While wood may be an excellent material for fences, there are a few notable aspects to them that will inevitably require attention – their being organic, and thus biodegradable, being one of them. Everyone knows wood has the potential to rot, but how do you know the early signs, or when the rot has gotten bad enough that it needs to be replaced?
Well, for one, rot comes in multiple forms, with different kinds of fungal growths facilitating your fence’s demise. But worry not! There is a way to recognize different kinds of rot and even treat them, in some cases.
Wet rot, for example, is a kind of black fungus that grows in timber panels, such as those used in the construction of wooden fences. Once the fungus has taken root, it discolors the wood. At the base of the infection, there will be an unusual sensation when you touch it, spongy in texture or flaky in cases where wet rot is being concealed by paint.
In cases where wet rot has dried, you can recognize its existence even through factors that might serve to disguise it, such as a sheen of paint over your wooden fence. The paint there will be cracked and flaky, so take notice if your fence starts “wrinkling!” Your fence might not just need a new layer of paint, if so. Fortunately, wet rot can be treated in cases where the rot has not been allowed to decay the fence to a great degree.
Wet rot can only be treated by first completely drying the inflicted wood. There are many different ways you can go about doing this, but propping your fence up in a sunny place that you can be sure won’t get wet is one simple solution. It would probably be a good idea to check the weather report in such situations! After making sure the fence is completely dry, you may need to replace the rotted sections with fresh wood. This is the best way to prevent a quick insurgence of new rot.
Mycelium is responsible for dry rot. In other words, mushrooms. You may even see a few poking out of your fence in the case of a dry rot infection, so it’s fairly easy to tell when fungal warfare has been waged upon your fence. A more subtle sign could take the form of organic white sheets lain over or within your wood. If the rot has not yet reached the outside of the wood, it may cause the wood to take on a crumbly appearance. This is because the wood inside is crumbling away and being displaced as the fungus grows upon it.
Fortunately, there are ways to treat dry rot, though there will be many cases in which the affected segments of your fence will need to be replaced completely so as to most effectively preserve the integrity of your fence as a whole and to prevent a relapse infection. Different sprays and gels can treat dry rot, such as boron powders. Boron powders are a neat, environmentally-friendly solution which is notably exempt from emitting harsh vapors and is only required to be coated twice-over with a water solvent in order to permanently fix what could easily become a fungal fiasco.