So you have just got yourself some postcrete bags, but the weather’s a little cold out and you are wondering what temperature is too cold to use postcrete in? After all we all know you should never lay concrete in sub-zero temperatures, but is this also true for postcrete? Let’s have a look and find out.
What temperature is too cold for postcrete?
You can use postcrete at any temperature, well at least any temperature you are likely to find here in the UK. this is because of how quick postcrete sets because it hardens in just a matter of minutes you won’t have any chance of it freezing before its had chance to set.
This is the problem with concrete and is why you can’t use it when the temperatures are near to zero or expected to drop near to zero overnight. Because the concrete won’t have set there is a chance the water in it will freeze. This will ruin your concrete and lead to excessive cracking.
As I have said, due to the rapid setting nature of postcrete this won’t be an issue as it will set long before it has a chance to freeze. The only issue you will face will be digging holes in frozen ground!
How do you use postcrete?
I have a full guide on this here: How to use postcrete but I will also provide a quick breakdown for those of you in a hurry below.
Step 1 – Dig Your Hole
The obvious place to start is by digging your hole for your post.
Step 2 – Fill Your Hole One Third Full With Water
Now add some water to your hole. You want it roughly one-third full and with the water no longer draining away.
Step 3 – Place Your Post In The Hole
Now place your post into the hole, don’t worry about getting it perfectly straight just yet.
Step 4 – Add Postcrete
Now comes the time to add some postcrete, keep adding it until the postcrete comes just above the water level.
Step 5 – Aerate The Mixture
Use a long pole to mix up the postcrete a little. Just jab it up and down into the mix.
Now comes the time to get your post perfectly straight while the mix is still wet and moveable.
Step 7 – Keep the Post Straight As The Mix Sets
Now you need to keep the post perfectly straight while the postcrete mix sets. You can do this by either clamping or fixing it to a support structure or just holding it. Fixing it to a support structure is definitely the better way though.
That’s all there is to it, your post is now set. The postcrete will continue to harden over the next few hours so don’t knock the post as it will still be liable to move a little.
Postcrete vs Concrete, what’s the difference?
again I have a full article on this, find it here: Postcrete vs Concrete
So what exactly is the difference between these two? Well the most obvious, and the one you will notice straight away, is how you use the two. Postcrete is much easier to use than concrete, no mixing is required, just chuck it in your post hole add some water and away you go.
No mixing is required with postcrete
When using postcrete all you have to do is add water to your post hole and then chuck the postcrete in. That’s it, no mixing at all. The postcrete will then proceed to set over 15-20 minutes from my experience.
Contrast this with concrete which you have to pre-mix and mix well before putting it anywhere and you can see that postcrete is much easier to use, when setting posts at least.