Wood fences aren’t indestructible. Over time they may break down and face fence rot. There are some steps that you as a homeowner can take to prevent this from happening. However, if you’re already dealing with a rotten wood fence, we’ll also help you decide whether you should try to fix it or replace it.
Preventing Fence Rot
The best way to prevent a wood fence from rotting is to prepare the fence properly before you install it. With a wood fence, the posts are usually the first things to go. This is because they are in the ground where they’re constantly facing water exposure. You have several options to stave off rot in this situation. First, you can select high-quality wood that is more resistant to decay in general. You’ll pay more upfront, but the investment will save you time and money in the long term. You can also set your posts in poured concrete. This will not only seal them from in-ground moisture, but it will also make the fence stronger overall. Once the fence is up, you’ll also need to keep up with regular maintenance. Panels are also susceptible to rot. Wood fences should be painted with a waterproof stain regularly to protect them from moisture.
Fixing Fence Rot
Once you’ve got a rotten fence, you’ve got two options: you can try to fix it, or you can replace it. The best option depends on a lot of factors including the extent of the damage and your budget. If just a small piece of the fence (like a single post) has started to rot, you can probably replace it (keeping the factors above in mind) and save the rest of the fence. This is the best option because it saves money as well as giving you a new, stronger piece of fence. However, if the rot has spread to several posts or is affecting the panels as well, it may be necessary to replace the entire thing. If you aren’t sure, it’s probably safer to err on the side of caution and replace any sections that may have been affected. The integrity of the fence is the main issue of concern. If you can trust the fence to do its job with a repair instead of a replacement, that may be the best choice. If you do decide to set up a new fence, be sure to keep the tips above in mind to make sure that your new fence doesn’t become a victim of rot as well.