Providing both privacy and a bit of charm to a homeowner’s yard, wood is often the preferred choice for most residential fencing projects. Whether you’re planning to build a shadow box, a California, or a dog ear privacy fence, using wood for your building materials helps create a luxurious setting in which to relax.
Still, using wood does not come without its own disadvantages. It’s worth noting that wood requires more love than most other materials, especially if you want your fence to last for many years to come. Homeowners should regularly check the fence panels for wear and damage and treat accordingly to preserve their fence.
The Pitfalls of Pine
Although pine is pressure treated prior to installation, it remains vulnerable to mildew, and is thus likely to rot faster than other woods. In addition to mildew, pine tends to be considerably more appetizing to wood-eating insects. For these reasons alone, pine typically lasts no more than 10 to 15 years; less than that if the fence is exposed to moisture for extended lengths of time.
The Superiority of Cedar
Lasting anywhere from 15 to 20 years if cared for properly, cedar’s natural properties make it much more resilient to the elements. The straight, compact grain of cedar makes it hardier, which means that cedar is less susceptible to warping or shrinking over time. If that weren’t enough reason to invest in cedar, the aromatic oil found in the wood acts as a deterrent to a variety of pests, including termites, cockroaches, as well as some ants and flies.
Tips for Preserving Your Fence
While many people enjoy the look of vines creeping along their fence line, the heavy plant tendrils can eventually become a strain on the boards. Furthermore, gardeners and plant-lovers alike will do well to deflect the spray of their sprinklers and watering hoses away from their fence. Even if you have a cedar fence, you want to prevent potential damages where possible.
Keep in mind, too, that sealing and staining a fence is simply a part of extending the lifespan of your fence. The more attentive you are to the healthy red hue of your cedar, the longer it will last. If your fence is absorbing water, then its time to check the panels and weatherproof them. We’ll go into this in more detail later.
For more information on sealing and staining your fence or deck, stay tuned to our blog.