Expanding Foam Vs. Concrete Fence Post: Which Material Best for You


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Expanding Foam Vs. Concrete Fence Post – Setting the fence post turns out to be tricky at times. But it isn’t always the case. You can get plenty of options that can take care of reducing the problems associated with it.

There are many reasons why people choose expanding foam as a great option for the surrounding cavities and the creation of a strong seal. In this article, you will learn about the expanding foam vs concrete fence post ideas.

The Highlight on the Expanding Home Expanding Foam

The product for the expansion and hardening, expanding foam, when it comes in contact with the air, sets the fence posts. Most people find that in the canister with the spray nozzle expanding foam turns out to be easy to apply in various situations.

It can work in the form of insulation but also can work for supporting the fence post.

Application of the expanding foam turns out to be easy that requires just rolling it out, mixing it, cutting, and pouring it into the hole. The setting takes place in just 3 minutes, and it is durable and highly resistant to infiltration of moisture.

It also comes up with the sealant and protectant nature. That said, it is good enough in cold climates that do not require too many additives.

The Benefits of Expanding Foam for the Fence Post

Sika® PostFix® Fence Post Mix | SIKA
Sourace: Retail.usa.silka.com

The homeowners and the builders always use the expanding foam that can help treat the fence post. They’re easy to use and also quickly right within just 5 minutes.

Expanding foam turns out to be the best substance that finds capability in hardening the areas. When mixed and applied thoroughly, it fosters expansion and eventually turns hard.

It finds expansion in around 15 minutes more than the original size, making the expansion foam look quite deceptive. Many forms will be available, like the polyurethane are also the latex-based ones.

Several preparations will come with expanding foam, and they are good enough for expanding widely or with low expansion. When it comes to set fence posts, both the wide expansion and a low expansion expanding foam are working effectively.

Many other expanding foams are good enough for setting within three minutes of the application, making the overall method easier.

The form is available in the market in the form of bags that require mixing before applying.

It is becoming quite common to use the expanding foam that can help in setting the fence post while also marking it good enough for long-term durability.

The advantage is in the form that the concrete is within the expansion itself. Expanding foam has the nature of expanding up to 15 times in size, thus giving it the extra mile to secure the fence post.

There is also a cavity beneath the post that gets filled during this procedure for giving extra security.

Highlight on the Concrete for Fence Post

Concrete turns out to be the material for setting the fence post primarily. The strength and long-lasting durability make it quite durable.

Despite expanding, foam is a better option for many reasons; concrete turns out to be still the better option. In case you want a secured fence post, it’s worth opting for concrete.

Whenever you fill the hole with the concrete for securing the posts, you can rest assured that it will set within 20 hours 40 minutes of wait time.

Overall it is good enough with the two feet of length in the ground. Before securing it with the help of concrete, ensure there is concrete beneath the surface and is good enough for withstanding the forces.

Overall it is strong enough, and so there comes a debate whether to choose concrete for mixing before filling a hole for the post or not.

Many professionals mention that the clear choice should be regarding mixing the concrete with water before pouring it into the whole. The alternative to it is also dumping the dry concrete mix into the hole and then adding water.

The reason behind mixing the concrete before going is that it can bring in many layers of the concrete that will dry and hold durability.

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Now the Question Is Which Is Better?

Ultimately expanding foam turns out to be better in terms of sitting the fence post compared to concrete. With concrete, you can’t expect consistency to the bottom layer. Sometimes you may notice problems even when you mix it well.

It suggests that with expanding foam, however, there is no such problem. More or less, it does the work for you.

The expanding form starts growing and filling up the hole, including the nook and the cranny. This will be completely different from the concrete that finds use in solidifying on the top, but sometimes it becomes brittle and inconsistent on the bottom.

Concrete turns out to be the better choice when you’re mixing evenly and thoroughly before you filled the hole but not after that.

Besides, you should also consider certain metrics that will help give a better idea regarding the expanding foam and concrete for the equivalent sized holes for the fence post.

A Highlight on the Pros of Expanding Foam Mix:

• It requires less labor and sets fast

• Its cheaper and works well for 4×4 poles

• It can fill smaller holes easily, and it’s also an effortless task to remove and replace

A Highlight on the Cons of Expanding Foam Mix:

• Its very lightweight and is quite similar to glue to an anchor

• These bagged substances won’t fill large holes or anchor 6×6 poles

• The compression strength of concrete isn’t available with the expanding foam.

• Requires stable, compacted ground at all times, thus making it quite challenging to work with

• It’s not reusable

The expanding foam is better for filling the gaps around 4 x 4 post in the hard ground. On the softer ground, you will find that it is practically useless.

A Highlight on the Pros of Concrete:

• The cheaper material cost makes it accessible for all the purposes.

• There is high compression strength when it is mixed poured and or cured properly.

• Concrete is quite heavy and will be given the anchor effect.

A Highlight on the Cons of Concrete:

• There is a requirement for more labor in mixing the concrete

• It is good enough for many users, but curing takes a lot of time

• Sometimes it becomes practically difficult to remove and replace

• Overall it proves to be heavy and strong in terms of the competitors

Concrete can find better use in making the base for the post that will act as a strong anchor. There is also the chance that if you have soft ground over, then the concrete is something that will give benefits.

The Other Facts Associated With the Polyurethane Foam

Polyurethane foam can give zero support for setting the 4×4 post. The purpose is only to go ahead with insulation and to provide the thermal break between the elements.

Depending on whether you are using the open cell or the closed-cell, you can go ahead with some waterproofing benefits that will be applicable here.

If you are setting the 4×4 post into the ground, you will have to make sure that it comes with the below-grade rate.

