ll simply use a metal bracket called an EZ mender. The total project time will be between 30 minutes and 2 hrs depending on your skill level.

Step 1: Remove the Fence Boards around the Post

Using a framing hammer and pry bar, remove the fence boards that are close to the broken fence post. I typically remove 5 or 6 fence boards which gives me just enough room to repair the fence post.

Step 2: Separate the Fence Rails from the post

The fence rails are the horizontal boards that connect the fence posts. Remove the screws or nails that are connecting the fence rails to the post on one side of the post only. This will allow you to move the rails out of the way to install the metal fence bracket.

Step 3: Find the Concrete Footing

Dig down (usually 2-4″) until you reach the concrete footing. Clear the dirt and rocks away from it until you can clearly see where the post sits in the concrete.

Step 4: Hammer in the EZ Mender

Now that you can see the hole in the concrete, insert the tip of the EZ mender into the concrete and hammer it in with a 3 lb sledge hammer. Make sure to position the EZ mender so that the larger cross-section is perpendicular to the fence line. This will ensure the strongest repair and a rigid fence.

Expect to hit the fence mender between 30 and 100 times before it is seated all the way in the concrete. You’ll know it’s deep enough when the tip of the small bump on the EZ mender just touches the top of the concrete footing. (Watch the video above for visual)

Step 5: Attach the EZ mender to the Post

Using 2 1/2″ exterior wood screws, Secure the EZ mender post repair bracket to the post. There are pre-drilled holes already in the EZ mender.

Step 6: Re-attach the Rails to the post

Now that the post is solid again, re-attach the fence rails to the post using 3 1/2″ exterior wood screws. You may need to cut a quarter of an inch off of the bottom fence rail to make room for the EZ mender. You also likely need to pre-drill some holes in the EZ Mender to attach the bottom rail to the post.

Step 7: Re-attach the Fence Boards

Now, either nail or screw the fence boards back into place to complete the installation and you’re all set!

You should expect to get at least 10 years from this repair. Despite many people hating on this method, it’s very effective.

In some cases the EZ mender will break the concrete footing. If that happens, then you’ll need to remove the concrete footing and install a new fence post as shown in this tutorial. However, it’s always worth trying the EZ mender first because it can save you so much time.