In our last blog we discussed how to stain your fence as a means for helping prolong its life. Because wooden fences generally stay in direct contact with the ground over long stretches of time, rot is virtually all but inevitable—the Grim Reaper of all wooden fences. But thanks to Stephen Downward’s article in Amazing Fencing, here are some handy tips help slow down the rotting process.
1) Know wet rot from dry rot. Wet rot is the result of moisture regularly coming into contact with wood. Most commonly this takes place at the base of your fence, where the fence posts come into contact with the earth beneath them. Dry rot, usually more evident in arid climates like the Southwest, removes protective oils that exist on the wood’s exterior.
2) Consider Rot When Choosing Fencing Materials. When first installing your new fence, consider using hardy or rot-resistant materials such as cedar, juniper, redwood, and cypress. Woods not as well-wearing include: pine, tamarack, and Douglas fir. Purchasing treated wood can also help protect your fence from rot and termites.
3) Stain Your Fence as Necessary. As we mentioned in our last blog, staining your fence regularly is essential to keeping rot at bay. Many recommendations include staining your wooden fence at least once a year. One way to test the fence’s condition is to spray it with a little water. If the water beads on the wood’s exterior, the stain is intact. Conversely, if the water is absorbed into the wood, it’s time to stain it.
4) Keep Your Fence Clear of Debris. Build-up of moist debris kick-starts rot in a hurry. Damp leaves, grasses, plants, all can enter your fence through tiny cracks and crevices, leading to rot. Keep your fence clear of foliage and grime with regular maintenance and by occasionally cleaning and washing your wooden fence.
5) Replace Rot-Affected Sections When They Appear. Should rot develop in your fence, stop its spread by immediately replacing the affected sections. Very likely you’ll be replacing the fence’s main posts, since fence posts touch the ground—the contact point for where rot often begins. Replace the affected sections yourself, or call us to complete the job!
Whether temporary or permanent, professional, business, or home—fencing enhances any setting, providing reassuring security and safety, and in many instances, privacy. Contact our helpful professionals at West Memphis Fence for your next fencing project.