Galvanized post setting in December


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Old 12-06-22, 07:45 AM
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Galvanized post setting in December

Toying with the idea of setting a few 2" (1-7/8) metal fence posts now instead of next year. Posts would be 9', 3' in ground. I am looking to use quikrete fast setting cement, and would dump the mix in the ground and add water, per manufacturer instructions for this type of use.

However, it is December. Temperatures where I am (outside Philadelphia) are looking to be 40's-low 50s daytime, 30's-maybe upper 20's at night. Post holes are not dug yet. Dig area gets full sun for much of the (short) day..

Should I continue considering this? No problem? No way? Iffy? Thanks.
 
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Old 12-06-22, 09:39 AM
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One of the bigger issues with cold curing (with un-modified cement for cold weather) is the surface freezing which can create spalling. For posts it's not a big deal, worst case throw some straw or an old blanket around it to keep cold and wind off for a couple days.
 
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Old 12-06-22, 12:01 PM
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putting dirt on top will work just as good, your temps are not all that cold.
 
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Old 12-06-22, 08:01 AM
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I think it will be ok. Concrete generates a small amount of heat as it cures. I would cover the top of the concrete.
 
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Old 12-06-22, 11:19 AM
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I think it will be ok. Concrete generates a small amount of heat as it cures. I would cover the top of the concrete.
worst case throw some straw or an old blanket around it to keep cold and wind off for a couple days
OK, along the lines of what I thought. If done right, the concrete will come to about 4" of surface, the rest to be filled with soil. I was going to temporarily mound room temperature soil around the post to provide insulation, but after marksr's post, I thought that I might go temporarily filling that 4" with misted straw covered by (preferably dark) plastic.
 
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Old 12-12-22, 11:07 AM
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Digging and cementing in the colder days

Union county NJ here, which pretty much is the same as Philly. Retired fence contractor... I have done my fence installations pretty much all year through. With the mild exception of some of the coldest days in January. As long as you can dig on a cold day, cementing should be okay. For the most part the cement will begin its curing process on the day you install the posts and then cement continues to cure for weeks to come. But its main curing would be good to go in about 2-4 hours on any 30-40 degree day.
Granted, if the entire day is no more than 30 and the evenings or after mid night hours would be in the lower teens than curing may take longer. Always keeping in mind that below ground is warmer than above ground.

If you have the opportunity to dig without it being too difficult from a frost line, I would go for it.

Greg NJ
 
 

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