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How To Pour Strong Concrete Footing

A chain link fence is a very effective and affordable way to to temporarily or permanently mark off your yard. Chain link fences are often used as a temporary solution because they are so affordable and easy to install. However, if they are properly installed, they can also be strong, permanent fences. The key to a strong fence is making sure posts are properly installed. This article explains how to pour concrete footing for your posts.    

Digging the Holes

Digging holes in soil is easiest if you have a post digger. However, you can still get the job done if you just have a normal shovel. If you use a normal shovel, you will inevitably dig a hole that is a little bit bigger than it needs to be. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it just means that you will need to use more concrete to fill the hole. A post digger allows you to dig much deeper and narrower holes. A general rule is that you should dig the post holes about 1/4 as deep as the post height. That is, if you are installing an 8' tall post, the hole should be 2' deep. Of course, the deeper you dig the hole, the stronger your fence will be. Furthermore, if the soil is loose, sandy and unstable, you might want to dig a little deeper for extra strength.

Mixing in the Hole

The key to installing a post in soil is to not mix the concrete beforehand. You want to actually mix the concrete in the hole. So, you poor concrete and water into the hole once it is ready, constantly stirring and mixing. As you set the post in the wet concrete, you will have to prop it up to make sure it is level while the concrete dries. Do not fill the hole completely to the top. You want to leave a few inches that you can cover up later with soil or grass.

This technique for mixing the concrete is much more effective than premixing it. The concrete will coagulate with the soil and create a strong bond. After all, a large part of any concrete mix is dirt.

Once all your posts are firmly set into the soil, you can continue with the rest of the installation. The stronger your footings are, the longer your fence will last and the bigger you can build it.