How to Prevent Fence Posts From Rotting

What’s a home without a white picket fence? Fencing is one of the most important things you can do to protect the perimeter of your home! But one thing that’s borderline unbearable about fencing is that even if the part of it that’s above ground looks fine, the section that’s underground, withers away because it tends to rot fairly fast. This can be both frustrating and expensive to deal with. Once your fence has begun to rot, there’s no stopping it and you will have to replace the posts that are rotting. However, it doesn’t have to be that way! There are steps you can take when you’re installing the fences initially that can save them from rotting in the first place, so your fence stays put for years to come!

Preventing Fence Posts From Rotting – Understanding the rot

Before we get into preventing the fence posts from rotting, it’s important to understand why they are rotting in the first place! Generally, there are six things that cause fence posts to rot. 

  1. Too much sun exposure
  2. Too much contact with rainwater
  3. Contact with hail
  4. Soaked because of snow
  5. Sitting in decomposing sap from inside the wood itself
  6. Cracks caused by fluctuations in the size of the wood because of moisture

How to Prevent Fence Posts From Rotting 

Now that we know the basic things that can cause your fence posts to rot, let’s get to the things you can do to prevent the rot from ever starting in the first place!

Use the right wood

One of the biggest mistakes people make, is right at the beginning of the fencing process, at choosing the wood for the fence itself! Choosing the wrong wood could be the reason why your fences are always rotting! Instead of using regular sapwood, go for something like heartwood instead. The trick is to use the wood that’s on the denser side, so it won’t easily be chewed away by the elements or insects! The sturdier the wood, the longer your fence will last!

Treat the wood

Once you have the right wood, you can’t just shove it in the ground and hope for the best. You need to prepare it for it to really “be” a fence. Use a treatment that’s meant for posts that are going to be buried in the soil, something like a copper naphthenate treatment to preserve the natural state of the wood despite it being in the ground.

Use aggregates

Then, you dig. But before you put the post in, add a few inches of aggregates to keep the moisture from the rain from pooling up all around the fence directly. This will make a world of a difference in how long the post lasts. 

Set the posts in gravel and concrete

Now is the part where you pour in the gravel and concrete! Make sure that the concrete rises up at least an inch on top of the soil level. That way the rainwater shouldn’t be able to teach the fence very easily. 

Use Caulk all around the fence base

As an added layer of security, you can use caulk around the base of the fence. This will act as a sealant, keeping as much moisture out as possible!

Call in a professional

If all of this sounds a little too much for you to handle yourself, it might be a better idea to get some help with the installation. Call in a Handyman NYC, or a local handyman in your area to come and help you install the fencing around your home in a way that would ensure that all the extra steps have been taken to keep the fence posts from rotting easily! This way, you’ll have a fence that will last for years, without having to do any of the work!



Alex is the co-author of 100 Greatest Plays, 100 Greatest Cricketers, 100 Greatest Films and 100 Greatest Moments. He has written for a wide variety of publications including The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Telegraph.

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