Stabilize a Leaning Fence
Use a steel wire to stabilize a leaning post and prevent further damage to your fence.
A fence is only as strong as its posts. Once a post begins to lean, gravity pulls it along and the problem only worsens until it gets fixed. And the more a post leans, the more stress it puts on the surrounding rails and pickets, distorting the shape of the fence and causing structural damage.
The quick fix shown in this article will stabilize the fence post and prevent further damage until you have the opportunity to make a more permanent repair to the base of the post.
In our case, the ground on the outside of the problem post sloped downhill, so the post had more support on one side than the other. When a mid-winter thunderstorm generated some remarkably strong straight-line winds, the gales rocked the post back and forth and loosened it from the surrounding concrete and soil.
The day after the storm, the fence post was leaning dramatically toward the outer downhill slope, along with the surrounding fence boards.
To salvage a fence in a situation like this, you should address the problem post as soon as possible.
Step by Step
The winds of a thunderstorm left this fence post leaning drastically to one side, pulling all the fence boards along with it.
To use the steel-wire method, you’ll need wire clips, steel wire, a turnbuckle and a couple of lag-screw eyes. For outdoor use, choose stainless steel components and vinyl coated wire.
Loop the steel wire through the eye of the turnbuckle and turn it back about 4 inches.
Unscrew the two nuts from a wire clip to disassemble the clip. Clamp the doubled wire between the clip’s saddle and U-bolt.
Replace the nuts on the clips to secure the wire to the turnbuckle. Use two wire clips at each connection, and remember never to “saddle the dead horse.” (See Side Note 1)
Extend the turnbuckle’s eye and hook by unscrewing the threads.
Predrill a pilot hole for the lag screw eye at your mounting point. The mounting point must be stable and secure. I used the base of the next fence post as the mounting point, and screwed in an eye close to the ground. Mount the eyes on the opposite side of the post from the direction in which it is leaning.
Insert a second lag screw eye near the top of your leaning post. A screwdriver makes a good handle for screwing the eyes in place.