I plan to remove a chain link fence from my back yard. I have read
plenty of posts suggesting different ways of doing this, and sense I
cannot get a vehicle into my back yard, I plan to dig out the posts.
However, I am concerned about the holes that will be left behind. No
one seems to mention the best method of refilling these holes. What
is the best practice for refilling the post hole? Should I use dirt,
sand, a combination of both, or something else? Thanks for your input.
Quote: Digilla wrote on Sat, 25 August 2007 15:35
Best to just refill with what is already around there. Probably just dirt. Just
make sure you tamp it down regularly as you fill to knock out any large void
areas. Of course you can spread in gravel and sand but just for filler, and be
aware that the gravel might show up again if you do any future digging in the
President - Top Service Pros, Inc.
Connecting Homeowners and Local Service Professionals
You do not say what the posts are made of or
what diameter. If metal (with no concrete base)
it may be faster to remove them by pulling them
out, leaving smaller holes to refill. The two methods:
-- brute force, e.g. by a tractor or car on a paved
roadway. The vehicle does not have to be near:
you can use a long cable.
-- levering the posts vertically upward. You can
place your fulcrum so as to multiply the force
Post holes of 2" diameter or less may need
no special filling thereafter: or you can cut
lengths of 2x2" scrap lumber that come up to
within 2" of the soil surface.
Bumper jacks are hard to find these days. An alternative is a so-
called 'farm jack' from Northern Tools or Harbor Freight. Farm supply
stores will also have post jacks that are in the $40 range.
Tearing out the posts with a long chain and a pickup truck is a lot
more fun though. If you generate a lot of tire smoke, keep the beer
out of sight in case someone calls the authorities. Some people are
just sooo humorless...
Neighbor tried that one day and not sure if it was a chain or cable he used.
when it pulled the post out of the ground , it threw it hard enough against
the back glass it broke the glass. As the glass was already broken, he
pulled out about 4 more he wanted out.
I have 3 farm jacks and helped a friend pull some chainlink posts with
them. THEN we got to the gate posts. Would not budge. I asked him
about them and he says OH, we reset those and used more concrete.
After digging down 12" we find the top of a ball of concrete (at least
1 bag of redimix, maybe more, in each hole).
We did not have the dirt to backfill that much concrete, and we were
already down 6-12 inches, so a sawzall made quick work of the posts.
We put the dirt back with very little extra dirt required.
Avoided having to drag those big balls of concrete to the dump as
Topsoil should work well if you are planting something on top. I'd
fill these holes as soon as possible to prevent injury or liability.
You might advertise your fence for a low cost (or even free) but the
buyer must remove it--that will save you some work.
Use an angle grinder to cut the posts off flush with the ground, and just
leave the post bottoms/concrete in the ground where they are.
Offer the fence and posts as free in Craigslist, and someone will come by
and pick them up for you.
If you do this, I would suggest digging a little first, and cutting the
posts *below* ground level. Then you don't have to worry about someone
falling on them.
Though I think the post jack is the better idea.
I like the idea of using a car jack. That saves a lot of calories digging.
Soak the ground around each post anchor, first, then use a broad base, like
a 2x12 piece of scrap lumber, as a jack base.
I wouldn't leave the cement anchors there, it just puts off the problem you
face if you want another fence there.
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