Wooden fencing certainly looks beautiful, but the sturdiest woods, such as cedar and oak, can cost a pretty penny. Pine fencing is more affordable, but it is not as durable as these other woods. If your budget has limited you to a pine fence, follow these tips to keep it in good shape and ensure it lasts as long as possible.
Apply sealer early and often.
Pine is a soft wood, which means it is more porous than some of the harder woods you could use for fencing. As a result, it will absorb water rather quickly, and this can lead to rot and bending of the wood. As soon as your fence is up, apply a thorough coating of wood sealer. Read the directions on the label; they'll tell you how often you need to re-apply the sealer. They'll also tell you how many coats to apply. (The frequency and number of coats varies widely between wood sealers. Some need to be applied every two years, and some need to be applied every six months. Some require two coats, and some require just one.) Follow these instructions closely to ensure your pine fence does not end up absorbing any water.
Keep an eye out for insects.
Pests like wood bees and carpenter ants are not just annoying. Both of these insects build nests within wood. The way they burrow through the wood weakens it and also creates a space that water can pool in. They're especially attracted to pine since it is softer and easier to chew through than other woods. Keep a close eye on your fence, and if you do see any of these pests, follow them back to their hole and apply some aerosol insecticides to the hole. Two or three days later, plug the hole with some wood putty so they can't return.
Minimize water contact.
You can't stop the rain from falling, but there are a few other ways to minimize water contact with your fence:
- When watering plants near the fence, spray the ground rather than spraying into the air in a way that contacts the fence.
- Do not plant plants so close to the fence that they brush against it and end up passing their moisture onto it.
- To clean your pine fence, brush it with a dry wire brush rather than power washing it.
A pine fence won't last as long as a hardwood one, but with the tips above, you can at least be confident that you're getting as much use as possible out of it. To learn more, contact a fencing company like Hahn-AA Fencing.