When you install a fence around your yard, you want it to last as long as possible. Your fence's durability and strength will depend upon the process and materials you use to install each wooden fence post. As you can install your fence posts with or without concrete, here are some tips to help you install sturdy and durable wooden fence posts using either method.
Wood Post Installation With Concrete
If you choose to use concrete to set your post, there is a risk the wooden post will become rotted as moisture seeps into the wood grain. Then, when you remove the old fence post, you will need to dig out the clump of concrete before you can replace the fence post with a new one.
The choice of wood you use for your posts can make a difference in their durability once they are set in concrete. Cedar is a good choice because this wood contains natural preservatives that make a post decay-resistant. Choose cedar fence posts that are dark-colored wood, indicating the wood has been cut from heartwood, which is a more dense wood and is resilient to insects. Avoid yellow-colored cedar as it is cut from sapwood, which is a more low-quality wood. Select a length of fence post that is the height of your fence plus two feet for installing in the soil.
Next, treat the bottom section of each post that will be installed under the soil with a coating of wood protector that contains copper naphthenate. This will give the wood extra protection from moisture. You can find this type of wood treatment at paint stores and most home improvement stores.
Dig a hole where you will install your fence post along your fence line. The hole should be twelve inches across and at least two feet deep. Fill the bottom of the hole with approximately four inches of gravel to help water drain from around your post. Set your post on the gravel and fill the hole with two more inches of gravel to cover the bottom two inches of the post.
Prepare your concrete mixture and fill the post hole around the post. Overfill the hole enough so you can mound the concrete around the post to create a slope away from the post. This will help keep moisture from settling around the wooden post and creating rot. Use a level on all four sides of the post to set the post straight before the concrete cures.
After the concrete has hardened, apply a line of concrete silicone caulk around the base of the post to seal the crack between the post and the concrete. This creates an extra barrier preventing moisture from seeping between the wood and concrete.
Wood Post Installation Without Concrete
You can also install sturdy wood fence posts without using concrete as a stabilizer. Then, if you ever need to remove a fence post in the future, there will be no large clump of concrete to worry about.
Dig the post hole as close to the diameter of your wood post as possible. When you leave much of the surrounding compacted soil intact, it provides a more sturdy foundation for your post and saves you the work of compacting the soil back around your post after you have set it. A post hole digger is small enough that it can create the right-sized hole for your post.
Dig the hole to the depth of at least one-third of the length of your post. For example, if you have a post that is eight feet long, you will need to bury approximately three feet of the post, so dig a hole three feet deep. If your post is five feet long, you will need to bury approximately two feet of the post, so dig a hole two feet deep.
Place a large rock in the bottom of your post hole and place your post end on it in the hole. The rock provides drainage for the post to prevent the post from sitting in any moisture accumulation and creating rot in the base of your post. Then, fill the space around the post with several alternating layers of coarse gravel and soil. Compact each layer down with the end of your shovel. Overfill the hole around the fence post with a gravel and soil mixture to create a slope for water to flow away from your post.
These tips can help you install wooden fence posts that can be durable and last for many years. If you only need a temporary fencing solution, contact a company like http://rent-a-fence.com/.