Wooden fences are a great choice for a home’s first line of security. They are aesthetically appealing and complement our landscape and house design well. However, unlike other fences, wooden ones have a certain lifespan.
Depending on the wood varieties used, wooden fences could typically last 15 years. However, for pressure-treated wood, the lifespan could extend to 40 years. Regular care and maintenance of wooden fences could extend their lifespans. One of these maintenance consists of regularly checking your fence, staining it, and painting it.
In this article, we will tackle how long a wooden fence lasts. We will also mention some guide and care tips to extend the lifespan of your wooden fence.
How Long Does a Wooden Fence Last?
A wooden fence is a great choice if you are looking for a fence that could pass your color and design aesthetic requirements. When choosing what type of fence you should get, look for one that could last for many years.
Typically, a wooden fence can last up to 15 years. However, the longevity of a wooden fence naturally depends on the type of wood it’s made of. Cedar, for instance, is a popular type of wood for fences and may last 15 to 30 years, while pinewood may last for 5 to 10 years, and spruce wood, 4 to 7 years.
Some factors, such as the climate, your house’s location, and the purpose of the fence, could affect the longevity of wooden fences. Thus, it is important to consider them before choosing a specific type of wooden fence.
Nowadays, with technology comes pressure-treated wood that could extend your fence’s longevity as this type of wood could last much longer. Cedar may indeed last 40 years, whereas pine and spruce could last 20 years.
Pressure-treated wood is chemically treated to resist bugs and water damages. Some property owners are concerned about the effect of arsenic and other chemicals used to treat the wood, but you shouldn’t be as the chemicals used are not extremely potent.
Pressure-treated wood could cost around $10 per piece. Pickets don’t need to be pressure-treated for they are above ground, and a fence picket would cost around $1.70 to $3.
One of the nemeses of wooden fences is moisture. With it, the longevity of your wood fence diminishes. If your wooden fence’s panels or pickets touch the ground, they’ll be affected by moisture, which reduces the lifespan by up to three years. To avoid this, make sure your fence posts are treated or stained and have them filled with gravel or concrete to prevent moisture from affecting them.
When getting a wooden fence, you must maintain it regularly. To maintain its longevity and keep it from aging, care for and maintain it regularly. Stain and paint your wooden fence, then re-apply the staining every two years or paint it every four years.
Fences are more than just boundaries between lots. They provide protection against animals and trespassers, secure your privacy, and improve the overall look of your property. If you are planning to sell your house, your fences are a part of your property that should not be ignored. Read our article to find out what you need to know about backyard fences and property value.
4 Ways to Increase a Wooden Fence’s Lifespan
A wooden fence is a great way to provide our property with a border. It keeps kids and pets safe and protects the property from burglars, trespassers, and stray animals. Wooden fences also give our homes a natural look that complements the design of our landscape.
But over time, a wooden fence can rot and get damaged. However, with good care and maintenance, your fence’s life can be extended. Usually, for newly built homes, wooden fences are either made of cedar or redwood.
These types of wood are known to be more rot- and decay-resistant than other varieties of wood. Although cedar and redwood may not be as strong as Douglas fir, which is used in framing houses, they are used for anything that is exposed to natural elements and are the common varieties of wood for fences.
When buying wood for a fence, consider pressure-treated wood for your fence posts. The fence posts are exposed to the ground where they are easily infected by insects and moisture. Here are a few ways to extend the lifespan of your wooden fence.
1. Wooden fence considerations
Wood fences are popular and widely used by property owners for they can resist rot and decay. As previously mentioned, a wood fence usually lasts about 15 years. However, with proper maintenance, you can extend the life of your wood fence by 20 years or more.
Wood fences come in various types of wood. The posts must be made of pressure-treated for it has constant contact with the ground and is exposed to moisture and insects. Meanwhile, the boards of the fence don’t need to be pressure treated since they are above the ground.
Pressure-treated wood contains chemicals that help keep moisture and bugs at bay. It also preserves the wood’s character and prevents it from damaging too soon.
If you are planning to install a wooden fence, wait a year before staining or painting it. With such, you are allowing the chemicals in your wooden fence to dry out. If the fence was not dry, it would be prone to sealing moisture, which could lead to rotting and decay.
It is best to purchase pressure-treated wooden fences to increase their durability and keep them away from fungal decay and termites. However, there are also downsides to pressure-treated wood. For instance, it can be affected by shrinking, swelling, warping, and cracking. Therefore, it is important to check and maintain your wooden fence to preserve the longevity of the wood.
2. Inspect your fence every year
It is also important to check your wooden fence from time to time. Walk around it and look for any signs of rot and damage. If necessary, replace the broken boards, hammer in loose nails, and tighten the screws. Carefully look at each section of your wooden fence to ensure that everything in it is properly attached.
If you see any parts of your fence that are leaning, make sure the posts are tightly attached to the ground. Consider repairing or replacing your fence posts if it is in bad condition. Also, look at the hinges and locks on your gate to ensure that they are secured and lined up exactly at their places. Consider using automotive grease if you notice any problems with the hinges and locks.
3. Clean your wooden fence
Cleaning your wooden fence is necessary to keep it neat, appealing, and away from any insects that may infect it and ruin its longevity. Ideally, you should clean your wooden fence every two to three years to avoid any dirt, mildew, moss, and graying.
Also, use a UV inhibiting and water-repellent coating. After making the necessary repairs, scrape off any moss or peel the paint until you can see the wood again. If there is mold in your fence, mix 20% of bleach with 80% of mild detergent and spray directly onto the fence. Leave the solution for about an hour before rinsing it. This will help kill the mold spores and prevent them from growing back.
4. Reseal or paint your wooden fence
Your wooden fence should be resealed and repainted approximately every 3 to 5 years. To help seal out the moisture and prevent rotting in your wooden fence, use oil-based stain or latex paint.
It is important to use a stain or sealant that has UV inhibitors to keep the wooden fence from turning gray. Then, let your wooden fence dry for a week before applying a stain or sealant, which is thinner than paint.
Before the first year of installation, the wooden fence may warp or split as it dries. It may start to lean in five to eight years but should only last 10 to 15 years overall. To prevent it from rotting, apply a wood preservative to seal it and protect it against the natural elements.
It is important to apply these tips to preserve the life of your wooden fence and ensure its longevity. However, if the state of your wooden fence is beyond the reach of your magic handwork, call a professional, particularly if your wooden fence needs professional repairs or a replacement.
Fences are the first line of defense to protect you from trespassers, burglars, intruders, and even give you some privacy from nosy neighbors. Some people hire professionals to build their fences, while others prefer to build one themselves. If you are on a budget, is it cheaper to build your own fence? Read our article to find out.
Fencing in your yard is both beneficial to your property’s value as well as your overall security. There are numerous kinds of fences to choose from, one of them are wooden fences. This type of fence is versatile when it comes to design and it is also cheaper than the other kinds of fences. The downside to wooden fences, though, is their lifespan.
Wooden fences typically last around 15 years. It’s lifespan depends on a couple of factors such as the kind of wood used to make the fence, as well as the various treatments applied to the wood. The good thing is, as we have discussed in this article, there are things that you can do to make your fence last for a long time. As long as you apply proper maintenance and care, your wooden fences will surely last more than 15 years.