How to Remove a Rotted Fence Post and Set a New One

Need to remove and repair a fence post? Here's how.

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Here’s how to remove a rotten fence post quickly and easily with a shovel and sledge hammer, as well as how to set the replacement post so it's strong, sturdy and won’t rot again.

Tools Required

  1. Gloves
  2. Safety glasses
  3. Shovel
  4. Sledgehammer

Project step-by-step (5)

Step 1

Dig the Right Size Hole

  • Dig a semicircular hole around one side of the concrete pier.
    • Pro tip: Make sure your hole is the same depth as the concrete pier to ensure easier removal.

Step 2

Break Up the Concrete

  • Use a sledgehammer to break up the concrete around the old post.
    • Pro tip: Make the hole large enough to ensure you can get a good swing at all sides of the concrete pier.

Step 3

Remove the Old Post

  • Break off half the concrete;
    • Pro tip: Enlist a helper to lift the post out of the hole. Your back will thank you later!

Step 4

Remove Any Leftover Materials

  • Clear out any chunks of concrete remaining in the hole;
    • Pro tip: If the post breaks off during lifting, tie a rope around the pier to lift it out.

Step 5

Set a New Fence Post

  • Pour concrete so it extends a few inches above the grass;
  • Taper the edges to drain water away from the wood post.
    • Pro tip: Burying the concrete below the surface may look nicer, but it’s a surefire way to accelerate wood rot. Here are a few tips on how to set a fence post so it won't rot.