How to Fix a Leaning Metal Post in Concrete

How to Fix a Leaning Metal Post in Concrete

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Even the most durable fence systems do need some maintenance to keep performing and looking their best. If you discover that one or more metal fence posts are leaning, it may be possible to fix them rather than replace them.

Let’s take a closer look at how to fix a leaning metal post in concrete, as well as situations where this might not be possible.

Inspect the Post Carefully

Before you try to fix a leaning metal post in concrete, you should inspect it carefully. Sometimes, posts are leaning because they are damaged or broken, especially if they are leaning because your fence was hit by a vehicle or similar.

Sometimes, this kind of damage happens low down on the post, right above the concrete footing.

If you do see damage near the base of the post, it may not be possible to straighten it. Even if the post is bent, once it has been deformed, and depending on the type of post and steel wall thickness, trying to straighten it may damage it more.

If your fence post looks like the one in the picture, it’s a good bet it can’t be saved. But sometimes, the damage isn’t as visible, so if you can, try to wiggle the post and see if it moves. Posts that are securely embedded in concrete shouldn’t move, so that’s another clear sign that your post can’t be saved.

If you can’t see any damage on the post itself, you can move on to the next steps.

How to Fix a Leaning Metal Post in Concrete That Has Settled

One of the most common reasons for fence posts that haven’t been physically damaged to lean is that they’ve been installed on poorly compacted soil.  

Over time, and with the help of the elements, dirt will naturally start to settle and become more compact, and that doesn’t always happen evenly.

That means that one side of your post may settle more than the other, and that’s why your post is leaning.

The best way to fix this type of situation is to excavate on the side that’s lower down and then use well-compacted fill to get the post into the position you want it to be in. This could be a mixture of gravel and soil, more concrete or something else. The goal here is to ensure that the soil you’ve replaced or added to won’t settle again.

How to Fix a Leaning Metal Post in Concrete with Stays

Another option that you might consider if you want to fix a leaning metal post is to install a diagonal or backstay. These are posts that are attached to the post you want to straighten on one side and then planted in concrete on the other.

Stays act like bracing for your posts and are useful in areas where there’s a lot of wind or very sandy soil, or both, where you want to give your post a little more support.

Not Always Possible

The final thing you need to know about fixing a leaning metal fence post in concrete is that it might not always be possible.

Sometimes, the post is too damaged, or the concrete base is too heavy to reposition without causing more damage. In this case, a professional fence company will be able to tell you what your options are and how much it will cost to repair your fence. Always ask for a site visit so that you can be sure the company offering a quote knows exactly what they’re going to be dealing with.

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