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How to Protect a Wood Fence from Rotting

wood fence for home

Wood fencing is popular for homeowners, but it’s vulnerable to rot. Understanding what causes wood to deteriorate can help you better protect your wood fencing. Here are some of the reasons wood fencing rots, plus tips on how to prevent wood rot.

Why Is My Wood Fence Rotting?

Several factors contribute to rotting wood, including:

  • Moisture exposure. Wood fencing is highly susceptible to moisture. When a wood fence is constantly exposed to rain, snow or humidity, it absorbs water, leading to wood decay and rot.

  • Fungal growth. Fungi, like mould and mildew, thrive in damp conditions. When these microorganisms establish themselves on your wood fence, they break down the wood's structure, causing rot.

  • Lack of sunlight. Sunlight helps dry out excess moisture in wood fencing and inhibits fungal growth. If your fence is in a shaded area, it may not receive enough sunlight to prevent rot.

  • Insect infestations. Wood-boring insects, such as termites and carpenter ants, can infiltrate your wood fence and create tunnels that weaken the wood.

Although moisture is a well-known cause of wood decay, dry rot is also harmful. Overexposure to heat can zap the natural oils from the wood, making it a welcoming host to some types of fungus.

Tips to Prevent and Protect Your Wood Fence

There are several ways you can keep your wood fence in good condition and maintain its strength and character for many years.

  • Choose rot-resistant wood. Opt for wood species like cedar or redwood with natural oils and tannins that deter decay. Also, pressure-treated lumber resists rot and insects, and it lasts much longer than natural wood.

  • Apply a quality sealant. Regular application of a waterproof sealant or stain creates a barrier against moisture and UV damage. Reapply the sealant as needed, typically every two or three years.

  • Maintain good drainage. Proper grading and drainage systems can prevent excessive moisture from accumulating around the base of the fence.

  • Trim back vegetation. Overhanging branches and ivy block sunlight, trap moisture and contribute to rot.

  • Regular inspection. Periodically inspect your wood fence for signs of damage, including soft spots, discolouration or visible fungal growth. Promptly address any issues to prevent further deterioration.

If you notice significant damage or rot, contact a professional fencing contractor to assess the damage and provide necessary repairs or discuss replacement options.


Wood Fence Installation, Repair and Replacement in Edmonton

At Duraguard Fence Ltd., we can repair and maintain your existing fence. We can also help you explore options for a new rot-resistant wood fence. We serve residential and commercial customers across Alberta including Edmonton, Red Deer, Grande Prairie, Bonnyville and Fort McMurray. To discuss your fence installation or maintenance needs, contact us today.


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