A chain link fence is often considered a temporary solution. However, you can use a chain link fence in a permanent setting, but you want to make sure it is properly installed. This article explains how to best pour the concrete for the posts.
Digging the Footings for the Posts
The key to making sure your vertical posts are strong is pouring a solid concrete footing. For the best results, you should pour the footing about half as deep as the fence is tall. So, if you are installing a 5' tall fence, you need a 2.5' deep hole. In this example, you would need posts that are about 7.5' tall. The easiest way to dig a hole is to use a post digging shovel. However, if you do not have access to one, you can just use a traditional spade shovel.
You also need to consider the width of the hole. The hole can be about a foot in diameter. However, when digging a deep hole with a traditional shovel, you might have problems digging such a narrow hole. But, this is not a major concern if you are willing to just use more concrete to fill in the wider hole (which means an even stronger concrete footing).
Mixing the Concrete
The key to stronger footings is mixing the concrete in the actual hole as you are setting the posts. If you mix the concrete in the hole, the concrete mix and soil will blend together. This creates a surprisingly strong bond that reinforces the footing.
Pour a few inches of concrete into the hole before you put the post in place. When you place the post in the hole, you will need to keep it level as you continue to add more water and concrete mix. To do this you can drive stakes in the ground on both sides of the post. If you run a simple string between the stakes, with the post in the middle, you can figure the perfect height and location where the top of the post should be. Leave the top 6" of the hole empty so you can cover it with dirt or sod when the concrete dries.
This technique will give much stronger posts than if you mix the concrete before your pour it into the holes. It is the best way to make sure you chain link fence will stand up tall and strong in soil.