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What to Do When Your Fence Is Rotting

>> Feb 21, 2018

Wooden fence posts are often prone to rot due to exposure to moisture in the soil or dry weather conditions. If you do not take extra precautions to preserve your wooden posts, you will end up having to replace them on a regular basis.

Most wooden fence posts are pressure treated to make them last longer, but there are extra precautions that will help you prevent rotting or slow down the rotting process so that your posts can last longer.

  • Inspect your fence to determine the extent of the damage. This helps you determine what type of rot you’re dealing with and come up with the best way of dealing with the damage.
  • Use oil-based paints to coat your wood. The oil coat makes the wood non-porous, preventing any moisture from penetrating into the wood. Moisture is the biggest enemy of wood and prolonged over exposure will cause wet rot.
  • Clean out dump debris, leaves, dust and things like that. You can use a pressure washer and on a low setting, you will be able to clean out all mould, fungus and mildew clinging on to your fence.
  • You can use a bleach or outdoor cleaning formula to get rid of any dusts and stain. This helps in preventing any staining or chipping on the paint which exposes your wooden posts to rot.
  • Time and harsh environmental conditions will eventually take a toll on your wooden fence. It is therefore important to replace any part that has been adversely affected by rot to prevent it from impacting the rest of the fence. If you do not replace rotting parts, you will end up replacing your entire fence.
  • After replacing an affected fence area, it is important to do thorough cleaning and stain the entire fence in order to leave it as good as new.
  • Get professional help.You might think that you are saving on repairs by doing it yourself, but it is important to ask for help if this is not your area of specialization. You might end up doing more harm than good and end up spending way much more than you had planned.
  • Choose to work with a company that will provide after sales services including consultation, repairs and maintenance.
To get the most out of your replaced posts, here are precautions you could take:

  • Treat the bottom of the wood using a wood preservative that has copper napthanate, such as Cuprinol.
  •  Place about 6 inches of aggregate at the bottom of the hole of the post to help with the drainage.
  • Put concrete in the hole so that it’s above the soil level.
  • Use silicone or exterior acrylic latex caulk that adheres to concrete to seal the gap between the concrete and post that’s caused by freeze and moisture.
  • Use heartwood, which is denser and insect resistant compared to sapwood. Heartwood is darker in color while sapwood is lighter, usually yellowish in color.

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