The Best Concrete Mix for Fence Posts
A fence with strong support posts makes it more strong. The posts in the fence In some cases are anchored in concrete. Any type of concrete mixture is good for forming the fencing posts.
But some concrete mixtures do better in cases of strength and privacy. Well, there are some alternatives to this. The Sika fence pro mixture is an expanding foam that can be one of those alternatives.
If I had to choose the best concrete mix for fence posts the first one that comes to my mind is the Quikrete fast-setting concrete mix. You can go for a 50lb bag.
The reason for it being the best is that working with this concrete is easier. This concrete mix sets up very fast and you do not need to mix it for use. Just pour the concrete into the hole where you want to build the post and then soak the hole with sufficient water.
All in all the Quikrete fast-setting concrete mix is the best for installing posts for fences. Working with it is easy, it sets quickly, and it is very strong. It is better to work with original concrete instead of synthetic foam.
Quikrete 50lb Fast Setting Concrete Mix
Undoubtedly, the Quikrete 50lb fast-setting mix is the best concrete mix you will find in the market. It can be bought from any home depot so easily. It will cost $6 per bag.
Though buying concrete in bags will increase the labor and time, it is so cheap that the extra time and labor can be compensated. Quikrete’s fast-setting concrete mix is best because you do not have to mix it with water before pouring it into the hole.
Pour the dry mixture into the hole and then put sufficient water into the hole. The concrete will harden just by getting soaked like this.
You need not use any tools or trays or anything else. Just pour the premixed concrete into the hole and add water. And it is done.
It will take twenty to forty minutes for the wet concrete to harden. But to fully cure to 4000 psi it will take nearly 28 to 30 days. This concrete is very strong. The brand demands that after 2o to 40 minutes of soaking the concrete, you can leave it on its own.
This concrete is so stiff and strong that it can support any type of post right away. You can put on the posts without any delays.
One of the advantages of using Quikrete’s fast-setting concrete mix is that you will not mess things up as there is no need of mixing it. Many people overwater the concrete mix and so it becomes weak and does not last long. In this case, it will not happen.
How Many Bags Do I Need?
Concrete bags of 50lb are lighter than 80lb concrete bags. This makes the job easier. For one hole you will need multiple bags as the 50lb bags are small.
The number of bags needed will depend on the depth and breadth of the hole. But in a rough vision, an average-sized hole requires two bags of concrete per hole.
Each bag costs around $6 so per post you will have to expend around $15. It is more than the actual cost so this will equalize if any post needs more concrete in any case.
Concrete Can Be Formed
You simply can form concrete. It is one of the benefits of using real concrete in making a fence post. In some cases, the fence post is built underground.
In such cases where the post is completely underground using foam works fine. But if it is outside of the ground then use real concrete.
If you want to give your post a much better appearance then you can pour the concrete into a tube. It will give the concrete a smooth shape and a good appearance.
Quikrete Fast-Setting Concrete Is Real Concrete
Many people all over the world use synthetic foam fence post fillers instead of concrete. But people should use real concrete. Synthetic foam is a great alternative to concrete. Sika makes a great synthetic foam product. But classically doing things has its advantages.
Though the foam is largely used all over the world, I would not make the base of my house using synthetic foam or any other project like making roads or bridges, etc.
Even though foam is lighter and working with foam is very easy, I still recommend people to use real concrete which has been in use for a long time.
Sika Fence Post Mix
This product is specifically formulated for setting fence posts. But the sika fence post mix is not concrete. This is polyurethane resin of two parts and comes pre-mixture.
For this foam to use mix it inside the bag and then pour it into the hole where the post is being built. This mixture produces expanding foam. This foam can support any sized fence post.
All types of posts are supported by this foam be it either PVC posts, steel posts, or wood posts. One important thing to remember is that you do not need to mix water with sika. If water is not available in the place where the post is being built it will be a great advantage.
Compared to concrete, the sika mix is very lightweight. A bag of concrete weighs 50 lbs whereas a bag of sika weighs 2.5 lbs.
Sika is designed to support fence posts. So it is more convenient and using it is easier.
It takes only three minutes to install the Sika mix. The process to install it is very easy. This mixture is resistant to water uptake. So if you have a wooden post it will not get rotten over time. Even in cold areas, sika mix can be used easily without using any additives.
Pros of Sika Fence Post Mix
It is lighter than real concrete mixtures. Though the real concrete mix is cheaper, concrete is heavy. Installing concrete is a mess; it requires water and concrete takes a longer time to set.
Another thing to keep in mind while making the concrete mixture is to add water carefully. Adding too much water will weaken the concrete. If you use Sika then you will not have to worry about this.
Using sika mix is very simple. Mix all the components and put them into the hole. Working with Sika is easy. Sika mix is durable in any weather.
Cons of Sika Fence Post Mix
One of the cons is that the sika fence post mixture is too expensive. A 2.5 lb bag costs nearly $14. This bag can be used in place of 50 lb bags of concrete the cost of which is $6. So it costs more than two times as much as concrete.
Sika fence post mix is a chemical product. If you are worried about the soil then there is bad news for you. It harms the soil.
You can not mix the sika fence post mix by yourself as you did with concrete. Mixing concrete is easy because it contains only sand aggregate and cement. You can mix it according to your desired strength of the posts. With Sika, it is not possible.
You can not form or work with sika fence post mix as you can do with concrete. It is good to use it in below-grade fence posts but where the pier comes out of the ground, sika mixture should not be used.
If the job is on a large scale use a standard 3500 psi 80lb premixed bag or if you want to mix the concrete by yourself it is fine. Any concrete mix works nicely for setting fence posts. Just mix the concrete properly so it becomes strong enough.
If it comes to buying a premixed bag then there are a lot of options. But one thing you need to look at is its strength. Generally, a 3000 psi to 5000 psi strength concrete mixture is used for fence posts.
Add the water while mixing the concrete carefully. Do not add more water than what is needed. It will make the mixture weak and the time to harden will increase. Adding more water weakens the concrete though it makes it easier to use it.
It takes a little more time to set up regular concrete than that fast concrete. But that is enough to support fence posts. First, you need to set the posts in the places where you want to build the posts.
Then fill one hole and then move on to the other post. Concrete can hold the post with ease even before it hardens completely but it will take one extra day to be as hard as it takes to hold the weight of the fence. So do not build the fence the same day you pour the concrete.
Build a Strong Post Base
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you are building a base strong enough to hold the fence posts. So it does not matter what concrete you mix as long as it is strong.
Make sure that the size of the base is as it should be. You will need a different-sized base for different-sized fences. So the base should be deep and wide so that it can support the fence posts. If the base is not deep enough and wide then the fence will move and eventually it will fall.
One of the main reasons for considering concrete over foam mix is that concrete is heavy. Even if you do any blunder while mixing the concrete if the hole is deep and wide it would still make 200+ lbs of concrete. It is strong enough to hold the fence posts.
Use a strong post. It is also important to use a strong post along with a strong base. If the post is not strong and prone to damage then it will fail over time.
If you bolt down your fence then do not make any mistakes and use good quality and strong bolts. You need to drill the bolts deep so that it gives more strength.
The strength of the post will be as much as that of the base. The concrete is just an anchor in such cases. It is the metal base that supports the fence and holds the posts.
The bottom of the concrete footing should be flat. And the bottom should be straight down. The bottom should not be down at an angle. There should be no point at the bottom of the footing.
If there is any then the bottom will sink and the post will sink too. And if the bottom is on an angle then it will bend down over time.