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What Could Damage Wood Fencing and How to Prevent It?

An elegant wood fence is a credit to you and your landscape, and you'll want to keep it looking shiny and new as long as possible. But wood naturally tends to break down over time, and a wood fence faces a variety of threats, from weather to wildlife. Here are some of the things that can damage your wood fence and what you can do to prevent the damage.

Insects Perhaps the most well-known insect that eats wood is termites, though other insects such as powderpost beetles can also do so. Fortunately, if you use pressure-treated wood, your fence should be protected against insects. However, this protection can wear off. So be sure to check with your fence contractor to see how long the treatment lasts.

You can always re-treat your wood fence with a termite-killing preservative, but keep in mind this requires refinishing the fence as well. However, since termite treatment may last up to a decade, this doesn't have to be a very frequent maintenance step.

Rot is a process of decay caused by microorganisms in the wood. Pressure treatments that infuse chemicals into the wood should help prevent rot as well as termites (or at least slow it down). However, you can further protect against rot with common sense measures, such as:

  • Keeping the wood well off the ground

  • Making sure the fence is well sealed at all times

  • Repairing any damage to the fence promptly

  • Keeping mulch and vegetation away from the fence

  • Making sure your sprinklers don't sprinkle your fence

Moisture intrusion into the fence can hasten the decay process, which is why these measures can help avoid or reduce rot.

Wind damage can be direct, as when your fence starts to visibly lean after a storm. Or, the damage can be caused by wind blowing debris into the fence or dropping a tree limb or an entire tree on it. Either of these types of damage can be difficult to prevent, but you can try a few things to make the damage less likely.

For instance, you can make trees and branches less likely to fall by keeping trees well-pruned so they're more structurally stable. You can also tie down large objects in the yard (such as trash cans) or bring them under cover so the wind won't hurl them at the fence. And of course, a strong, well-built fence will be able to withstand damage better.

Woodpeckers You may see a woodpecker drilling away at your fence posts and feel personally attacked, but the woodpecker is actually just looking for food. And it eats bugs and larvae, so if it's attacking your fence, you may have bigger problems, such as termites living in your fence. To prevent woodpecker attacks, have your fence inspected and re-sealed frequently against bugs and rot.

Unstable Posts Your fence's structural stability depends on the fence posts, so tilted fence posts or any instability can cause warped, tilted, and sagging in your fence. To keep your fence from tilting more or even falling down, you may have to brace or even replace a fence post that's become unstable. Talk to your fencing contractor about any fence posts that seem to be destabilizing.

These are just a few of the common threats that could damage your wood fence. As you care for your fence over the years, you may find other threats and issues that could cause damage.

Contact AVA Fence & Railing LLC for expert fence care and repairs anytime you detect a fence problem. We offer a variety of services for both new and existing fences, and we'd be glad to help save your fence from damaging influences.

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