A fence can be a beautiful way to protect your yard, increase your privacy, and keep your pets and family safe. Routine fence maintenance is an important part of their upkeep in order to help prevent problems that can occur over time. Fence rot is one of the more common issues affecting a wooden fence. Read on to learn more about the different kinds of fence rot and what you can do to help prevent and fix it.

Wet Rot

When a fence is exposed to too much moisture, the dampness can cause fence rot. This is known as “wet rot,” and it generally comes from fungi that grow in the moisture and attack the wood.

Signs of wet rot include:

  • A damp, musty smell near the fence
  • Dark areas of wood
  • Warped fence slats or posts
  • Fungus growing on the surface of the fence
  • Soft, spongy wood

If you notice wet rot, you’ll want to replace the affected fencing right away. Otherwise, it can spread to other areas of the fence.

Dry Rot

A fence can also rot without moisture at all. Some species of fungi don’t need high moisture to thrive to cause damage to your fence. Sometimes this damage is mistaken for termite or ant damage, but one telltale sign is that it won’t have signs of insect passageways.

Here’s how you identify dry rot (also known as brown rot):

  • Deep cracks in the wood grain
  • Abnormal brown coloration
  • Wood that crumbles easily
  • Fungus that looks like mushrooms on your fence

Dry rot spreads quickly, so if you notice it, it’s essential to take action immediately. You can replace the affected fence to protect the rest of the perimeter.

How Can You Stop a Fence From Rotting?

There are several ways to stop a fence from rotting. Start by choosing rot-resistant wood for your fencing. These options include cedar, oak, and redwood. You can also use pressure-treated wood, which deters both insects and rot from damaging your fence. While softwoods may be more affordable, their upkeep will be more expensive in the long run.

Also, ensure that your fence is installed correctly. Posts should be pressure-treated and protected from direct contact with the ground. Working with a professional fence company is a smart choice when it comes to proper installation. Staining your fence also offers protection while also making it more attractive. Staining the wood every one to three years can help prevent your fence from absorbing moisture.

Finally, maintain your fence and keep it clean. You’ll want to rake leaves away from the fence to avoid holding moisture near the wood. Remove any fungus you see and check for and treat insect problems. Wash the fence with bleach and water or a power washer once a year.

Your Austin Fence Experts

While fence rot is a common problem, you can prevent it. By understanding the types of rot and how you can stop a fence from rotting, you’ll be equipped to keep your fence strong and beautiful for many years to come.

If you’re interested in installing a fence, repairing one, or have other questions, contact the fence professionals at Discount Fence today. As the leading fence repair company serving Austin and the surrounding areas, we’re here to help you with all of your fencing needs.