Why Is My Fence Leaning? Answers from the Fence Repair Pros
A leaning fence is not only an eyesore, but it can cause safety issues. If you use your fence to keep people out of your yard or off your property, or to keep pets and children on your property, you need to get that fence standing upright again.
But before you can fix the problem, you have to know why it happened in the first place. While it’s most common for wood fences to lean, it can happen with vinyl fence, chain link, and even steel ornamental fence. Let’s take a look at the main causes:
- Shoddy or lazy fence installation
- Postholes not deep enough
- Fence posts not secured properly
- Fence posts rotting
- Warped wood pickets or panels
- Weather conditions
Improper Fence Installation Is the Biggest Cause of a Leaning Fence
Shoddy or lazy fence installation can result in a leaning fence within a year of installation. In most cases, this is because the installer (many times a DIY situation) didn’t dig the post holes deep enough. The taller the fence, the deeper the post holes need to be. For example, a 3’ fence needs holes about 18” deep, while a 6’ fence needs holes about 30” deep.
Most do-it-yourselfers don’t have the strength or proper equipment to dig holes that deep, and so they skimp. Big mistake. In addition, not securing fence posts with concrete and allowing it to cure properly can allow fence posts to move, allowing the fence to lean.
Rotting Fence Posts
Another common cause for a leaning wood fence is wood rot in the fence posts. This can happen over time due to rain and snow, or even a sprinkler that showers water on your fence. Wet weather conditions can also cause wood panels and pickets to warp over time.
How to Fix a Leaning Fence
Most homeowners and commercial businesses leave this kind of thing to a fence repair company like us. But if you’re feeling especially handy, and have the tools and the time to try and fix a leaning fence yourself, here’s how.
First, take a look at the fence posts themselves, paying special attention to the base. If the post is entirely rotted or cracking, you will need to replace it.
- Detach and brace the railings and wood panels attached to the post you need to replace.
- Dig up all the soil around the fence post base.
- Remove the post and concrete.
- Dig down to the appropriate post hole depth.
- Place the new post upright in the hole and use a level to ensure it is straight.
- Line up the new post with the other fence posts using a level and tie a string to each post.
- Pour a new concrete footing, making sure to slope the concrete away from the post to promote drainage.
- Reattach the wood panels and railings.
Fence Posts Not Deep Enough
If your fence is leaning because a fence post is not deep enough, chances are none of the posts are anchored deep enough. In this situation, there may be a temporary fix for one section of the fence, but you may want to look into replacing the fence. That’s easier than taking apart the fence, digging all new holes, and putting everything back together again.
For the best solution, you’ll want to consult with a fence repair/fence installation company. Most companies will offer a free assessment and give their recommendations. Then you can decide whether repair or replacement is the best way to go.
Schedule Professional Fence Repair in the Denver Area
If your fence is leaning and looks like it might collapse any day now, we can help. In addition to fence installation, we provide fence repair services to homeowners and commercial clients throughout the Denver metro area. It doesn’t matter if we installed your fence or not. We can help you with:
- Chain link fence repair
- Fence post repair
- Wood fence repair
- Vinyl fence repair
- Fence panel replacement
- Gate repair
- And more
For the fastest service, call us at (720) 418-8194. If it’s after hours, you can also use our contact form and we’ll get in touch the next business day.