Tips to Prevent Wood Rot

Prevent Wood RotWood is an organic material, and will, with exposure to the elements, eventually rot if not properly protected. Thankfully, there are many ways to prevent the wood fencing around your home in Austin, TX from this fate.

Dampness and Airflow

Dampness is what causes wood to rot. The condition can spread throughout a fence or any other wooden structure, compromising its overall integrity. Dampness also creates an ideal environment for termites, which can make the issue that much more complex and expensive to fix.

The way to eliminate dampness is to give your fence every opportunity to dry out completely. Creating opportunities for airflow will ensure that dampness never takes hold in your fence.

Creating Airflow

There are several ways to create airflow in and around your fence. Ensuring that gaps exist between the boards and between the tops of boards and any lattice or other feature can be very effective. Your fence should not contact masonry or cement directly, nor should it contact the ground.

The material you choose for your wood fence in Austin can also make a big difference. For example, many tropical hardwoods are resistant to rot. However, these can be expensive. It is possible to invest less but still get rot resistance from other woods like Cypress and Western Red Cedar.

Eliminate Water Pathways

Water can enter fencing via unprotected fasteners. Any fasteners used for fencing should be galvanized or made of stainless steel and be countersunk and plugged in order to prevent water pooling and the fasteners from rusting.

Plugging fasteners requires only that you pre-drill a hole that’s slightly larger than the head of your fastener before driving it in, injecting wood glue, placing a wood plug in the hole, and then gently hammering it in.

Eliminate Water Pathways

Inspect Yearly

One of the most effective ways to prevent wood rot is to inspect your cedar fencing in Austin every year for signs of existing rot, or of conditions which can encourage rot to form.

Trees and Shrubbery

Check for and then eliminate any tree branches or shrubbery that are two feet or closer to your fence to improve airflow and eliminate the formation of rot.

Cracked and Peeling Paint

Painted fences should be checked for cracked and peeling paint. If these are found, old paint should be scraped off and the fence sanded. An oil-based primer can then be applied on all sides of the wood, including on any end grains.

Check for Hidden Rot

Many spaces in your fencing in Austin, Texas could be harboring wood rot but may not be readily visible. The following areas may be suffering from wood rot if you press on them and they feel soft or the wood crumbles easily:

  • Support posts
  • Horizontal areas of the fence
  • Areas where fence pieces meet
  • Areas around fasteners which have not been countersunk, glued, and then sealed with a plug

Barrier Fence builds and installs new fences and can also repair your existing fence. Learn more by calling (512) 354-4409.

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