Fence Post Questions

Discussion in 'General Home Improvement Discussion' started by Magnum, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. Jun 6, 2010 #1

    Magnum

    Magnum

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    Hi Everyone,

    What is the purpose of concrete in building fence posts? Is it only to prevent the wood in the ground from rotting or does it also provide structural support?

    Is it a good idea to install fence posts without concrete? Are there any other options?

    I am planning on building a 6 ft fence and would like to get it as close to the property line as possible since I have limited space.

    Any information is very much appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Tom
     
  2. Jun 6, 2010 #2

    CraigFL

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    I've installed them both ways. When you use concrete, it does help the stability especially if you are digging in solid ground like clay. It allows the post to be instantly anchored in solid, undisturbed ground. If you don't use concrete, backfilling with dirt will never be as solid until the fill dirt settles.
     
  3. Jun 6, 2010 #3

    mudmixer

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    The concrete in the base makes the width greater and provides more lateral resistance than you can get from any post by itself.

    Dick
     
  4. Jun 6, 2010 #4

    Blue Jay

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    You can use dirt to backfill with but don't just wait for the dirt to settle, you want to tamp the dirt back into the hole. Unless you are using a 8X8 post when done should have very little dirt left to mound around the post. Have done it this way for MANY years on the farm, both corner and line post and never had any trouble.
     
  5. Jun 8, 2010 #5

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    Magnum:

    If you do use concrete around your fence posts, go to any place that sells re-bar, and you should be able to find rebar twisted into a circle and the ends welded together. They are very inexpensive. Drop one of these over your fence post every couple of shovel fulls of cement and it will prevent the concrete around your post from cracking radially.

    Also, taper the top of the concrete so that it sheds water away from the post, and cover the concrete with plastic while it cures. That will keep water from evaporating from the concrete, and the result will be that the concrete will cure harder.

    And, when I built my electrified parking fence, I tapered the tops of the posts by cutting both sides with a circular saw set with the blade at a 10 degree angle. Then, I had "roofs" made of 1/8 inch thick plate steel and had them bent in the middle to a 20 degree angle and glued them to the tops of the posts with LePage's PL Premium construction adhesive. Those steel roofs keep rain water from getting into the tight crevices where the fence horizontal pieces attach to the posts, since it's water getting into those places and pooling there that results in wood rot. The bigger the "roof" you can put on top of each fence post, the dryer the post will be and the less liklihood that you'll ever have any wood rotting on your fence.
     
  6. Jun 8, 2010 #6

    oldognewtrick

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  7. Jun 8, 2010 #7

    MSU Fan

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    You can also backfill ~75% of the whole with crushed concrete and then top off with the removed dirt. If you tamp that down it works just as well without needing to mix concrete.
     

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