How To Set A Fence Post More Effectively

Your fence can only be as strong as your posts, and most of the strength of fence posts comes from the way they are set in the ground. So how do you ensure that your fence posts are effectively set for a strong, secure fence? Start by following these guidelines.

1. Use Ready-Mix Concrete

Setting a fence post is an involved-enough endeavor as it is. You don't want to also spend time carefully measuring and mixing different concrete components. Instead, buy ready-mix concrete from a hardware store or home supply store in your area. Ready-mix concrete comes in a single bag; you just have to add water. Look for a formula that is intended for outdoor use and for high levels of moisture exposure. This helps ensure it does not break down when it is set below soil level for so long.

2. Pour the Concrete Directly Into the Hole

There are people who will prepare the ready-mix concrete in a bucket and then pour it into the fence hole, but this strategy is messy and can result in a mix that is actually too runny once it absorbs any moisture in the surrounding soil. A better strategy is to insert the fence post, and then pour in the dry concrete mixture. Then, add only 2/3 of the water that the bag recommends for the amount of concrete you used. Stir well. If the mixture feels too stiff, add a little more water -- but remember, you are better with a too-stiff mixture than a too-loose one that lets your post flop around.

3. Top the Hole Off With Gravel

Try not to pour the concrete directly to the top of the post hole. Instead, leave a few inches of space at the top, and top the hole off with a few inches of gravel. This will give the post a little more stability and will keep water from pooling on top of the concrete, which should grant it more integrity over time.

4. Set the Post Deep Enough

A good guideline is that 1/3 of your post height should be below ground. So if you have a 9-foot post, you should bury 3 feet of it. If you bury less of the post, it may not be stable enough once you get all of the rails on it and someone leans on it. Keep this in mind when selecting a post height.

For more information on ready-mix concrete, contact a company like P & L  Concrete Products Inc & Garden Center.