Wood 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.
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.
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.
Your fence does many jobs. Not only does it allow you to have privacy, but your fence is also a piece of decor, helping your yard to look organized as it adds to your home’s curb appeal. Now that warmer and wetter weather has arrived, your Austin fence needs more protection than ever.
Not only can moisture penetrate your fencing, but it can also provide food and habitat for fence-destroying insects. This post will provide more information about how to protect your wood fence from the weather so that insects cannot infest and destroy it.
Clean and Inspect Your Fence
You can’t see potential damage to your fence if there is dirt blocking the way. Pressure washing your fence will reveal any signs of potential infestation by insects. Once clean, you can inspect your fence for rotting or damage.
Keep Insects Away
Termites, carpenter ants, and other fence-destroying insects will not damage your privacy fence if the environment around them is unsuitable. Therefore, it’s important to be sure that any moisture which can cause rotting wood be eliminated. You can also remove any plants from around your fence which may attract wood-boring insects.
Watch for These Signs of Infestation
Three top wood-destroying insects are carpenter ants, powder post beetles, and termites.
Carpenter ants build their nests inside fence boards. They have wings and enter wood that has already started to rot. These yellow, brown, red, or black insects will be evidenced by the piles of wood shavings they will leave near fence posts.
Powder post beetles also bore into wood fencing in Austin TX to lay their eggs. A beetle can remain inside a fence post for a long time. The first sign of infestation by powder post beetles is a fine powder located either on the fence post or on the ground.
Termites can be of the dry wood or subterranean variety. Dry wood termites will burrow into the wood of Austin fencing and feed on the cellulose found inside. Subterranean termites love moist areas and will build nests close to the soil. Probe your fence with a sharp object and remove; if you see sawdust, you likely have termites.
Treating Established Infestations
If your fence has already been infested by wood-boring insects, you may see success with applying treatment to the fence and the soil around it. You can also bait the insects using poisonous food which they take back to the colony.
The best wood fence protection will not only prevent damage to your fence from rot-causing rain, but it will also be unappealing to termites, beetles, and ants looking for a place to nest.
If you’ve never dealt with an insect infestation before, or simply wish to know more about how to prevent an infestation from occurring, the experts at Barrier Fence can help. They have the know-how to tell you just what may be eating away at your fence and can offer advice on the best wood fence protection for you, so call (512) 354-4409 today.
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