A wood fence is a very popular type of fence material used by many homeowners in the U.S. today. It is versatile and will complement any architectural design of homes. Wood fences are also easy to install and blend well with your environment. It can even be painted and stained.
However, like any other fence materials, wood fences aren’t indestructible and may get affected by harsh weather conditions. The wood fence’s number enemy is rot.
What are the causes of wooden fence rot?
A wood fence is typically installed with direct contact with the soil. Over time, the moisture from the soil and other environmental elements, such as rain and snow, can hurt the wood’s porous material. This increases its risk of decay and rot. Its structure will then start breaking up, allowing microbes and other parasites to attack and eat its materials away. This condition is called wet rotting.
On the other hand, rotting can also happen without moisture — this is called dry rotting. It occurs when the protective oil that coats the wood’s surface is lost; resulting in the wood becoming brittle.
How can I prevent my fence from rot?
While there is nothing you can do with wood’s susceptibility to rot, there are ways you can do to protect your wood from it and prevent rot from occurring.
- Staining your wood fence
Staining your wood fence is a great way to protect it from dry rot or the loss of the wood’s protective oil. This protective oil prevents wood materials from becoming brittle. It is important to stain your wood fence at least once a year, depending on your area’s climate to prevent the oil from drying out.
- Choose more rot-resistant wood
There are wood types that are more durable and resistant to rot. They can also resist pest infestation, which promotes decay. Because of their strength and durability, cedar and redwood also last longer than other wood materials like pine, especially if they are pressure-treated.
- Do not put stress on your fence
Heavy weight can put pressure on your fence and may add up to the daily wear and tear that your fence is subject to. If possible, remove any decorations that you put on it. If you have flower pots hanging off the post, make sure to transfer your pots away from the fence immediately. The soil and moisture from your pot can get into the posts’ materials, making it more prone to rot and damage.
- Prevent putting fence posts in contact with soil
Before installing your fence, consider mounting the posts above the ground. The ground is moist and may increase its risk of rot. And if ever rot starts to form, prevent it from spreading further by removing and replacing the affected sections.
- Regular maintenance
Regular maintenance plays a huge role in extending your wood fence’s life and protecting it against rot. Check your wood fence regularly, especially the areas near the ground. Perform regular cleaning on your wood fence too. You can pressure wash your fence, too, but make sure to use a lower psi so you won’t damage its materials.