How Long Does a Wood Fence Last?

How long does a wood fence last? If you install a wood picket fence, split rail, or privacy fence, it should last about 15 years with proper maintenance.

However, in some cases, your wood fence can last for up to 20 years or more.

While a wood fence requires more maintenance than other types of fences, the tradeoff is worth it because natural wood fencing is classic, elegant, and stylish.

How Long Does a Wood Fence Last & Other FAQs

You probably have questions about what to expect in regards to the lifespan of your wood fence. Below, we go over some of the most commonly asked questions about wood fences.

What is the life expectancy of a wooden fence?

A well-maintained wood fence should last up to 15-20 years if it’s properly maintained. Over time, wood fences will warp, sag, rot, and crack if they don’t receive regular care. If a fence isn’t properly maintained, it will need to be replaced about every ten years

How often should you replace a wooden fence?

Most property owners opt to replace their wood fences about every 10 years. Replacing a wooden fence can be an investment in your security, privacy, and your property’s aesthetic appeal.

Watch for these signs that will tell you when it’s time to replace your wood fence:

The wood is rotting in areas that are near the ground. Close to the ground, wood experiences more sustained moisture, and rot are accelerated.

Your fence begins leaning to one side. This is usually caused by rain, wind, and even shifting ground.

Boards are split or missing. Warped or split boards can result in structural problems.

Nails, screws, and fasteners become loose or fall out. These can all be replaced, but at some point, the wood will be unable to withstand a new nail or screw.

Repairs become more costly, indicating it would be more cost-effective to replace your fence. If you reach the point where it costs a lot to repair your fence, it may be time to replace it.

What type of wood fence lasts the longest?

Much of your fence’s durability depends on the type of wood you use. For example, redwood and western red cedar are common fencing materials because of their ability to reduce rot and decay. In areas that experience extreme weather, cedar is used most commonly.

Is pressure-treated wood good for fences?

Lumber that is pressure-treated has been through a process that drives beneficial preservatives deep into the fibers of the wood. This protection helps prevent fungal decay, termite attacks, and other factors that are caused by environmental issues.

Pressure-treated wood has a longer life, is easily sealable and stainable, weathers gracefully, and protects against the issues we mentioned above. For these reasons, we recommend that you use pressure-treated wood on any fencing project.

How do I keep my pressure-treated wood fence looking new?

When you install your pressure-treated wood fence, we recommend that you apply a waterproofing stain or sealer to your fence. After the first installation, you need to reapply the stain or sealer every one to two years, depending on the weather conditions where you live.

Steps for Keeping Your Wood Fence Looking New

To keep your pressure-treated wood fence looking new, follow these guidelines we’ve listed below!

1) Invest properly in the beginning

The lifespan of your wood fence will depend greatly on the type of wood you use to build it. To have a beautiful fence for several years, use the best pressure-treated wood, and be sure you use the wood that is well-suited to your climate.

2) Clean your fence regularly

Once you have invested in a wood fence, you will need to do some work to maintain it. Many people build a fence and think they’re done, but fences actually require regular washing.

When you wash your fence regularly, you will help to prolong its life because regular cleaning will remove all of the dirt, leaves, dust, and any mold that is starting to form.

Once or twice a year, schedule your wood fence for a power wash. The best time to do this is after falling of the leaves and after winter storms.

3) Stay on top of repairs

Damaged wood fences quickly deteriorate, so it’s important to stay on top of needed repairs. Some simple repairs may include the following.

  • Replacing broken posts and rails
  • Tightening loose joints and screws

4) Seal, stain, and paint as needed

After thoroughly scrubbing, cleaning, and repairing your pressure-treated wood fence, you will need to add a new layer of paint or stain.

All of this work will pay off for you and will help to keep your fence as strong as possible during the winter months or rainy seasons.

Wrapping it Up

How long does a wood fence last? It depends on the type of wood you use and how well you maintain it. With proper care and maintenance, your wood fence can last between 15 and 20 years!

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