Three Tips For A Long-Lasting Wood Fence
You want your wood fence to last for as long as possible. The decisions you make at installation as well as your ongoing maintenance of the fence are the best ways to ensure it survives a long time.
1. Upgrade the Posts
Most wood fences are made of pressure-treated wood, which are rot- and breakage-resistant, but they can still give out over time -- especially if you have wet soil or a high water table in your yard. To ensure your fence will last and the posts won't break, rot, or blow down, consider upgrading to metal support posts that are made to use with wooden rails and pickets. With these posts, the wood fencing panels are constructed separately and then bolted to the post, creating a secure fence. Metal posts can be cemented in place so they can't blow over. Further, you will never have to worry about rot or decay. The posts are relatively discreet, so they will not take away from the look of your wooden fence.
2. Choose the Right Wood
Not all wooden pickets and rails are created equally. One of the least expensive options is pine, but if you go with this option, make sure the wood has been pressure-treated -- otherwise, pine can rot relatively quickly. Cedar is another popular option, in part because of its attractive appearance but even moreso because it is naturally rot- and insect-resistant. Cedar can last for years without rotting, even if the protective seals begin to wear. Oak can also be used, as it is a strong wood that resists rot. Oak can warp easily if it is exposed to moisture, so it is more often used in areas with dry climates and low humidity.
3. Seal and Protect
The single best way to ensure your wood fence lasts a long time is to ensure the wood is never exposed to the elements. Wood begins to rot when moisture seeps into the fibers and causes them to swell. This swelling breaks down the cellulose structure in the wood fibers, weakening the boards. Then, insects, fungus, and other microorganisms begin feeding on the wood, speeding up the decay and rot. If you keep the fence covered in a protective coat of sealant or paint, then moisture and pests can't invade the wood. Reapply the sealant or paint when it begins to wear off. If water no longer beads up on a wood picket, then it is time to reseal and paint the fence.
Contact a fence service like R and R Fence and Deck for more assistance with your wood fence installation.