Wooden fences are susceptible to rot because they are buried in moist ground soil for extended periods of time. With that much moisture in the mix, rot is a very real threat to the safety and well-being of your fence and even the best maintained woods can be affected.
That’s because there are two types of rot that could start to wreak havoc on your wooden materials. The wet kind is due to exposure in moist conditions and the dry kind occurs when the protective sealant designed to protect the wood from harmful environmental elements is worn away, leaving the wood vulnerable to damage.
Now that you know what the potential symptoms might be, here are the causes that can lead to your fence deteriorating sooner than you might expect.
Causes of Fence Rot
Wood fences are often treated with special oils that are meant to keep the wood fresh and maintain its luster. But the older your fence gets, the more likely those oils or coatings can recede and leave the wood weak and sensitive.
This can lead to the fence wearing out much sooner than you may have anticipated and it will most certainly fall apart as a result. Perhaps this very thing is happening on your property at the moment and so you should have a look at the common causes of fence rot and avoid committing the same mistakes again as you attempt to build a better fence.
Let’s consider the two most common causes of fence rot, wet and dry. The first is rather self-explanatory as moisture is permitted to remain in contact with the surface of the wood after a fence installation richmond va. This leads to rot because the moisture permeates the wood and there’s not much you can do about the problem. Eventually your fence starts to fall apart entirely.
Dry rot occurs when the protective oils in the wood are eaten away. This happens in many types of wood where the oils are not as prevalent and thus erode easier and faster. Even worse, dry rot is an invitation for termites to move in and wreak havoc on your fence to the point of certain collapse.
Methods of Prevention
Luckily you have plenty of options when it comes to keeping wet and dry rot at bay.
Rot-Proof Wood Options
The first thing that most homeowners do is choose a wood that is rot-resistant so these issues don’t come up. There is a wide range of wood types that are ideal at fending off rot of any kind.
Cedar, redwood, juniper, and cypress are among the most common choices because they are resilient against moisture and long-lasting without any other protective additives. Wood types to avoid include pine, tamarack, and Douglas fir as they do not offer the same level of stability.
Another effective method for keeping rot from destroying your fence is by protecting it from being exposed to all that moisture for the long term. This can be accomplished in a couple of different ways. Cement is a common solution to the problem, securing the fence posts in a cement foundation that acts as a sturdy wall between the wood and the wet soil.
You can also have your wood treated with a special coating that works like a barrier to seal in the wood and keep moisture from getting in. Not only will it help fight rot, it can add luster to the fence. Stains are a great option here as they give your fence a beautiful appearance and add that extra layer of protection to help it stand up to the moisture in your soil and the weather.
If you live in an area that sees a lot of yearly precipitation, then staining your fence is a smart move. You should do this at least once a year, but if the fence encounters a substantial amount of moisture on a regular basis, you should probably do it a little more frequently.
Repair and Replace
Ultimately, rot is going to take hold in some capacity and you will need to address it. Be sure to check your fence for any signs of weakness on a regular basis and when you do come across some indication that your wood has some rot, it’s important to replace these damaged sections sooner than later.
You don’t’ want to allow the rot to spread and get worse. Taking care of the problem when it’s still a small issue will help you preserve more of your fence and keep it looking as good as new at all times.