I have two adjacent 4×4 fence posts that are wobbly. I excavated one:

rotten base of fence post

It is set in a concrete footing that is maybe 4–6" below ground. The portion of the post that was below ground is rotten, while the rest seems fine. I’m not sure if the ground level is rising, but this footing has been below the surface since we moved in ~10 years ago.

How can I repair them? It’s okay if it doesn’t look great, but I want a robust fix while minimizing the amount of labor. I also want to avoid hiring someone.

The horizontal 2×4s could be removed permanently. The re-bar is an attempt to temporarily stabilize it.

We are in an arid but not super dry climate, and this area is one of the wetter parts of the yard.

  • This is usually a replacement job, labour heavy, good for young teens who will work for food/drinks and a few bucks.
    – crip659
    Jun 3 at 19:50
  • Slap dash is to pound that rebar in between there. The flat metal edging steaks that come with landscaping strip work good too. Put two, then drive a third between. Other than that, it's pull it and start over. Or an arbor across the top if it's the gate posts.
    – Mazura
    Jun 4 at 20:38
  • 1
    "It’s okay if it doesn’t look great, but I want a robust fix while minimizing the amount of labor." Does your idea of "robust fix" include the expected life of the fix? You can have a mechanically robust fix that may solve your problems in the short term, but that may fail in a couple of years. Do you want a temporary fix or a reasonably "definitive" fix? Jun 5 at 9:27
  • @Lorenzo I want a definitive fix.
    – Reid
    Jun 5 at 22:20

3 Answers 3


I've used an "easy mender" (see below) with success. It fits around one side of a 4x4 fence post and the protruding strike ledge is used to drive it down. It gets driven down along the post until the point goes between the post and the concrete it's embedded in. Basically, the steel mender gets wedged into the concrete, making a new stable base. Then, just use nails, bolts or screws to secure the mender's side to the still-good upper post section.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • FWIW this worked okay but on two of the three posts I was only able to get one of the E-Z menders in. I think if I did it again I'd use a different solution.
    – Reid
    Sep 3 at 14:26
  • @Reid Could you clarify what the issue was with getting a 2nd one in?
    – Armand
    Sep 3 at 23:45
  • It just didn't fit. The tip bent over and it started going diagonally into the rotted wood instead of vertically down the hole.
    – Reid
    Sep 5 at 22:08

It really isn’t that difficult. Remove the screws that hold the fence to the post, dig close to the concrete as much as you can. This will loosen the post so you can wrap a rope or chain around it, use your new post as leverage, wrapping the rope about two feet from the end and lift the long end up to pull the old post out. Place your new pressure treated post in the hole, refasten your fence, and put a bag of concrete mix around the new post, water generously to set up the concrete mix. Should be completed in an hour or less. I’ve done this several times through my 65 years. You have a totally NEW post that will last 15-20 years


It failed because it is not pressure treated wood.

You will not get around some hard labor in removing that concrete, but there are other solutions.

You could try using a 12 inch drill and drill the wood out, but the result might be questionable in putting new post in. You could rent a jack hammer.

Or you can skip it and just make new post next to it. It will require modifying the fence.

Or you could remove the rotten wood out of the hole, then fill the hole with concrete, the use concrete post mounting bracket. (metal) Those come in many shapes so choose one that suits you. This one requires least labor, just some drilling and bolts.

  • 2
    Or cut the post near flush, and use a post base with anchors into the concrete…
    – Jon Custer
    Jun 3 at 20:14
  • 2
    Even pressure-treated fence posts fail in this way eventually, after about 20-25 years for what the builders round here used. Of course there are different pressure treatments, and some of the most toxic are no longer available everywhere
    – Chris H
    Jun 4 at 19:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.