I live in southeast Ohio and want to install a privacy fence. Have heard by some that it is better to put concrete around the posts, and also have heard to use pea gravel or just dirt. Does anyone know the best way?
I like to set posts in concrete - they stay solid and true for a long long time. I use the bagged concrete you mix right in the hole - pour in the contents of the bag, add water, mix.
I also like to use metal posts rather than wood (round with brackets for the wood attachment, or square/flush that can be covered with wood and disappear. Years from now when the fence boards need replacement, the posts will not...
The only time I use concrete when installing wood fence is around the gate post.The key to a solid install is in the tamping of the dirt around the post.Once the post is in position add about 3 or 4 inches of dirt and tamp solid,repeat the process until you reach the top.
One other thing I forgot to mention,if your installing a 4 inch post use a 8 inch auger bit.Using too large of a bit will cause problems.The least amount of earth disturbed around the post the better,also means less tamping.
The fact is is that concrete has a very alkaline pH and over time will degrade the wood fibres of the post. Nothing to do with 'rot' per se although it will look like, I dunno... termite damage.
We put roofing membrane around our posts and use concrete and stone at the base. Since you also deal with frost heave, you may not think either that just dirt is enough to counter the changing seasons.
How about the best of both worlds...and I've done it this way. Tamp dirt for the first 3-1/2' and then add 6" of concrete at the very top. Look at it as a solid ring that will help stabilize the post. Just remember to put a strip of rubber membrane at that point around the post as protection from the crete. (Grace Ice&Water shield, you canget it at the Depot for 15-$20)
i remember lots of cows who thought our barb'd wire fences were great :laughing: & they were only split locust posts - no conc, no crush'd stone, no nuttin',,, our back yard fence's p/t 4x4 posts & boards - no stone, no conc, just dirt - 20 yrs old - still functioning !
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