How to Prevent Rot in Your Wooden Fence

Timber is a great material to use for home improvement projects. From decking and flooring to handrails, the strength, beauty and durability of wood are unbeatable. However, timber products, including your fencing, can be prone to rotting. If you want to make sure that your beautiful fence stays rot-free, there are a few steps that you can take to prevent this phenomenon.


Close up of rotting wooden fence


Proper Installation of Posts

Both pine and hardwood are great choices for fence posts. Both have a reputation for durability and beauty. However, if the posts aren’t installed correctly, rotting can occur. The main causes of rotting posts are poor drainage, low-quality wood, and poor protection against insect damage.

To prevent rot, here are the steps you should follow:

  • Soak the bottom of the posts in a wood preservative that contains copper naphthenate. This type of wood treatment is made specifically for in-ground applications.
  • Place about 15 cm in the bottom of the post hole so that it can drain. The bottom of the post should extend a few inches into the aggregate.
  • Pour concrete to above soil level. Trowel the top smooth and slope it so that water runs away from the post.
  • Apply a high-quality exterior silicone or latex caulk to adhere to the concrete at the base of the post in order to seal the gap between the concrete and post.


Consider Dry Rot

When we think of rotting wood, we usually think that the wood has been exposed to wet conditions. However, there is such a thing as dry rot, which is caused by continual exposure to harsh, dry environments. The hot sun and winds of Brisbane can literally dry your fence out and remove the protective oils on the exterior. You can identify dry rot in wood that is brittle and easily broken.

If your fence is at risk of dry rot, you might want to take extra precautions and regularly apply a protective sealant or stain on the wood.


Choose Treated Wood

Treated wood is wood that has been coated with chemical preservatives. If you are building a wooden fence and are concerned about rotting, you should choose a variety of treated wood because it will protect against both rotting and termites.


Keep Your Fence Clear of Debris

A Build-up of moist debris, like damp leaves, grass, plants, etc. can cause your wood to rot quickly. Debris, dirt and soil can clump up and enter your fence through the little cracks and crevices. One of the most effective ways of preventing rot is by making sure you keep the fence clear of plant life and grime. For cleaning tips, read our previous post here.


Looking for good quality treated wood that stands up to rot? Choose Sunstate Timbers for all of your fencing materials. For more information, contact us in Brisbane today.


72 Lipscombe Road, Deception Bay, QLD, Australia
Phone: (07) 3204 2533
Fax: (07) 3204 2530

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