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Postcrete, What Temperature Can You Use It In?

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.

how much postcrete to use per post?

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.

In the image, I’m using a bucket to represent the hole.
Fill your hole one third with water
Fill your hole one third with water

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.

Place your post in the hole
Place your post in the hole

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.

Step 6 – Level Your Post

Now comes the time to get your post perfectly straight while the mix is still wet and moveable.

Get your Post Level
Get your Post Level

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.The Postcrete Has Just Set

The Postcrete Has Just Set

Done!

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.

For concrete, you also need to order sand and ballast, then mix this in well to make concrete. You will also need a mixer if you are making a lot of concrete. You can use a bucket or even just the floor, but this can be slow or in the case of the floor, messy.
Concrete is stronger than postcrete however. Postcrete only sues very small gravel as ballast whereas in a concrete mix the size and amount of ballast are up to you. Using more ballast in a concrete mix can increase the overall strength of the set concrete.
Concrete made in bulk will also be a lot cheaper than postcrete. This doesn’t include the cost of a mixer or the extra labour involved with making your own concrete. So for just a few small holes postcrete will come out as the cheaper option. But for anything more, such as a full fence with plenty of posts it will be more cost-effective to mix your own concrete.

More on Postcrete

Want to learn more about postcrete? Luckily for you, we have lots of other information available.