When it comes to residential fencing styles, picket fences remain a much sought after design for homeowners. This style of fence adds a classic aesthetic to your property, which is sure to boost your home's value. However, since picket fences are typically made from timber, they are prone to wear and tear, which would inadvertently detract from the appeal of the fencing.
One of the main concerns to have when installing a picket fence would be the development of rot. Luckily, there are a couple of things that you could do to prevent or at least delay the onset of rot. Below are some tips that can come in handy in minimising your picket fences risk of rot.
Wet rot vs dry rot: Know the difference
The first step to keeping rot at bay from your wooden picket fence would be discerning the two main types of rot that it would be susceptible to. A misconception people have is that decay automatically translates into wet rot. The truth of the matter is, depending on the prevalent climatic conditions, your picket fence could be vulnerable to either wet rot or dry rot.
As the name implies, wet rot comes about when the picket fence is continually exposed to direct moisture. Thus, type of rot will develop from the ground up, as moisture from the soil seeps into your picket fence.
Conversely, dry rot comes about when the picket fence is exposed to excessive heat. The arid climatic conditions suck out the timber's inherent protective oils and moisture, leaving the fence brittle. Knowing what your fence would be susceptible to would be a necessary step in preventing the onset of rot in the first place.
Staining: It is not just a one-off maintenance measure
The second tip to keeping rot at bay would be to engage in routine staining. Some homeowners may be under the impression that staining their picket fence is something that needs only be performed once. But staining does not merely function to boost the appeal of the picket fencing.
Routine staining is recommended as this helps to retain the timber's natural oils. Additionally, the frequency at which you have to stain your fence will depend on the prevalent weather conditions. If you live in parts of Australia that experience scorching temperatures, it would be ideal to stain your fence regularly so that it does not dry out.
A simple way to check if your fence needs to be stained is by spraying it with some water. If the beads of water settle on the surface, this would indicate the stain is intact. On the other hand, if the timber absorbs the moisture immediately, it would suggest that the wood is parched.
Fencing in a rural setting has to fill a lot more functions than a fence around a residential home. It has to keep your livestock, one of your biggest annual assets, safe. It also has to keep out vermin and possibly be electrified. Thanks to the sheer abundance of fencing on many rural properties, fence installation, upkeep, repair and replacement can also be expensive. Luckily, if you want tips on what you need or how to make it more affordable, I am here to help. Hi, my name is Nicki, and I love living out in the country. I also love writing so decided to put my knowledge about fences to use in this space.