If you own a home that is not fenced in, you might be thinking about installing them. Fencing is an exciting DIY to especially when the weather is nice. But can you erect fence posts in wet clay?
For a fence to be firm and durable, you have to ensure that all the conditions are met and post is held firmly into the ground regardless of conditions. Read on to find out whether you can erect fence posts in wet clay and the consequences of doing so.
Consequences of Erecting Fence Posts in Wet Clay
It is possible to erect fence posts in wet clay. However, you need to be very careful given the soil conditions. For the best results, you should use concrete that helps stabilize the posts and keep them firm. Without proper procedures, you risk an unstable fence that can easily get damaged by adverse climatic conditions.
For instance, strong winds could dislodge the posts, impacting the integrity of your posts. There are several consequences of not following proper procedures when erecting fence posts in wet clay, some of them include;
- Instability: One of the main consequences of erecting fence posts in wet clay is instability. You cannot compare the stability of a post erected in standard soil to that erected in wet clay. Even the slightest amount of pressure could topple the posts, putting your fence at great risk.
- Cannot hold cement: If you are looking to erect fence posts in wet clay using concrete, you might experience some challenges. This is because the wet soil might fail to hold the concrete, affecting the whole process. You might be forced to use other ways of stabilizing the posts, which can be very costly.
Ways To Erect Post In Wet Conditions
If you are looking to install posts in wet conditions, it is not a good idea to simply set them in concrete. Doing so could result in rotting. The best way to do is digging your holes about 3-5 inches deeper than you usually do. Then, put gravel at the bottom for fence posts to rest on. Experts also recommend that you backfill the bottom third with tamped gravel.
If you are using concrete, go for a dry mix. You might have worries about it setting properly in the wet conditions. If that is the case, you can mix the concrete with a small amount of calcium chloride. It is important to ensure that you do it correctly in a way that meets the required standards.
Furthermore, you need to be careful with calcium chloride because it is mostly used in cold temperatures and might not be effective in your specific situation. As much as its effectiveness is not guaranteed, adding a handful of it helps speed up the time it takes for concrete to set. The faster your concrete sets, the less likely it will be impacted by the wet conditions.
If you are looking to erect fence posts in wet conditions, follow these steps for the best results.
Start by digging holes using your hole digger. Make sure that every hole is slightly over 20 inches in depth and with a width of approximately 6 inches. It is recommended that the hole penetrates below the frost line by several inches. As mentioned earlier, make sure that each hole is 3-5 inches deeper than normal.
The second step involves filling up the holes you dug with a trusty shovel. It is important to ensure that you backfill the bottom third of every hole with tamped gravel.
In this step, you should start preparing your concrete mix. The best way to do so is mixing concrete with water. Then, stir it gently with a shovel in a wheelbarrow. After preparing the concrete, add it to every hole.
In this step, take your fence post and put it inside the hole containing concrete. Use any kind of force to secure it in the hole and ensure it gets all the way down. The deeper the post goes, the stronger your fence will be. Repeat this process for every post hole available.
Lastly, level and balance out all the posts before concrete sets. Make sure that every post is in correct alignment with one another and adjust properly. You are free to add more concrete if you feel it’s not enough. If you do everything as directed, the concrete should set within 24 hours.
Possible Ways of Dealing with Shallow Water Table
There are several ways of dealing with a shallow water table. Apart from the directions above, there are ways you erect fence posts in wet conditions. However, it depends with how wet the conditions are and the soil drainage. You can dig dipper holes and use metallic fence posts as ways of dealing with a shallow water table.