Pulling up old fence posts is possibly the most challenging part of fixing or replacing a wooden fence. These posts are designed to withstand the side-to-side motion needed to uproot them. Further, the base consists of two to three feet of concrete buried below ground, making them solid and relatively challenging to remove.
There are several methods you can implement when determining how to remove a wooden fence post. However, you will want to use the most efficient and effective method, so you don’t waste time and effort. In addition, you will want to use a method that can be carried out efficiently and won’t need a lot of digging or plenty of expensive tools.
How To Remove a Wooden Fence Post
For starters, you will need to apply enough upward force to drive the concrete base and the wooden post out of the ground. In some cases, the wooden post may have already deteriorated, so it will be more difficult to remove. In short, always assume that the wood is no longer usable, which is why you needed to remove it in the first place.
Less Effective Methods
There are several less effective methods that people use to remove old fence posts, which include the following:
Digging the Post Out of the Ground
Digging around the post takes a significant amount of time and will require a lot of effort to complete. The laborious process requires using a shovel, a steel digging bar and other tools available to you.
With this method, you’ll need to dig around three feet deep (the usual building code requirement) and then pull the entire post and concrete base out. The process is time-consuming and tedious, which is why many don’t opt for this method.
Partial Digging Method
Another method is to dig on only one side of the post. Once you’ve reached the bottom of the base on one side, all you need to do is to push and topple the entire post in the direction of the hole you made. Then, you can pull the entire post out of the ground.
The challenge with this technique is that it still requires too much digging. In addition, if you hit the rocky ground as you try to dig to the bottom of the base, you’ll have difficulty completely removing the wooden fence post.
Using Leverage To Remove a Wooden Fence Post
With this method, you’ll attach a piece of wood to the side of the post using screws, bolts or nails. Attach it around two inches above the ground. Next, build a base beside the wooden post, which can be made of lumber, rock or any sturdy material, which will serve as a fulcrum.
Next, take a large beam and wedge it at the wood you attached on the side of the post, and then place its length on your fulcrum. Alternatively, you can use a pry bar instead of a wooden beam.
With this technique, you’ll need to generate a lot of downward force: around 2,000 pounds of force to lift a two- or three-foot concrete base buried underground. This method won’t work if you’re dealing with rotten or damaged wood. You can end up pulling the wood out and leaving the concrete base stuck in the ground.
Removing a Fence Post Efficiently
When figuring out how to remove a wooden fence post, you want a method that works every time and will require just the right amount of effort. To effectively remove a fence post, focus first on removing the base, which will also uproot the wooden post.
To maximize the power of leverage, you’ll need some tools to get the job done efficiently:
- High lift jack
- Steel chain with a grab and slip hooks
- Steel digging bar
To remove a wooden fence post effectively, here are a couple of steps you can follow:
- Dig around the fence post to expose three inches of the concrete base.
- You can use a digging bar to remove rocky or hard-packed soil.
- Wrap the steel chain around the concrete base and latch it using the slip hook, ensuring that the grab hook is at the end of the chain’s tail.
- Place the high lift jack next to the wooden fence post.
- Wrap the chain’s tail around the jack securing it in place using the grab hook.
- Use the lever to jack up the base, slowly but surely pulling up the entire post.
With this method, you can easily pull out the fence post, even if you’re dealing with rocky or hard-packed soil. These steps work well, even if the wood completely breaks off the concrete base.
Fence Experts At NorTex
Removing wooden posts and repairing an entire fence is labor-intensive and requires time and specialized tools. Without the correct tools and necessary expertise, removing your wooden fence posts is a difficult task. Instead, enlist the help of fence restoration experts who have years of experience and can complete the job effectively.
Nortex Fence & Patio has been proudly serving Dallas residents since 1998. We have the right techniques and equipment to remove and replace entire fences, helping improve the aesthetic qualities of your home.
If you need expert help with your next fence restoration or repair project, call our consultants at 972-382-7800 or fill out this contact form to get a free estimate.