Fence post leaning from poorly drained soil

Question Icon
Posted by: from Dartmouth Ns
4/14/2020 at 4:54:30 PM

I put up a fence last year.I dug the holes, put down gravel and used concrete, however because of the soil, I could only get down a max of 3' is most spots, averaging around 2.5' down per hole. I realize that 4' is best for the frost line here but after that 2.5' to 3' mark I was hitting rock hard clay that a jack hammer and power auger wasn't even touching.

This part of my lawn does have relatively poor drainage. It's sloped but the combination of my neighbours yards sloping into to creates a fairly wet corner where 3 of my posts sit. How can I fix this so my posts will no longer lean? I am open to digging it back up but not sure I can get down far enough with the clay to make a difference.

My 2 thoughts were to dig it up and try and taper the hole out like a big foot for a deck would, or potentially take some long rebar and drive that down into the clay a couple of extra feet (if possible) and reset the post in concrete with the rebar. I am completely open to any ideas because I do not want my new fence to keep leaning and I have to fix it year after year

User Icon
Date/Time4/15/2020 at 8:57:26 AM

depending on the slop you will have to dig deeper and use more concrete or it will still come over.

User Icon
Date/Time4/15/2020 at 10:06:22 AM

You have to go down 4'.

Or the problem will repeat.

Bring in a large two man auger if you cant get a unit on a machine in. And really work it. If its clay you will get through it.

Hope it works out for you.

User Icon
Date/Time4/15/2020 at 4:29:47 PM

You simply have to get the posts down 4'.

Two man auger or hire pros.

If you don't not only will the post lean, but the frost will force the post up (frost heaving) and now your fence will go up and down over its entire length.

This happens often, and is a great "tell" about the man who did the work.



User Icon
Adam in Dartmouth Ns
Date/Time4/16/2020 at 7:15:32 PM

Thanks for all the replies.

I actually had a 2 man auger and just could not get down far enough. I thought with the slightly more moderate climate where I am, 3' would be enough but obviously not. I actually wanted 4' but after 14 hours of digging, my friend and I were exhausted.

I'm getting pro's to come into to dig the back part of the fence so I'll get them to fix up the short ones I did and make sure they get down to 4'.

Appreciate all the help!

Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

Get quotes from top-rated contractors