Fence Sinking?

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Old 03-19-06, 11:16 AM
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Fence Sinking?

When I moved into my new home 7 years ago the fence had a nice little gap at the bottom (not sure exactly how much), but I have noticed that many (most) of the boards are now into the ground - not good of course. So, my questions are - how did this happen, and how should I go about fixing this as simply and permanently as possible.

Thanks for any help.
 
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Old 03-19-06, 01:24 PM
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Fence Sinking?

It is rare for something as light as a fence to sink into heavy soil.

You may have a build-up of thatch and grass that has changed the appearance and elevation. Evertime you fertilize, you create grass and roots the build up the ground level. - That is just Mother Nature at work.

Dick
 
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Old 03-19-06, 02:49 PM
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The rails sagged?

If the fence boards that are now touching (or buried in) the dirt are in the center of each span between the posts, that's probably what's happened. Or, maybe just weed eating or mowing over the years has blosn clippings up against the bottom of the boards that have now decomposed.
 
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Old 03-19-06, 06:49 PM
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Thanks to both of you for your reply.

It is not the grass as the fence is not anywhere near the lawn - I don't like lawn near fences because of the water issues, not to mention what a pain it is to deal with the maintenance. The rails are not sagging either and the boards are in the ground regardless of where they are. There are certain sections that are not like this, but as you move down the fence line they start to "sink", although I am not sure that is actually what is happening. I am on an acre lot so the fence is pretty long - maybe around 200 ft, which is maybe creating a heavier load? I am not sure if that is relevant though.

Do you think I should dig under the fence to create space - not what I want to hear because it would be a lot of work! But I would do it if it were for the best. Or could I move the rails up some using a jack? This would seem easier, but then the tops would be above the post and there is a cap running all along the top, which would be thrown off, unless I extend the top of the posts somehow.

Any ideas would be welcomed - thanks again for your time.
 
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Old 02-10-09, 11:17 AM
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Hi stormdog,

I've got a similar situation. I installed the fence/gate myself. The fencepost, 4x4 redwood set to an anchor in concrete, is sinking because the ground is settling where a trench was filled-in without adequate tamping. The fence has probably sunk about 3" so far.

I think I have a couple of options. One is to leave the concrete base where it is and reposition the post higher on the anchor. The other is to try and raise the base, perhaps with a couple of rock bars. In both cases I need to fill in and pack down the soil beneath which will be tricky.

Anyone have any other suggestions?
 
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Old 02-10-09, 11:34 AM
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dstke,

As you said, your post is sinking because the footing was set on loose soil. Raising the footing will work, but you'll have to remove it from the hole and put concrete (not try to tamp more loose soil) in the bottom of the hole. And if you can dig the hole down to native soil before adding the concrete, your odds of success will be all the better. As long as there is loose soil in the bottom of the hole, the footing is going to sink.
 
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Old 02-10-09, 03:46 PM
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lefty,

Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately, I think the post is right over the trench where the sewer and water lines are buried so I don't think I'll be able to dig down to native soil. I might be able to dig down to the bottom of the concrete, pry up the concrete with a couple of rock bars, put some rocks or gravel underneath, then try and get a couple of lengths of rebar underneath and into the sides where there is native soil.

Doug
 
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Old 02-11-09, 12:00 PM
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That's not a good place for a fence post! Is there anyway you can move it to get it off the top of the sewer and water lines?
 
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