Whether it’s to corral the kids in the backyard, create a protective boundary for the garden or simply to complete the picturesque home, wood fences provide charm with modern functionality.
While wooden fences may offer versatility and style, they can be susceptible to time and the elements, as with any outdoor framework. Everything from massive storms to tiny insects can affect this type of fencing. Additionally, a wood fence’s lifespan will depend greatly on the material, location and installation quality. But, generally speaking, how long does a wood fence last?
Here are some of the factors that will determine the fence’s longevity:
Types of Wood
How long do wood fences last? Well, the very first aspect that will play a crucial role in determining that is the type of wood you use to build the fencing. Technically, fences could be made out of any wood the builder wishes, but the most common ones used are spruce, pine, cedar.
Spruce wood is the more common, economic option for a wooden fence. Spruce is one of the more basic woods available for fencing, making it a more affordable choice. It also accepts stains and paints very well. While it may save you a buck, spruce is one the least durable woods, lasting for only 4 to 7 years, at best. It also is quite difficult to maintain.
Another wallet-friendly option is pine wood, or “pressure-treated pine”, which is actually the most popular choice for residential wood fences. Similar to spruce, pine requires constant maintenance as well and is less durable than most other woods, making it a more affordable but less durable and convenient material. Pressure-treated pine will eventually turn grey as time passes, and will last anywhere from 5 to 12 years.
Cedar is one of the most durable and long-lasting woods, making it much more suitable as a material for fencing. It can last for more than 15 to 30 years and is exceptionally sustainable. Cedar wood requires much less maintenance and won’t weather as easily as spruce or pine.
Types of Fence Damage
To address the question of how long do wood fences last, we have to consider the factors that can cause damage to a wooden fence. As with any outdoor structure, wood fences will be exposed to the elements and a multitude of different factors. Here are some of the most common causes of damage that can occur to a wooden fence.
Another common question that people ask is, “How long does a wood fence last in certain weather conditions?” Differing weather conditions can wreak all sorts of havoc on a wood fence. Areas that have abundant sunlight can cause discoloration and degradation while areas with wetter climates will cause moisture damage and rot. Strong winds and storms could have the potential to cause paint damage or even make the entire fence collapse.
Surprisingly, a wood fence can actually begin to bend and crack under its own weight if it was built improperly. Wooden fences can only handle so much weight so it’s a good idea to calculate how much weight your fence can handle before constructing it.
Most people wouldn’t consider plants as a possible damaging factor, but certain species like woody vines can climb their way up the fence. Plants carry moisture which can compromise the integrity of the wooden fence. The accumulated water could also cause the wood to rot over time.
Wood is a natural material that can draw in many different types of insects. Termites are the most common and well-known insects that can damage a wood fence, along with Carpenter Ants and Powder Post Beetles. These and a number of other species can cause a lot of damage to wooden outdoor structures, and that includes fences.
Benefits of Cedar
As stated before, cedar wood is one the best choices when it comes to wood options for building a fence. Cedar is a naturally durable material that can last for a very long time if maintained properly. In fact, cedar doesn’t even require any chemical treatments or drying to increase its longevity. Cedar’s natural resistance to moisture, warping, rot and insects makes it one of the best options for wood fences.
We here at Nortex Fence & Patio specialize in custom cedar fences along with decks, driveway gates and everything else you need to make sure your outdoor space is exactly how you want it. If you have any questions or are interested in any of our services, fill out the contact form to get started today.