Wooden fences are very popular with homeowners because they add so much to the property on which they’re installed. They act as borders for young children and pets, they provide a little more privacy for residents, and they have an aesthetic appeal that is very satisfying for homeowners.
Unfortunately, there are several factors such as insects, wind, rain, snow, humidity and sunshine working against them, which may tend to shorten their longevity in the yard. Insects can chew away at the wood, and the weather factors can all dry out the wood and crack it, which leads to deterioration. Here are some ways you can extend the life of your wooden fence, and keep it looking great for a lot longer.
Use Pressure-Treated Wood
Any part of the fence that will be set into the soil, for instance posts, should be pressure-treated. This involves injecting a chemical into the wood that will make it highly resistant to moisture and insects. According to Lone Star Fence Co. (www.lonestarfenceco.com), the chemicals used in pressure treatment will not harm the soil, and are very mild versions that will have no effect on pets or children. Parts of the fence that will be above ground need not be pressure-treated, but should have some other form of protection.
Enduring Methods and Materials
When choosing a type of wood for your fence, select one that is naturally decay-resistant like cedar or redwood, and consists mostly of solid heartwood. Remember that horizontal rails are more susceptible to the effects of weather than vertical rails, and all rails should be kept off the ground so they don’t absorb soil moisture. Nails for the posts and rails should be aluminum or stainless steel to avoid corrosion and eventual weakness.
Wood Preservative Coating
The part of any fence that is above ground will need to be treated with some kind of wood preservative, because it has no other defense against bugs and weather. Water repellents and exterior stains are usually just as effective as a preservative, because they prevent moisture from penetrating the exterior surface and rotting the wood. Before applying any of these however, make sure that the surface of the wood is clean and dry, because whichever kind of sealant you use will trap everything beneath it.
Remove Unnecessary Vegetation
Don’t allow unnecessary vegetation to grow near the fence or around it, because that may keep the fence moist and hasten the deterioration of the wood. Heavier plants can add weight to the fence and increase its load, thereby weakening it or causing it to lean over. If trees are near the fence, keep branches trimmed so they don’t fall on the fence and damage it.
Conduct Regular Inspections
Inspect the fence every few months for signs of wear and tear, and check for any rails that may need replacement. During these inspections, make sure that there are no nests of insects, termites, or wasps taking up residence around the fence. If dirt or other debris has accumulated on the fence, remove it and wash the area. Also make sure that any sprinkler systems operating in the yard do not spray the fence and soak it.
This article was contributed on behalf of Lone Star Fence Co., your number one choice when looking for high quality fences. Click here and see how they can help you!