They say good fences make good neighbors. What do your neighbors think of your fencing? If you have fencing on your property that is rotting or falling apart, you might be giving anyone who visits your property the wrong impression.
New wooden fences look beautiful. After years of exposure to wind, rain, dirt, bacteria, and mold, however, they can lose their rustic or suburban charm. Fortunately, homeowners and business owners can take steps to prevent the rotting of wooden fence posts and boards.
One of the most insidious threats to wooden fences is rot. It often strikes a fence at its base, where mud and snow collect. Rot could spread to a nearby area once it has a foothold in one part of the fence. The spread can quickly turn a neat, stylish border into a dilapidated eyesore.
The two types of fencing rots to worry about are dry and wet rot. Each can wreak havoc on your fencing and has distinct risk factors, causes, and effects.
Dry rot results from the elements stripping away the water inside the wood, breaking down its internal structure. The dried-out wood becomes brittle and can crumble in your hands.
Wet rot occurs when mold and other natural organisms break down and consume wood. Wet rot needs moisture because damp conditions help mold to grow and spread. If your fence boards are the victim of wet rot, they will become soft and mushy. Decay will cause your boards to have a moldy or musty smell.
The following five tips from ATX Residential Construction, Austin’s trusted fence installer, will help you prevent rotting on wooden fence posts and boards.
1: Seal the Wood with Weather-Resistant Paint or Stain
Your fence will be vulnerable to rot as long as moisture can enter or leave the wood. A water-resistant sealant, stain, or coat of paint will keep the wood from drying out and prevent dirt, insects, moisture, and mold from entering the wood and breaking it down.
Paste or stain your fence with a quality sealant. Apply it carefully according to the manufacturer’s instructions so that you don’t have to reapply it later. A professional contractor such as ATX Residential Construction can help you choose the right product and make sure that you apply it correctly.
2: Sweep the Base of Your Fence Regularly
Mold and other natural threats to wood can grow in slush, fallen leaves, dirt, grass clippings, and yard waste. Prevent the conditions that promote rot by:
- clearing brush whenever it accumulates
- raking leaves in the fall before they have a chance to get wet
- blowing snow away from your fence after every snowfall
3: Inspect Your Fence at Ground Level Every So Often
Wet rot can spread as mold spores multiply. The forces that cause dry rot in one area can damage your fence in many places. If you see any rot in one area, be proactive in eliminating the conditions that produce rot throughout your property. If you are not sure how to detect the signs of wet rot or dry rot, hire an experienced contractor to carry out the inspection. Winterize your fence, clean it in the spring, and look after it in the summer.
4: Replace Boards and Fence Posts to Prevent the Spread of Wet Rot
Prevent the spread of mold from one board to nearby areas of your fencing. As soon as you see rot, remove the rotten planks and replace them. A professional contractor can help you match the color, composition, and design of replacement planks to your current fence.
5: Upgrade Your Entire Fence
Does your fencing have widespread rot, storm damage, or other problems? Why not install a new fence? The one-time cost gives you many benefits.
- choose wood with rot resistance, such as oak
- pick from a wide selection of protective paints and stains
- prevent mold, wind, sun, and rain from taking their toll
- Boost the resale value of your home
- Comply with the latest Austin regulations on fences
Consider alternatives to wood as well. An elegant wrought iron fence or a vinyl privacy fence could achieve the same goals as your existing wooden fence without falling prey to rot.
Long-Lasting Fencing from ATX Residential Construction
Rot should not keep your landscape from looking its best. Prevent rotting on wooden fence installations with ATX Residential Construction, the rising star of Austin’s fencing, decking, and outdoor contracting landscape. Call 512-710-7116 to discover how we can transform and revitalize your residential or commercial property through fence replacement and repair.