4x4 Fence Posts in Houston, Texas

Old 03-17-09, 05:07 PM
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4x4 Fence Posts in Houston, Texas

First off, I want to thank everyone who's answered previous posters. I've gotten a lot of useful information off this site.

Here's our project:

We're replacing a damaged fence in Houston, Texas. Soil here is clay (gumbo). We usually get plenty of rain, and when it rains, it pours. We get, maybe, two or three freezing weather days a year. ;-)

Fence will be 8 foot tall, 3 rail, with a 2x4 rot board. 10 foot posts will be placed every 6 feet for greater stability, and sunk in the ground 2 feet (that's standard practice here ... no heaving during the winter). Everything is treated -- .20 for rails, rot board, pickets; .40 for posts.

So, here's my question -- concrete with a 4" gravel base, or only gravel?

---> If concrete, how much, assuming a 10" diameter hole, 2 feet deep (with 4" below that for the gravel).

---> If only gravel, what size gravel and what would you recommend to tamp it in with? Same size (10") hole?

---> Also, any suggestions for making those durn posts last longer?

Thanks a lot for your help.

Old 03-20-09, 10:29 AM
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I don't much about gumbo but my first question is: Why do you need a hole 10" in diameter for a 4x4 post? Is the use of gravel for drainage or stability? If it's for drainage, don't use cement.
Old 03-21-09, 08:33 AM
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I will pick at your post for what I can and still feel good enough to say.

The posts... if they are treated, they are treated to the max of what is allowed. There is not much more you can do with the post itself.
In installing the post, in a high weather climate as you post I would suggest your concreting the post in a high to low fashion. In that I would slope the top of the cement away from the post, so that water does not get trapped nearest to the post and sort of gulley there. Water creates rot. Keep the water away from that post and it will rot less.
At the same time I would suggest both a gravel base as well as the cement to adhere the posts. The gravel base will keep the water away from the base of the posts while in the ground.
Gumbo.... you describe it as clay?

Happy digging there... there is nothing favorable about digging in clay no matter what state you live in.

I wish I could help more.

Oh , one more thing... Keep your fence panels off the ground.\
If you have as much rain as you mentioned I would imagine your ground is wet all the time. That being the case your grass is wet, and your grass can in fact hold the moisture against the bottom of the fence.
Try a mow strip.. cement or gravel. Either will keep the water away from your fence.

Good Luck

Gregs Fence

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