Wood is one of the most popular fencing materials, but not all wood fences age the same way. Before you commit to building a wood fence, it’s important to know what to expect from its lifespan and how to prolong it.
Life expectancy of a wood fence
There is a range in lumber types, and many factors affect the quality and aesthetic of a fence.
Pressure-treated lumber is infused with preservative chemicals, allowing this type of pine to last in the range of 15 to 20 years.
Cedar is a beautiful wood that is known for its longevity. Its natural resin repels insects and rot, but it is a particularly soft wood that requires special care. You can expect your cedar fence to last up to 30 years.
There are many types of exotic woods that are used in fences such as ipe, mahogany, and tigerwood. All exotic woods are hardwoods, which makes them difficult to drill or nail into without pre-drilling holes. When cared for appropriately, exotic wood fences can remain intact for over 50 years.
Prolong your fence’s lifespan
There are three types of basic maintenance that you can apply to your fence to expand its lifespan.
Although you may occasionally clean your fence to remove dirt and dust, mildew and mold are the real culprits for premature fence aging. You ought to wash your fence annually and treat it to protect against mildew and mold, especially in humid climates.
You should bring out a hammer to inspect your fence for loose or missing nails annually. While you check the nails of each board, take note of any rotting wood or other issues that might require more intensive repairs. Addressing minor problems when they crop up can allow you to avoid a costly repair in the future.
Stain or seal
Although it can be a lot of work to stain or seal your fence, this is important to do every few years to refresh the fence’s color and protect it from general decay. A well-applied coat will seal the outside of the wood to protect it from insects, mold, mildew, and the elements.