The best way to start any construction project is to have the right materials and tools. You need to consider the project timeframe, the durability it requires, and what tools you already have on hand.
Postcrete and concrete are two materials that can seem similar at first glance. However, they each have their own level of setting times, strength, and ease of use.
Concrete comes in many forms and is a general term for a mix of cement, aggregate, and water. It’s good for large-scale projects like driveways and is one of the strongest construction materials available. Postcrete is a brand name for post fixing mix. It’s more limited in its applications and durability, but it’s very easy to use and sets quickly.
What Is Concrete?
Concrete is a mixture of cement, water, aggregate (such as sand or gravel), and cementitious additives. It’s easy to produce and the ratios are mixable to specific strengths and durability.
Therefore, you can tailor your concrete mixture to the needs of any particular job.
You can also have ready-mixed concrete. This comes ready for use from a central processing plant instead of needing mixing at the job site.
This is one of the most commercially available forms of concrete. Instead of a tailor-made but complicated mixing process, you simply add water to a predetermined mix of dry material.
Concrete is also available as a “precast” material. Precast concrete is one that has already cured into various forms, from blocks to entire building systems.
Professionals make precast in factory conditions and then deliver it to the job site.
Sometimes concrete can contain rebar, turning it into reinforced concrete. This is either part of the recast process or part of the on-site construction.
What Is Postcrete?
Postcrete is actually a brand-name product of post fixing mix.
These products are a form of ready-mixed concrete. They don’t require mixing, making application fast and easy.
Postcrete uses additives specifically for setting metal, wooden, or even concrete posts into the ground. In short, Postcrete is a form of concrete with a very specific purpose.
Similarities Between Postcrete And Concrete
Since Postcrete is a form of concrete, there are a few similarities between the two.
Both contain cement, aggregates, and other additives. They form a hard, sturdy surface once dry.
While many concrete products need mixing, you can also buy pre-mixed concrete. Like Postcrete, these don’t need heavy-duty mixing.
Differences Between Postcrete And Concrete
Although they are two forms of the same material, there are many differences between Postcrete and concrete.
Use the below comparison guide to quickly see the differences between the two products.
|Uses||Large project areas such as driveways, sidewalks, etc.||Specifically for securing posts into the ground; good for smaller projects|
|Preparation||Requires mixing with specific rations; large quantities require a heavy-duty mixer; can be bought pre-formed||No mixing required|
|Setting Time||Up to a few hours; one to seven days to fully harden; one month for maximum durability||Five to ten minutes; fully hardens in a few hours|
|Strength||Very durable, even over large areas; mix ratios can be changed to increase strength||Strength can’t be altered; weaker over large areas and no suitable for minimum compression strength requirements|
Postcrete is better for smaller projects that don’t need as much area or durability. It’s specifically designed for filling in post holes, so it has a smaller field of applications.
Concrete comes in ready-mix varieties, including Postcrete, or you can buy the cement and aggregate and mix it yourself.
The latter option is more difficult because, depending on how much concrete you need, it may require heavy mixing equipment.
It can also be difficult to mix the concrete to your exact specifications. Postcrete, on the other hand, only requires water; it doesn’t need any mixing.
Instead, you fill your post hole about halfway with water, then pour in the Postcrete mix. Add more water to the top, and the process is complete.
There are other forms of ready-mix concrete other than Postcrete. You can also order pre-formed blocks and slabs of concrete that don’t require any preparation.
These are even easier than Postcrete, although you typically only need them for very specific applications.
In comparison to the concrete that you mix yourself, Postcrete is the easiest option.
Postcrete also sets faster than traditional concrete or even some other forms of ready-mix concrete. Postcrete only takes between five and ten minutes in ideal conditions to set. Then, it fully hardens within just a few hours.
Traditional concrete, though, takes much longer. It takes between one to seven days to set to any form of rigidity. In addition, the concrete won’t reach its maximum strength for up to a month.
One definite advantage of traditional concrete versus Postcrete is its strength. It’s one of the reasons concrete is such a popular building material.
Not only is traditional concrete strong to begin with, but you can customise the mix to fit your durability needs, from a patio project to lawn edging.
Postcrete, on the other hand, is not as sturdy. It contains additives that help it set quickly, which comes at the cost of its durability.
Experts do not recommend it for general concreting or any project that has a minimum compressive strength requirement. You should not use it for any posts wider than one metre.
The price difference between Postcrete and other ready-mix concrete is negligible. A typical bag of ready-mix concrete costs around £0.43 per kilogram. Postcrete is a little cheaper at around £0.32 per kilo.
However, if you need a large quantity of concrete, you should also factor in equipment and possible extra labour.
There are many companies throughout the UK that provide ready-mix concrete services.
You do have to pay for those services to come to you, however. You’ll also likely pay more for the materials as these companies need to make a profit.
On the other hand, mixing large amounts of concrete on your own has its own expenses.
Depending on the amount you need, you may have to buy or rent an industrial mixer. This can be an expensive investment, especially if you only need it for one project.
Postcrete will only cost you the price of the material and possible shipping costs if you order online.
The fact that Postcrete is a form of concrete may seem like it simplifies the comparison of the two. In fact, concrete is such a general term that it can vary greatly from the specific attributes of Postcrete.
Concrete is a general construction material that’s very durable and is great for large-scale projects. You can change the mix to suit your specific needs and it’s available in a wide range of forms. This includes pre-formed, ready-mix, and traditional mix.
Postcrete is a brand name post fixing mix, a form of concrete specifically designed to set posts in the ground.
It’s not as strong as traditional concrete and it’s only good for post fixing and other small projects. But Postcrete also sets much faster than traditional concrete. It’s also much easier to prepare and use for the average handyperson than traditional concrete mixing.