(source: Deuce Cities Hen House designed a unique horizontal picketed wood fence)
A quality, well installed fence can increase your property value; a poor one can do just the opposite. A wood fence can be a beautiful way to define a home’s property border while providing safety and security for kids and pets. Wood fences come in all heights, colors, materials and unique designs.
Damage is caused by the elements and lack of proper care
Overtime, wood can rot, creating an expensive and timely overhaul. But with a little bit of maintenance and care, you can preserve the longevity of your wood fence. Dry rot and wet rot pose the greatest threats to a wood fence. Dry rot occurs when protective oils on the wood surface fade, losing their efficacy, which causes the wood to become brittle. Wet rot occurs when moisture continually comes into contact with the wood, typically seen in sections where fence posts meet the ground soil. Decay and rot also occur when insects take over a section of wood and continue to spread.
Custom wood fence build by Archterra Landscape Services in Edgewood, WA.
Protect your investment and keep your fence strong and attractive for many years
Apply a protectant and stain over the surface of the wood to create an effective barrier against moisture. It’s recommended to reapply the stain annually to maintain an effective moisture barrier. A simple test you can do to learn if you need to reapply a protectant and stain is by sprinkling water over the wood surface and if water beads on top of the surface, and does not penetrate the wood, the barrier is still effective. However, if the wood absorbs the water, this is your sign to apply more stain.
Before you paint and stain your fence, treat it with a borate spray to stop termites and carpenter ants before they can start any damage. Carpenter ants will leave evidence of wood shavings and holes in the fence. If you suspect you have insect damage, spraying the holes with an insect killer will stop the infestation from spreading and further destroying the wood. To avoid termites, use wood that is pressure treated or wood species that are naturally termite resistant, such as cedar and redwood.
Keeping your fence clean from dirt, mud and other debris will preserve the health of your fence. If you allow debris to accumulate on the wood it may also attract insect infestations which will destroy the wood.
Gazebo and wood and metal fence built by Contreras Renovations in western Washington.
Build a fence from the ground up
So you want to build a fence but have no idea where to start. Consider the type of material you select for a fence will affect how the fence withstands environmental factors. If you want less maintenance, vinyl and metal are alternative materials to wood. When you’re deciding to build a fence on your home’s property, consider the purpose of your fence and what is most important from privacy, aesthetics, and securing animals.
A reliable contractor makes the difference
Whether you need a new fence, or an existing fence repaired, selecting a competent fence contractor can ensure you have a properly installed fence. Ask about installation guarantees, fencing product warranties, and review portfolios and testimonials before selecting your contractor.