A wood fence can be a great way to give a home’s property a definitive border. It keeps both kids and pets safely in and stray animals out. It also changes the look of the house. Over time, wood fences can rot away. However, you can make wood fences last longer with a little care.
Typically, wood fences, in North Alabama, are made of cedar or pressure treated pine.
When deciding on wood for your fence, you need pressure-treated wood for posts. Posts need to be pressure-treated because they go into the ground, where they are susceptible to insects and moisture. Even with a cedar fence, you need pressure treated pine posts, otherwise the posts will deteriorate very quickly.
Within the first year of installation, the wood may warp or split as it dries. In five to eight years, the fence may start to lean, but it should last 10 to 15 years overall. To keep the wood from rotting, apply a wood preservative, stain or paint, to seal it. It’s like wax on a car or sunscreen on your skin, it helps protect it from the elements, from harsh sun, from water, from sprinklers.
Homeowners also should keep sprinklers from wetting the fence, which causes the wood to rot faster. And bushes and vines should be kept off the fence. The less weight on the fence, the better. Bushes and vines will keep the wood moist and it will rot faster.
To keep your fence looking good, you should do an inspection of the fence line twice per year. You are looking for mold or mildew, faded or chipped paint or stain, loose pickets, warped, split or broken pickets, warping or loose posts, and sagging, dragging or warping gates.
Mold and Mildew– If you have mold or mildew on your fence, you will need to pressure wash the fence to remove it. Be careful not to use too much pressure or get the stream too close to the fence or you will scar the wood.
Warped or Loose Posts– Check your fence posts. If they are loose, consider adding more concrete to the base to stabilize them. If the posts are badly warped, you should consider replacing them altogether.
Loose Pickets– If you have loose pickets, reattach the pickets with ring shank nails or outdoor wood screws.
Broken, Warped or Split Pickets– If you have broken, warped or split pickets, replace them with pickets matching the rest of the fence.
Sagging, Dragging or Warped Gates– Does your gate drag the ground when you open it? Does the gate line up with the latch post or is it warped? If these things are happening to your gate, you should consider adding bracing to the gate, like our Dura-Gate . If you already have an adjustable gate system, this is the time to adjust it.
Faded or Chipped Paint and Stain– Once you pressure wash the fence, let it dry completely and do your other inspections and maintenance. Wait to paint or stain until the outside temperatures are at minimum 40 degrees and rising. If you are spraying the fence, make sure to spray it on a day with no wind, otherwise, you will end up spraying everything.
Tennessee Valley Fence also offers a Wood Fence Maintenance Program to make it easier on you to enjoy your Spring! To have us maintain your wood fence, give us a call at (256)883-0404.