A fence is a helpful all-rounder that keeps your home safe and secure. It depends on your preferences, your fence may be a functional component of your property, or it may also serve as an accent that completes the look of your home.

In either case, a leaning fence can be a significant issue because it looks unsightly and poses a safety hazard. Unaddressed, an unstable fence can collapse completely, and at this point, it is entirely beyond repair.

If you fix a leaning fence immediately, you can avoid this fate altogether. In many instances, it is possible to repair and straighten a fence that is just beginning to lean. By reading through these frequently asked questions, you will be able to find a way to restore the integrity of your fence that is both practical and cost-effective.

What Causes A Fence To Lean?

A fence can lean for a variety of reasons. Some are related to the environment, while others are more related to how the fence is built.

Most leaning fences have damaged or rotten fence posts below ground level or the posts were never properly installed. Its concrete footing may have also become unsteady and wobbly.

Fence lean can be caused by the following:

  • Poor Workmanship

This is one of the most common causes of fence issues. Due to improper installation, the fence may lean prematurely. This is easily avoided by hiring a reputable fencing contractor.

  • Wind and Weather

Strong winds can cause a fence to lean. Because they have a larger surface area, solid fences are more prone to tilting, whereas fences made with chain links or iron bars allow air to flow through.

  • Force or Impact

Tilting issues can be caused by a strong impact, such as pets barreling into a fence or people leaning and climbing on it. Bikes, lawnmowers, and other yard hazards can cause a fence to become unstable.

  • Moisture & Soil Instability

Excessive rain, snowmelt, or flooding can make the ground wetter, softer, and more prone to movement, causing wooden fence posts to rot. Additionally, some soil types are inherently more stable than others.

  • Tree Roots

The growing root system of the tree can put pressure on the fence posts, causing them to tilt. Because roots grow slowly, you may not notice the effects on your fence for several years.

  • Vines

If vines grow uncontrollably on your fence, the extra weight may cause them to lean.

When it’s Time to Fix Your Fence?

It can be tempting to put off fence repairs, especially if security isn’t a concern. However, waiting may worsen the situation. One leaning post could eventually take down the entire fence. You may need to spend more money to replace the entire fence. If you notice learning or any other problem, address it as soon as possible to save yourself a headache.

Can You Fix A Leaning Fence Without Replacing It?

Frequently, it is possible to repair a leaning fence without building a new one. However, it depends on various factors, including the original construction’s quality, the materials used, environmental factors, and the fence’s condition.

Suppose, following an assessment, it is determined that the problem stems from a few rotten wooden fence posts but that the remainder of the fence is in good condition. In such a case, your fencing contractor can replace the problematic fence posts at a lower cost than installing a new fence.

If the fence was simply destabilized by force or impact, you might be able to install a permanent brace or replace the concrete footing without having to replace the fence posts.

However, if more than a quarter of the fence is damaged or the existing fence is beyond repair, replacing it may be more cost-effective.

How To Fix A Leaning Fence

The first thing you need to do is figure out why the fence is leaning. After determining the cause, methods for repairing a leaning fence include replacing rotten or damaged fence posts or installing a permanent brace or wedge to keep the fence post in place.

To repair a leaning fence and replace a leaning fence post, follow these steps:

  • Secure or brace the fence into the desired position. You must ensure that the fence remains stable after removing the post. 
  • Remove any fence posts that are damaged, rotten, or leaning. Remove the foundation, often old cement footings that are no longer stable, and dig out the defective posts. Deepening the holes is usually recommended to give the new posts a stronger, firmer hold.
  • Insert the new posts into the holes and pour in the footing cement. It’s best to pour the cement so the surface slopes towards the ground, allowing water to drain away from the fence posts.

If only part of a timber fence post is rotten:

  • Cut the rotted wood portion. Remove the damaged portion by digging around the rotten part. Install a new post and bolt it to the old post’s bottom end. Finally, new concrete should be poured to stabilize the footing.

These are just a few of the options for repairing an unstable fence. The best solution for you may not be straightforward, especially if you are dealing with multiple issues at the same time.

For example, if tree roots are causing your fence to lean, you must address the issue to prevent it from happening again. Your local fencing expert should be able to identify the problem and work out a suitable (and site-specific) solution.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Leaning Fence?

Because the causes and solutions differ, the cost of repairs varies from fence to fence. Depending on the severity of the problem, repairing a leaning fence can cost between $400 and $1000. Fence posts cost between $120 and $400 to replace; in many cases, multiple fence posts require replacement.

Because the average cost of replacing a leaning fence ranges from $1500 to $3000, when repair costs approach this range, it may be more cost-effective to install a new fence.

Please keep in mind that these are estimates; the actual cost will depend on the length of your fence, the damage’s extent, and the fencing contractor’s terms. For additional information, it is always advisable to have a professional fencing contractor visit your home and provide a personalized estimate.

How Do You Temporarily Brace A Fence Post?

You sometimes need help to permanently fix a leaning fence post. In the meantime, brace your fence post to prevent it from leaning. The simplest method is to push the leaning post upright and brace it with a piece of lumber.

You can also use a sledgehammer and a chisel to break up the old concrete footing. Drive a suitable-sized stake into the ground, then brace the fence. Screw the stake into the brace to reinforce it. The last step is to clamp the post to the brace. This is not a permanent fix, but it will give you time to call a contractor to look at your fence.

When to Hire a Pro

Proper installation and repair both put an end to leaning fences. However, if you’re not careful, your fence may become more crooked or damaged, costing you more money in the long run. It would be a nightmare if the fence post tilted again while the concrete hardened!

Do you have doubts about your DIY skills? Contact our fence company in Tomball, Texas, to get the job done correctly. Get a quote from a local fencing company to weigh your options.