Setting Fence Posts Into Concrete
There are a few reasons why using concrete with fence posts is a good idea. It is almost always recommended for metal fence posts to use concrete. While using concrete on wooden fences is not always necessary, it's still recommended for gate posts and corner posts. Here are some of the reasons why concrete should be used for setting fence posts and how to install the posts.
Why Should Concrete Be Used For Setting Fence Posts?
- To put it simply, adding concrete for setting fence posts adds strength and stability and is especially useful if the fence will be used for livestock or larger animals. Using a substitute like gravel may work for a little while, but it will loosen over time. Using concrete on the corner and gate posts is highly recommended for wooden fences. These areas are stressed more than the others, so any added strength will greatly lengthen the fence's lifespan.
- Soil composition may call for it. Certain soil compositions are better for "holding" onto posts than others. Soil with a high concentration of clay will tend to expand and hold the posts tighter. Sandy, loose soil will not hold the posts nearly as well. Check the ground conditions of where the fence will be installed.
- Metal fence posts need a stronger base. The posts used for chain link fences tend to be smaller in diameter, so the soil has less to grab onto. The post is strong but will require a solid base to get the most out of it.
How To Set Fence Posts Using Concrete
Tools Needed: Level, digging tool(auger or post-hole digger), concrete(fast-setting type tends to be easier), fence posts, gloves, gravel(optional depending on soil composition like sandy, loose soil), stakes(for bracing while pouring concrete).
- Dig the post hole. Make this three times the width of the post. If the post is two inches, dig the hole six inches wide. The length of the hole should be about 1/3 of the post length. If the fence is going to be six feet above the ground, dig the hole two feet deep.
- Add four to six inches of gravel. This will create a barrier between the concrete and the soil. It will also help with drainage. Once the gravel is added to the hold, tamp it down with the post until it is compressed.
- Insert post and temporarily brace it. Using the stakes, brace all the sides of the post to make sure it is level and plumb on all sides.
- Mix and pour concrete into the hole. If using a fast-setting mix, pour the concrete into the hole, add the appropriate amount of water, and let it sit. That's it! Some people add dirt or sealant to the concrete after it is set, but it is not required.