No matter how great your wood fencing looks after installation, it’s no match for the wrath of Mother Nature, especially here in St. Louis where the weather changes minute-by-minute. Hail, ice, storms, and sun can all wreak havoc on your new fence, causing you to spend your weekends on repair work instead of relaxation.
If you’re deciding between fixing or replacing your current wood fence, it’s important to determine whether the time and money you’re spending for upkeep is worth it.
Common Problems with Wood Fencing
Fencing can be made from a variety of wood species, some of which are more durable than others. But overall, all wood fencing requires considerable maintenance over the years. In fact, untreated fences usually last only seven to 10 years because natural lumber is prone to rot and infestation just like the trees it comes from. Therefore, if you notice any of the following issues with your wood fence, you may want to consider an alternative, maintenance-free fencing:
In a high-humidity climate like St. Louis, wood fences are more susceptible to rotting. Rain, sprinkler systems and even trees and vegetation can rev up the rotting process, and once it occurs, the damaged wood has to be removed and replaced for safety and aesthetic reasons. Rot is most likely to occur on the posts, which are encased in warm, moist soil. Once posts rot, they can sag forward or backward, taking the rest of the fence with them and costing you hundreds of dollars in repairs.
Termites love to chow down on wood fencing – especially if it’s made of untreated lumber – causing holes, cracks, and warping. If your fence is compromised, the colony may start snacking on your house as well. Removing the ravaged boards and getting a termite inspection are the only ways to bring these hungry menaces under control.
Fading and Discoloration
UV rays from the sun, along with abuse from the weather, can quickly turn your beautiful brown fence gray or strip the paint away from your white picket fence. On average, St. Louis homeowners end up restaining or repainting their fence every two years, which can be an expensive, time-consuming job depending on the size of your yard.
Cracks and Gaps
While humidity is an enemy of wood fencing, so is the dry heat. Sun exposure causes the outside of your wood to dry faster than the inside – in turn, the wood cracks to release the internal pressure. In addition, dry rot destroys the wood’s protective oils, causing it to splinter, shrink, warp and split. The result? Unattractive cracks and large gaps between your fence boards.
Just as wood rots, metal rusts. The nails in your wood fence can quickly corrode, causing unattractive streaks down the boards. In addition, as the wood expands and contracts, the nails can loosen, which is a safety hazard for kids and pets.
Explore more with this related post: “Wood Fencing vs. Vinyl Fencing.”
It’s Time to Update Your Fencing
If durability, curb appeal, and easy living are important to you as a homeowner, it’s best to leave the trees to forest and choose a headache-free fence option from Maintenance-Free Outdoor Solutions. Vinyl, aluminum, simulated stone, and ornamental steel fencing all offer considerable advantages over wood, so you can enjoy your backyard for years to come.
For more information on switching out your wood fencing, talk with our outdoor experts for your free new fence estimate. Explore our Maintenance-Free Advantage to learn more about what makes us the most trusted fencing and decking company in St. Louis.
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