Why Do Fence Posts Rot?

Fencing is a key component of many gardens, but over time, wooden fence posts and fence panels can rot if not adequately maintained. In this blog post, we outline the best ways to prevent your fence posts from rotting and recommend several steps to increase the lifespan of your posts.

How To Prevent Fence Posts From Rotting

Damp conditions are the primary reason why wood fence posts rot. If fence posts are continually exposed to wet weather, they will degrade and begin to decay. It may not be obvious at first, but over a period of months, the damage will typically become more evident.

Ideally, fence posts should be stored in a cool and dry environment with air circulation before being placed in a garden. This is important to reduce the chance of excess moisture and give the post a superior lifespan.

Once installed in a garden, fence posts require regular maintenance to prevent them from rotting. There are several treatment options available that protect the wood and reduce the likelihood of your posts rotting. An alternative option is to install concrete fence posts.

Choosing The Right Type Of Wood For a Fence Post

Posts are available in a variety of wood types, depending on your preferences. Some of the most suitable wood for fencing posts are white cedar, western red cedar, black locust, cypress, and redwood. But no matter what type of wood you choose, pre-treated wood is recommended and less likely to rot.

Ensure The Fence Post Is Well Maintained

While pre-treated fencing posts are the best option, if you install untreated posts, they will require regular maintenance to prevent them from rotting.

This can involve clearing debris from the foot of your post, improving drainage, and replacing rotten wood with new wood to prevent the rot from spreading.

Other methods to preserve the wood include coating the fence with chemicals, such as copper wood preservatives and oil paint. Examples include coal-tar creosote and pentachlorophenol.

oil fence post treatment, wood panel and brush
Fence Treatment Coating

Using Concrete or Concrete Fence Post

Concrete can be highly useful when installing fence posts in your garden. The depth of the foundation is important for stability, but it also impacts the amount of moisture that can affect the wood.

It is possible to pack the foot of the fence with aggregate, gravel and soil to compact the fence. This has the added advantage of absorbing moisture and water from the post reducing the likelihood of wood rot. Concrete fence posts are also available as an alternative to wood.

How Hassett Fencing Can Help

Hassett Fencing is a specialist supplier of fencing & fence posts in Northampton and around Northamptonshire. If you require professional pre-treated fence posts or concrete posts, contact a member of our team for friendly advice and high-quality service.