5 Tips To Prevent Wood Rot in Your Fence
Your wooden fence is the perfect addition to your property, but the rainy season in Texas can have quite an impact on it. Rot is your biggest enemy with home fences and gates made of wood, so it’s important to know how to fight back against it.
Wet Rot vs. Dry Rot
The first step is understanding the difference between wet and dry rot. Wet rot occurs in high-moisture environments and takes hold on porous surfaces, such as your fence posts. You can usually see visible signs of wet rot quickly.
Dry rot, on the other hand, does not require as much moisture and is caused by exposure to the sun and temperatures from 70 degrees to 90 degrees. The fungus starts off in hidden areas on the fence and can quickly spread, resulting in widespread damage. They derive needed nutrients from the cellulose in the wood and physically grow into any cracks or holes. This process shrinks and warps the material over time.
Differences in Wood
Some wood types are more susceptible to rot than others. For example, fir, spruce, and hemlock trees have a higher risk profile.
In general, softwoods offer a welcoming environment for the fungus that causes this problem. Softwood trees are those that fall under the coniferous category. No wood is 100 percent rot-proof, but cypress, pressure-treated pine, and teak are a few options that can work well for your fence.
Benefits of Staining
Wood stain reduces the porousness of the fence’s surface and prevents water from being absorbed into the wood. Without a porous surface, the water can’t work its way into the wood to increase its moisture content. By applying stain on a regular basis, you can reduce the chances of rot taking hold and causing damage.
Cleaning the Fence
Your fence is exposed to a lot of dirt and debris, from mud to fallen leaves. Make sure to clear it off on a regular basis. You have a few approaches to handling this process. The first is pulling out a pressure washer and using a low setting to quickly remove dirt, mildew, mold and anything else.
You can also get an outdoor cleaning formula or mix a 1:10 water to bleach solution and wipe down the area. This prevents chips in the paint and stain as well as a moisture-laden environment right against your wood. You don’t have to spend a lot of time on this process, but give it enough attention so you can discover issues before they take over your entire fence line.
Replacing Rotted Sections
No amount of cleaning or staining is going to rescue a post that’s overwhelmed by wet or dry rot. You need to replace these parts right away so the rot can’t impact the rest of the wood. Fungus spreads by sending out spores that infect new areas of the fence. If you don’t remove rotting areas quickly, you could end up with your entire fence affected.
Rot is an unfortunate reality when you have a wooden fence. By understanding what you can do to prevent it from occurring, you expand the lifespan of your fences in Austin and avoid a rapidly spreading problem.
Contact Ranchers Fencing today if you are looking to replace a rotting fence post or if you are simply looking to upgrade your fence with a more modern look. From wrought iron fences to solid wood planks, we offer high-quality options for your home.