How to Set a Fence Post in Cold Weather

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Occasionally building a fence becomes a spring, fall or winter task requiring setting fence posts in cold weather. This can pose a number of challenges to the builder, including frozen ground and difficulty curing concrete. With the proper equipment, some of which may be rented, the task falls within the capabilities of most do-it-yourselfers.

Things You'll Need

  • Power post-hole digger
  • Quikrete
  • Hot water
  • Metal rod
  • Insulated sheeting
  • Dig the fence post hole. Manual post-hole diggers may not penetrate frozen ground. Power post-hole diggers work better on hard ground.

  • Set the post in the hole. Attach the posts to braces and stakes to hold it straight and upright. Check the vertical level of the post in both directions before fastening the braces.

  • Mix Quikrete or other premixed concrete mix with 120 degree water following manufacturer's instructions. The hot water accelerates the curing of the cement.

  • Pour the concrete around the post into the hole. Use a thin metal rod to tamp the concrete into the hole and eliminate any air pockets within the concrete.

  • Wrap the area around the post with plastic sheeting or with insulation for the first two days.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid placing strain on the post for seven days. This allows the concrete to fully set.

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