3 Ways To Remove Concrete Fence Post Base: Easy Guide - Here!

Written By James
Updated March 10, 2023 by James

3 Ways To Remove Concrete Fence Post Base: Easy Guide - Here!

How to Remove Broken Fence Posts Set in Concrete 

Do you have a broken fence post set into concrete that you need to remove?

Maybe want to break up a concrete fence post to replace or change it?

Whatever your reason may be, this article is sure to help.

It's actually not as difficult as you might think. In fact, it's pretty simple. 

We will walk you through three different ways to break and remove a concrete fence post base set deep and how to do it safely and effectively.

Before starting the process, make sure to wear your safety gear, especially your safety glasses. Wood and concrete debris will fly as we break things, and they can hurt your hand and even your eyes - ouch!

Step By Step Process

Method #1 - Breaking It Up

Tools To Prepare:

  • Heavy-duty digging bar (at least 5 feet)
  • Sledge hammer or heavy hammer (optional)
  • Shovel
  • Gloves and safety glasses

Directions:

Remove Old Wood Post

The first thing we need to do is remove any wooden fence posts so we can access the concrete with ease. 

This should be fairly easy, especially if the wood post is old and rotten.

Try pulling out the post first. It may be loose enough to just pull if it's old.

If not, take your digger bar chisel and strike the fence post with it to splinter or break it apart. 

To do this, simply lift your digger bar chisel high and use its weight, with the help of gravity, to strike the wood you need to break up. 

After that, you can pull the post (if it comes out whole) or pick up its parts (if it breaks up).

Dig And Make A Gap

The next thing to do is to dig around the concrete post and the ground. 

Use your shovel to make a little gap around the entire base; take just a few inches soil off.

You don't have to dig deep and wide; it just has to be big enough for the digger bar to fit and do its thing later. 

In fact, it's not recommended to dig a lot because that will make replacing the post with a new one harder than it should. 

Break The Concrete Post Base

If you can remove the concrete footing as is, then great - do that.

However, it's more likely that you're going to have to break the concrete to remove it. 

For this, you can use the digger bar chisel again or a sledgehammer if you prefer.

There are actually a variety of tools you can use for this.

They'd work well as long as they're big and heavy, but a digger bar chisel again or a heavy sledge hammer would work satisfactorily.

You can use any sort of power tool you have that could help in digging and breaking, like a jack hammer or demolition hammer.

If you're using a digger bar, insert it into the posthole and lever it with force until the concrete cracks. 

Remove Concrete Pieces

After successfully breaking the concrete, you can now pull the pieces out. 

You may need to break the concrete into even smaller pieces if you're having a hard time pulling them out. 

Method #2- Prying It Out

Tools To Prepare:

  • Shovel
  • Two extended length prybars
  • Safety gears

Directions:

Dig Around The Post Hole

Unlike the first method, you will need to dig around the post base broader and deeper for this method.

This is to make room for the pry bars to get underneath the concrete for the next step. 

Tip: If you're having a hard time digging or you have a tough, clay-rich soil, you can soak it thoroughly with water to make it easier to dig,

Place The Prybars

Jam two prybars at the opposite sides of the concrete base. 

Jam them as deep as you can or until you get the flat surface of the pry bar underneath the base. This will make it possible for you to pry it up at an angle.

Since you have to pry in opposite directions, you will need some help with this. You have to apply pressure on one side and stabilize it while you prie the opposite side - repeating until you get the concrete loose. 

Lever The Base Out Of The Posthole

After getting the prybars in position and loosening the concrete base a bit, you now have to lever the concrete base out of the ground.

Remove one bar completely while the other one keeps the position of the base. Re-insert the one you removed to the gap lower than before and lever the concrete base upwards. Switch sides as you repeat this process.

At some point, the concrete base will come out of the ground, and you'll be able to just pull it out. 

Method #3- Pulling It Out

Tools To Prepare:

  • Drill/ Screw Driver
  • Drill bit (one that's slightly narrower than the eyebolt)
  • Heavy-duty eyebolt
  • Chain or heavy duty rope
  • Work Gloves
  • High-lift jack (optional)

Directions:

Drill A Hole Into Remaining Post

This method has higher success if the remaining wood post in your old fence is still solid and fixed well in the base.

First, remove any loose pieces and find a piece of fence post wood that is solid and is well attached to the concrete base. Once you do, drill a hole in that wood post in concrete using a drill bit that is slightly narrower than the eye bolt for a tight fit. 

Insert The Eyebolt

The next thing to do is to tightly screw the eye bolt all the way into the hole you just drilled.

Make sure the eyebolt is well attached in a solid piece so it doesn't come off later. 

Thread Rope Through The EyeBolt

Last, securely thread and attach the eye bolt to a chain or heavy-duty rope.

Pull

Lastly, pull the chain or rope until the concrete base comes loose and comes out of the hole. 

You may need to dig around the concrete base to help loosen it from the soil. You can also soak the soil in water for several hours to help soften it. 

You can use a high-lift jack or a post-popper to pull the concrete base if you have them.

Final Words

We hope you found a method that works for you and that you remove your problematic concrete post base successfully!

Just be careful when working and remember that safety is always the priority. 

Happy home gardening!

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James

My father, and his father before him, and his father; for the past 3 generations, my family have always been into gardening. The green fingers is a gift passed down to me and I thoroughly enjoy it! I also have worked in the manufacturing department for Bosch and DeWalt so I like to think I know a thing or two about tools and such!
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