Setting Foam in Place of Concrete for Deck Posts

by Chris Mills
(Beavercreek, OH)

Has anybody used post setting foam in place of concrete for post footers?

Editors Comments
Yes, you can use the new foam that is available to stabilize support posts. But make sure the post is treated for ground contact and that you follow these principles for footings.

For more information, check out this video:

Video Recap

Hey, here's a great question from Chris from Beavercreek, Ohio.

Chris writes, "Has anybody used pole setting foam in place of concrete for post footers?"

Okay, let's get a visual of what Chris is referring to. He is thinking of building a deck and instead of building a concrete pier and then putting a post on top of the pier above the ground.

He's saying, "Hey. I'll dig a hole, just drop this post in the ground, and rather than back-filling with concrete, I'm just going to put that foam in there. Can I do it?"

Well, yeah, you can, actually. This has been done for fences. There is a lot of product on the market now. You see that you mix it, it's got an agent that causes the chemical reaction, and that foam just fills out and it's a great option.

A couple of things, though, that come to mind when you're putting a footing in the ground. Make sure that there is some kind of a pad or something underneath that footing, that that footing isn't just the four by four pressing on the ground because that's a lot of weight. The entire structure is going to impose all that load above it over a 16-inch square area, so think of that.

Get a pad under there of some sort that can distribute that weight a little better. Make sure that the post is treated for ground contact. So, you know, you don't just want to use a regular treated post. You want something that's designed for ground contact.

Another thing you might want to consider is a post sleeve. Those are good, too. But I guess the good thing with foam is that foam is going to be impervious to water anyway, so you should get some pretty good protection around there.

Bottom line is you can do this. It should work. You've still got to dig the holes, but you're not going to spend time mixing concrete. So good luck, Chris in Beavercreek.

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