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Is there any easy way to replace rotting wooden posts?

Is there any easy way to replace rotting wooden posts?


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Old 03-19-23, 08:08 AM
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Is there any easy way to replace rotting wooden posts?

I have a pretty long cedar fence with treated 4x4 posts. The fence is probably 15-20 years old and most of it is fine, but I am noticing a few of the posts that were exposed to dirt are starting to rot. One totally fell over a couple years ago because a tree limb that I didn't notice pushed it over, so I removed the fence panel from each side of the post, dug out the concrete, and put in a new post. That was a particularly difficult because it was on a slope and they used a ton of concrete in the hole! It worked though, but I am hoping there is a better way to start replacing the others as they rot. Any other suggestions for replacing individual posts without having to dig up the concrete?
 
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Old 03-19-23, 08:14 AM
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suggestions for replacing individual posts without having to dig up the concrete?
There really isn't any, they were not installed with the concept of replacement, you cant attach a new post to the section buried in the ground.

It's one of those jobs that just needs to be done a few per per year, after a few are done a process will be established.

When they are replaced make sure your putting the highest grade PT product available!
 
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Old 03-19-23, 08:27 AM
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Oh well, I guess you're right if I only do a couple at a time it won't be too bad. So is what I mentioned the best way to do it? Just remove the panel, put the post in, reattach it, and concrete so it is all back where it goes? How do those posts work now that have the metal pipe in the bottom? I guess on the other hand, I probably won't still be living at this house 20 years from now when they rot again!
 
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Old 03-19-23, 08:28 AM
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I don't know if this will help you in your situation but, for me, on my place, I have a 45 hp tractor. I'd put my gin pole (or you could use a draw bar) on the tractor, remove the screws from the fence to posts, dig around the post a bit, tie a chain around the post near the base, connect it to the gin pole & pull it out.
Be careful that the concrete doesn't catch the fence on the way out of the hole.
Set the new post, level & screw back in place, then pour concrete, then fill with dirt.
 
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Old 06-01-23, 08:56 AM
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I am finally going to get around to this and while there aren't any other bad ones, I do see some starting to rot so I may just do a few at a time. Before I start, I wanted to seek some advice. My thought is to remove the entire fence panel to the left and right of the post (or at least see if I can remove them from the post I am replacing and try to swing them away a little so I can dig out the post), dig out the old post and set the new post in the ground. Before I concrete it in place, what is the best way to make sure it is in the exact same spot so the existing panels will line up to it? Should I attach them first, or at least line them up and then brace the post and pour concrete? If I do it that way, I can really only do one at a time because if I remove multiple panels, I won't be able to line them up since they will be detached. And since right now the current posts are about 6'4" above the ground because they stick up a few inches above the top of the fence boards, I guess that means I need 10' posts because an 8' would only allow 20" in the ground, right?
 
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Old 06-01-23, 09:03 AM
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I do not use concrete for most posts. Instead position the post exactly where you want it then pack crushed stone in the hole around the post. I use crusher run which is everything from driveway sized stones down to dust and it packs very well. I position the post then add about 4-6" of stone. Then use a 2x4 or similar to pack the stone tightly. Then add another layer and keep repeating until the hole is filled.

Using compacted stone there is no bracing while you wait for concrete to harden. The stone drains water away so it minimizes future rotting of the post. And, if the post ever does need to be removed it's also possible to dig out the stone and re-use the same hole. It also has the benefit of allowing you to put in just a bit of stone to temporarily hold the post in place while you check it's position. Before compacting you can still move the post to exactly where you need it.
 
 

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