Whether fence posts should be set in concrete or inserted straight into the ground is the question that is often asked when it comes to fence planning and construction. In this blog, we will attempt to answer this question by uncovering a few situations in which one method will work better than the other. If you want to set a permanent fence, then you should consider setting your fence posts in concrete, which is strongly recommended. If fence posts are not set in concrete, without exception they will crumble and fail structurally with time.
When Should You Not Consider Setting Fence Posts Into Concrete?
- If you have wooden fence posts, then it will speed up the wood’s rotting process and make it very tough to remove and replace the posts.
- The concrete function as a cup, rain and sealing moisture around the wooden post won’t let it spread away from the area naturally as it would have been if the wooden post were inserted straight into the ground. A more effective method is to set the wooden fence posts in gravel.
- Another situation wherein you should not set fence posts in concrete is when you know the fence will be taken down within a short period; for instance, if you’re only putting it up for a particular event that will last for a short period.
What’s Better – Concrete or Gravel for Setting Posts?
- Concrete is semi-liquid and securely sticks to the hole and the post, meaning the posts become extremely firm and would not move.
- You’re inclined to get a better long-term result by setting the fence posts in concrete; instead of, gravel.
- When you’re setting fence posts in concrete, for better results, allow the concrete to dry for 3 or 4 days before fixing your fence rails, pickets or panels.
- Ensure the concrete is firm and dry before fixing anything that adds weight to your posts.
- Gravel is less untidy than concrete, but it’s also less durable. Gravel tends to work best when fencing in massive and need to work with more clay-like soils. If you’re setting posts in loose, sandy soil, then it will not produce the intended results.
- If your family members and friends would in all likelihood climb or sit on the fence, then posts set in gravel may weaken over time.
- If you want to build a fence for keeping in large animals like horses, then fence posts set in gravel may not handle the stress if the animals run into them now and then or attempt to push fence panels.
How to Fix a Fence Post in Concrete?
It’s easy to set fence posts in concrete. However, you’ll need a bit of patience along with the right fencing tools. If you want to install a permanent stable fence that will withstand for a long time, then follow the detailed steps mentioned-below for setting fence posts in concrete.
Start with digging a hole for each post – around 2 to 3 feet for utmost stability with a 6” auger if possible. If you don’t have a machine, then you can also make use of hand-held post-hole diggers. Normally, a post is set two feet beneath the ground, which means a five-foot-tall fence requires a seven-foot post. A six-inch diameter hole is adequate for a post that is set two-feet in the ground; for anything bigger, it would need a larger hole diameter. The rule is to have double the size of the post for hole diameter.
Once you have finished the digging work, then insert the post in the hole, ensuring that the post is level and straight (including up and down, and left and right).
To fit the posts, you’ll need a ready mix known as ‘Sakrete’, which is the best concrete solution. You’ll need to fill the hole around two inches beneath level with wet pour concrete.
When you fill the hole with concrete, ensure the posts are straight and the fence line is level.
In the end, you’ll need to fill the remaining portion of the hole with dirt.
Bonus Tip: When installing a fence, dig around 4 to 5 holes and set them before you move on to the next round of posts. Nonetheless, never dig and set all the posts first as there could be unexpected obstacles such as trees, grade, rocks etc., which could change the distance between posts.
Well, your fence posts are the crucial piece of the installation that holds your fence enclosure straight and upright. Improperly installed posts mean that with time, your fence can get shaky and unsafe. In case, your fence posts are too shaky, then the fence could collapse during strong winds or under pressure.
Still unable to decide whether to go for concrete-set fence posts or not, for your home fencing project, then contact a reputed manufacturer of architectural, concrete columns & concrete fencing in Sydney.