basement moisture - what can be done

« Back to Home

How To Make Sure That Your Wood Fence Posts Are Resistant To Rot

Posted on

If you have a wooden fence on your property that needs to be replaced due to rot, then it is in your best interest to make sure that your new fence will not rot in the future. Elevating your fence a small amount and sealing the wood are two great options to keep the fence from becoming susceptible to water damage. While these things will help to protect most of the fence, they will not keep the fence posts from deteriorating. The posts provide your fence with strength and durability, so keep reading to learn how to keep your fence posts from rotting.

Choose The Right Wood

Many people will choose to construct a fence out of pressure treated wood to help prevent rot as well as termite infestations. Pressure treated wood is wood that is treated with a copper compound. The wood is typically a pine variety that is forced into a pressurized container where chemicals are added into the wood. The copper preservative is a water repellant, insecticide, and a fungicide.

Thankfully, wood is no longer treated with arsenic preservatives. However, you should know that copper can leach into your soil if the wood comes into contact with the ground. The copper can enter the water table and it can also be absorbed by plants in the area. This may be troublesome if you place a vegetable garden near your wooden fence. 

If you want to keep copper out of your soil, then choose a wood for your fence posts that can naturally resist rot, insect infestations, and mold. A few varieties to consider include teak, bald cypress, black locust, and California redwood. Cedar may also be resistant to rot. However, you will need to make sure that you purchase fence posts made from the heartwood of the cedar tree since this is the part that will keep your fence from deteriorating. Keep in mind that some woods that will keep your fence in good shape are quite expensive to use for construction purposes, so make sure that you investigate prices before choosing the wood that you think is best. For example, teak is likely to be one of the most expensive wood types that you can buy because it is considered aesthetically pleasing and often used to create fashionable furniture items.

Set The Posts in Concrete

While a pressure treated or naturally rot resistant wood variety is best to reduce fence damage concerns, your wood posts will likely come into direct and constant contact with water once the posts are secured in the ground. This can cause deterioration issues over time unless you stop the fence posts from being exposed to moisture. You can do this by setting the posts in concrete. 

To secure your fence posts in concrete, you will first need to figure out how deep your fence post holes should be. Generally, the hole should be about three times as wide as the diameter of the wood post. The depth should be about one-third or one-half of the height of the post that sits above the ground. For example, if you want a fence that is eight feet tall, then about three or four feet of the post should sit in the earth. You can use either a manual or electric post hole digging tool to create the hole in the earth. 

Once the hole is dug, place some gravel into the bottom of the hole so it is about six inches high. Set the post in the hole, level it, and brace it to make sure it does not move. You can either mix your concrete and pour it into the hole or you can add cement to the opening and pour water on top of it. If you do not want to pre-mix the concrete, then add enough cement to the post hole so it sits about four inches below the ground. You will need to pour water over the cement afterwards. A gallon of water will usually need to be used for every 50 pounds of cement, so use this figure to determine how much water you need. 

For more options or for professional assistance in installing the fence, contact local fencing companies, such as American Secured Fence.