Wood fencing requires more maintenance than vinyl fencing simply because it is made from natural materials. Wood is susceptible to warping, discoloration, termite damage, and much more. With proper treatment though, you can avoid those issues and keep your wood fence looking amazing. In this guide, we will explain how to prevent a rotting wood fence to maximize the life of your fence.
Types of Rot on Wood Fencing
Before we explain how to prevent wood rot, we need to explain what causes it. There are two types of fence rot: dry rot and wet rot. Dry rot occurs when fencing is exposed to prolonged dry conditions. Areas of your fencing that receive direct sunlight will be the most susceptible to dry rot.
Wet rot is the opposite. It occurs when wood fencing is exposed to excess moisture. This is most common in the lower portions of your fence where the posts are close to the ground. After a rainstorm, your fence will dry from top to bottom. Thus the bottom of the fence will maintain moisture for longer. This is when a rotting wood fence may occur from wet rot.
Signs of a Rotting Wood Fence
Dry rot will usually cause your fencing to become dry and brittle. It will break apart easily, or it may become detached from its supports. Wet rot will make your fence smell musty and damp, similar to clothes that were not properly dried in the dryer. Wet rot may also have fungus growing in it.
If your fence looks like it is not structurally sound, chances are there is some form of rot or termite damage going on. Contact All Around Fence, LLC to schedule a fence inspection, and we can pinpoint the cause of your issues.
Choose the Right Type of Wood Fencing
If you are replacing your existing fence or getting a new fence altogether, there are many types of wood you can use. We recommend hardy woods like cedar or redwood because those materials last significantly longer. They are naturally resistant to rot, and they can be treated to be even stronger. Fences made of pine or Douglas fir are more prone to damage in the long run.
Note that if you want to avoid a rotting wood fence altogether, you could opt for a vinyl fence. It is slightly more expensive than wood, but it lasts much longer and is virtually maintenance free. Your fence installer can let you know more about the price differences during your free quote.
Stain Your Wood Fence Regularly
Stain will not only keep your wood fence looking rich and new, but it will also protect it from rot, sun damage, and much more. Depending on the type of wood you have, you may need to stain your fence every 3-5 years. Some wood stains last as long as 10 years, but they are more expensive to apply. Staining may seem like a hefty investment at first, but it can add years to the lifespan of your fence. You’ll ultimately save more money if you go with this route.
Keep Objects and Debris away from the Fence
Avoid hanging objects from your fence, like pool toys or long ladders. Your fence can act as a wall to attach objects to, but those objects may trap moisture in your fence posts. This makes the fencing susceptible to wet rot because it cannot dry out as quickly. Store these objects in a shed, garage, or other area to protect your fencing, especially if you live in an area with high precipitation.
Trim back any tree limbs or bushes that grow near your fence, and clean leaves that pile up near the perimeter. The goal is to give your fence as much breathing room as possible.
Repair Rotted Wood to Preserve Your Fencing
If you do experience a rotting wood fence, replace the damaged fence posts as quickly as possible. The rot will only get worse over time, and it may cause damage to other parts of the fencing. All Around Fence, LLC offers affordable fence repair for homes and businesses in the greater Baltimore area. Give us a call at 443-838-9374 for a no-obligation repair quote.