Besides, at times, you will have to consider going with digging 10 inches in diameter and placing 3 inches of the concrete right in the bottom of the hole.

Now you will have to hold it at the center of the post in the hole and start filling in everything else with the concrete.

Air pockets around the post can be a serious issue at times. That said, there may be problems regarding adherence in one spot around a fence post.

Such situations are responsible for resulting in air pockets, which sometimes result in contributing to a lack of stability.

If there are issues like fence posts aren’t strongly fixed in the ground, possibilities may be that the hole dug wasn’t deep enough and couldn’t allow the foam to penetrate as far.

The Highlight on Setting the Fence Post With Expanding Foam

Before you can just begin the first step, you will have to always ensure that you have the proper outdoor conditions. That said, you will have to maintain the warmth and dry temperature. You also may be wanting the hole dug. Always make sure about going through the manufacturer’s directions for the specific material.

However, most people will be suggesting that the hole should be around 8 inches in diameter and around one of a third of the length of the post within the ground. If you are using the soil that allows it to penetrate easily, you will have to try digging 2 to 3 feet deep. In that way, you will also be having a few feet of the post right into the ground that can give you the enhanced security. Now just go ahead with making the hole that is free of any debris and standing water. For that, you will have to follow certain steps.

Step 1

Stick the fence post right into the hole.

Step 2

Go ahead with mixing the expanding foam by giving it a good shape. Makes sure about keeping it inside there for the short window. Let it stay for 20 or 30 seconds since the product is vulnerable to drying very soon.

Step 3

Pour the expanding foam right into the hole.

Step 4

Go ahead with applying the light pressure to the fence post and keep it in place for around 3 of 5 minutes. But in the proves, keep the material poured completely leveled. That said, with that precaution, you can rest assured that it won’t be shifting in the later stage. For better results, you should also consider using the leveling equipment.

Step 5

Just let go of the force and check that whether it is secured in the position or not.

There are certain tips that you should maintain while you expect the best results with the expanding foam.

The Tips That You Need to Maintain for Better Results

  • With expanding foam, consult the local building code to ensure that you have an idea regarding the frost depth in the area. By getting this idea, you will get the opportunity of determining how deep the holes should be.
  • Ensure carefully reading the directions and data sheet with the particular expanding foam product.
  • Go with the understanding regarding the product temperature. Expanding foam should be between 18 and 25-degree celsius for at least 2 hours before you go ahead with the setting.
  • Always keep in mind that the average temperature in the area should be around 40-degree celsius only. That staid in case the products are stored in the ground it will have the same temperature. 4 degrees can bring in a huge difference in the success of the expanding foam.
  • Always make sure that you do not have standing water in the areas in the hole. It’s worth noting that most expanding foam products recommend removing any standing water from the hole, along with loose soil. You should follow it to escape the undesirable results. If you have standing water, you will always have to pay attention to backfilling the hole fastly with the help of the gravels that will make sure that there won’t be water for disturbing the post again.
  • Strictly go ahead with adhering to the mixing time of 20-second. This is very important because not having enough time for the mixture to set may cause additional errors.
  • Never go with moving the post. Ensure that during the first few seconds of the initial, you can expect better results only when you have the post stable inside the hole as the compound is curing at its level.
  • Always be fully prepared for working quickly. Ensure that you have everything ready at your fingertips so that you don’t have to waste your time finding equipment. This tip can ensure the avoidance of complete wastage. Always make sure about having the safety gear on because since the substance is already placed in the hole, you need to keep working fast enough. When you have the tools nearby, it can curb the distractions. So it will be what is extremely fast and can give you good results in no time.

How to Set the Fence Post With Concrete?

Setting the fence post with concrete turns out to be simple, but there are certain variations that you will have to consider.

Decide whether or not you want to use the premix of the concrete or mix in the hole itself. Pre-mixing turns out to be the better because it will be getting faster and will be consistent all the way.

Otherwise, you can also just go ahead with the addition of pouring the concrete mix right into the hole. Add water and wait for some time.

For clarity, you can use instructional videos that will be making it an easy-to-go setup. Now follow these steps.

Step 1

Mix the concrete right into the bag or the tub. Do that by adding the water and stirring it well.

Step 2

Fill in the hole with one or two inches with gravels right at the bottom that will give you stability.

Step 3

Set the fence post right inside the hole.

Step 4

Just mix into the hole surrounding the post and make sure that you are evenly pouring it.

Step 5

Make use of the balancing brace for holding the post in position for around 10 minutes.

Step 6

Just go ahead with removing the balancing brace and allow the 4 hours of dry time before putting the actual fence itself up.

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Final Words

The expanding foam vs concrete fence post debate goes on. Concrete and expanding foam prove to be amazing for setting fence posts. However, some people always opt for expanding foam to be better.

This is due to the reason that it proves to be slightly easier to work with. Besides, it can also guarantee the potential to create a more solid foundation.

That said, it can also ultimately ensure strengthening the fence. The ability to expand in all directions makes sure of adherence to virtually anything in the hole.

Again, it is worth noting that expanding foam is solid and ensures finding itself stronger than concrete.

Expanding foam works as a chemical that rapidly expands and solidifies into a foam formation.

That said, it finds use in construction and repairing to fill cracks, holes, and gaps. Overall, it proves to be super lightweight, thus making it easy to maneuver.

That said, it proves to be easy to apply, non-toxic. Though it takes around 24 hours to cure, a well-ventilated area gives the added support.

Concrete again finds use in construction to create various structures, including fence posts for holding up wooden fences. That said, concrete proves to be heavy, hard, and takes time to dry.

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