3 Tricks To Installing Stronger 4X4 Wood Fence Posts That Last Longer

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good morning gardeners and di wires

everywhere it's Sunday February 2nd and

I have spent the past several weekends

setting wood posts as part of my massive

garden expansion project that I'm

completing this winter for the 2020

growing season and today I wanted to

give you some tips and tricks on how to

set a wood post in ground so it is both

stronger and will last longer and be

more resistant to rot all of the wood

posts that you see in front of you are 4

inch by 4 inch by 10-foot long posts and

they are all number 2 pressure treated

lumber that is rated for ground contact

any wood post that you set in earth

absolutely has to be pressure treated

and rated for ground contact here you

can see the severe weather stamp that is

on every single one of these

pressure-treated posts and you can

clearly see the ground contact

general-use label printed on it while it

is absolutely mandatory that you use

ground contact rated pressure treated

lumber to set as posts just because it

is pressure treated and rated for ground

contact doesn't mean that it will never

rot all pressure treated wood is is rot

resistant the pressure treated ground

contact rating will simply slow the rot

it will not prevent the rot so in order

to slow that rot even further there are

some tips and tricks that you can employ

along the way when you're setting your

post to ensure less contact with water

and longer life for all of your wood

that is installed in the ground

the first tip that I'm going to give you

today is how to increase the strength of

your wood posts that you're installing

in the ground now when most people

install wood posts in the ground they

embed them in concrete and the main

point of embedding them in concrete is

to add additional strength but the

inherent problem with concrete is it

needs something to grip onto to really

add strength so if you simply add a wood

post in the ground and pour concrete

around it there is not good frictional

forces between the concrete and the wood

post itself and what that means is

because the wood post is

smooth and so uniform and straight it

doesn't have a lot of rough edges for

that concrete to grab onto so what we

want to do here is we want to increase

the surface area of this wood post so

there is more surface area for the

concrete to adhere to and grab onto and

we also want to make it rougher and less

uniform so there's better grip where the

two frictional forces of the post and

the concrete meet so in order to do this

I took simple three-inch wood screws and

I embedded them into the post here and

what those wood screws are going to do

is they are going to create irregular

points with ridges and a lot of friction

for the concrete to adhere to so instead

of the concrete simply trying to hug

around the post those screws are going

to be embedded in the concrete and it is

going to add a tremendous layer of

strength to your post so right here you

can see the wood post in front of you

and this is a 10 foot long wood post and

this wood post should be buried at least

3 feet into the ground so here you see

two different marks that I made you see

a straight line on your right and that

is exactly at 36 inches that is the

burial line of the wood post right to

the left of it you see a dotted line

that is at 24 inches so I have a mark

both at 2 feet and 3 feet and what I

want to do is I want to put the wood

screws inside the 2 to 3 foot range

because that will be near the top of the

concrete and near the middle of the

concrete so all I did was take 4 3-inch

long coated 10-year warranty wood screws

and I drilled them into the side of the

post at roughly a 30 to 45 degree angle

and it's very important that you buy

either a galvanized or coated wood screw

that is made to last at least 10 years

because it's going to be embedded in

concrete and you're going to want the

screw to last as long as possible and

those screws protruding from the wood

post is going to give that concrete

something really nice to grab on to and

your post is going to be so much


and more resistant to winds and shifting

than if you were to just bury that post

inside concrete alone now that we've

discussed how to install the posts so

they are stronger and sturdier when

placed in the ground let's discuss how

we can install them so we can increase

the resistance to rock the number one

mistake most people make when they

install a wood post in the ground is

they install the hole just deep enough

so the bottom of the post rests on the

actual soil itself and this is a problem

because the post is contacting directly

with the soil that soil is inherently

damp and that dampness will be in

contact with the bottom of the post at

all times furthermore if you receive any

kind of rain event that soil may become

wetter and wetter over time this is an

extreme problem if you live in a place

which has clay soil because that soil

may be wet 365 days a year

and because of that wet clay or the damp

soil is contacting the bottom of your

wood posts at all times it is going to

eat away at the base of the post and

that rot is going to slowly travel up

your post and rot it at a quicker pace

so one way you can prevent that is by

putting a three to six inch layer of

gravel down underneath each post so in

my case my holes have to be dug 36

inches deep at a minimum to set my post

I've been digging them 40 inches deep

and below each post I put down a four

inch layer of gravel and right in front

of me I have a simple 50-pound bag of

quikrete multi-purpose gravel this is

just basically crushed bluestone and

they sell it at Lowe's or Home Depot for

about $4 a bag and each bag I'm getting

about two holes worth of gravel when I

dig the hole that is eight to twelve

inches in diameter to set the post and

what happens is because we are now

sitting on a layer of crushed bluestone

the bottom of that post is not

contacting damp soil if you were to get

a severe rain event and the soil becomes

saturated the soil is going to drain

all around the wood post and it's going

to drain through the gravel so that

gravel is always going to be drier than

the surrounding soil so it will add

years to the bottom of your posts life

and slow down rot by putting a firm dry

base around your wood post the third and

final tip that I want to give you for

installing a wood post in the ground to

increase its longevity and resistance to

rot is to install the wood post with a

foundation reveal and this is probably

the best bit advice that I'm giving you

in this video

I have watched multiple videos around

YouTube about how to install a wood post

in the ground and they're all the same

for the most part they all include

someone excavating a hole and they're

either filling the hole full of quikrete

rapidset concrete or they're hand mixing

concrete and they're shoveling the

concrete into the hole and then the

concrete always ends at the surface and

this is setting you up for critical

failure that concrete will over time

sink into the ground where the concrete

meets the post will be the low spot at

the soil line and every single time it

rains water is going to pull around

where the concrete meets the post and

the water is going to intrude in that

little tiny gap where the concrete meets

the wood and it's going to over time

trickle down and it is going to rot that

post at a very fast rate so here we have

a simple 8 inch quikrete concrete tube

and these come in all different sizes

you can get 8 inches 12 inches you can

get them in 24 inches in in 36 inches

and what this is is it's a tube form

that you install above the soil line

that you press into the top of your

concrete and it allows you to overfill

the concrete so the top of the concrete

foundation is several inches above grade

line I recommend at least a three inch

foundation reveal which means the top of

this tube should protrude a minimum of

three inches above the soil line and

what this does is it prevents water from

ponding around the exact point

where the concrete meets the wood

because I have a three-inch reveal on

every foundation what will happen every

time it rains is the water is going to

pull around the concrete not at the

point where the concrete meets the wood

post using these concrete form tubes is

a very simple process you'll see every

five inches I have a mark all I do is I

mark every five inches and I cut a five

inch piece of this concrete form too

after I set my post I fill it up with

concrete to the top of the soil line I

then take one of these concrete forms

and I push it two inches inside of the

concrete so I have a three-inch reveal

protruding above the soil line and I use

a level to level it laterally but I

leave the back of the foundation pitched

slightly higher than the front of the

foundation that way any water from rain

will not pull on the top of the

foundation because it will be sloped and

it will run off


using these three simple tips and tricks

you can set a wood post that is stronger

and last longer everyone thank you so

much for watching today's video if you

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description thank you all so much for

watching and I hope to see each and

every one of you on the next video