Why did my fence posts heave over the winter?


Take a moment and imagine; spring has sprung. You go out to your backyard to bask in the warm sunlight. All is well until you look over to your right and notice that a few of your fence posts are no longer standing as straight as they once were. Not such great news, unless you’re in the market for a new fence anyway. For most it’s another time consuming and possibly costly job to add to the list of backyard chores this season. I’m sure many of you asked yourself, why did this happen? For you, we’ve put down some of the most common reasons that fence posts heave over the winter and how it can be avoided in the future.


The Fence Post Holes Weren't Dug Properly

One possible reason for posts to heave is that they were set improperly. When digging a post hole, it’s important to dig the hole in such a way that it makes for a solid post. The best way to do that is with a bell shaped hole around your post. It’s not uncommon for many installers to dig improperly or be careless when digging your post holes; leaving you vulnerable to this cause of post upheaval.


The Fence Post Holes Weren't Deep Enough

Probably the most common mistake is simply that your post hole wasn’t dug deep enough. During the winter, a section of the ground freezes below the surface. This is what’s known as the frost-line. It is very important not only to dig the hole properly, but also to go deep enough so that the bottom of the hole is below the frost-line. Here in Ottawa we find that digging our bell shaped holes to be 4 feet deep works perfectly to keep posts in the ground year after year.


If you’ve fallen victim to upheaval, hopefully the installers who built it offered you a craftsmanship guarantee. If not, contact Deluxe Fencing and Decks! We will happily visit you for a free, no obligation consultation where the health of your fence will be assessed and from there we can discuss the recommended course of action. We take pride in our work and know you expect your fence to last so for your peace of mind, we offer a 3 YEAR craftsmanship guarantee on all of our work. Call us today at (613) 862-4275!

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