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Top tips to extend the life of your timber fence

Timber fencing is a great-looking and more natural way to add privacy and protection for your home and yard. Timber is a timeless look that’s more flexible and less claustrophobic than other design materials such as cement, aluminium and corrugated iron.

Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners think that installing a fence is a case of ‘set and forget’ – and that’s not true. While timber fencing typically lasts 15 years with only a little upkeep, with proper maintenance, homeowners can prolong the life of their timber to upwards of 20 years!

Are you looking to give your timber fence the treatment it deserves? Here are our top tips to extend the life of your timber fences.

1. Inspect regularly

The simplest way to ensure that your timber fencing remains in tip-top condition is to regularly check your fences for signs of damage. Every few months, take a walk around your property and inspect the posts closely – keeping an eye out for mildew, loose nails, chipped wood, decay from termite infestation, and peeling paints.

Luckily, you can remedy a lot of these basic problems with a little DIY! However, should you find rot or a termite infestation, you may need to conduct a more comprehensive repair job.

Tree roots and plants that are directly next to or underneath the fence are other issues to look out for, as they can buckle or push your fence posts out of alignment. With this in mind, it’s imperative that prior to construction, you ensure that you aren’t building on top of or near potentially invasive tree roots.

If you have a dog, chances are your furry friend is a habitual digger. To protect your fence from any possible digging damage, bury the bottom of the fence 1 to 2 feet below the surface - this will prevent any possible damage and ensure your pet doesn’t escape!

Note: Before you consider building a fence, or adding to your current fencing, find out if your fence is on a shared neighbour property line. This will determine what you can and can’t do.

2. Give it a clean

Unsure about how to restore your timber fencing to its former glory? Don’t stress, it’s easy!

You can fix common problems – like mildew stains, dirt and grime build-up – with a quick and easy clean using a high-pressure washer. If you don’t have one, you can hire one or simply use a normal hose and give it a good scrub with a brush or broom.

If you run into any particularly problematic areas, you may need to add some mould remover to the mix. If you can, choose a warm and sunny day to power through your cleaning – which will speed up the drying process.

3. Reseal or paint after cleaning

If your fence is looking a little worse for wear, give your palings a new stain or coat of paint.

With both options, you’ll need to sand back your palings to their original finish. Depending on how long you want the stain or paint to last, you should also consider treating the wood. For the best outcome, use exterior oil-based stain or latex paint. This will create a seal to keep moisture from setting in, prevent wood rot, and extend the life of your timber fence.

Note: Once you’ve cleaned your timber fencing and sanded back the palings, wait about a week before applying a stain or sealant.

4. Choose treated timber

If your fencing is just too far gone – or you want to update your style – choose treated pine timber for your new look.

This durable fencing material has been infused with a chemical solution that protects it against damage from insects, rot, fungi, and other wood-destroying organisms. You can be confident in your long-term investment!

Narangba Timbers supplies a large range of treated pine timber products that are extra long-lasting to meet your fencing needs. See our wide range of treated timber supplies here.

5. Consider termite prevention

As Australians, we all know how pervasive termites can be – especially when it comes to our wooden infrastructure. Instead of waiting for them to eat their way through your fences, why not focus on preventing their arrival?

Termites thrive in moist soil. To protect your timber fences, it’s important to keep an eye on how much moisture is penetrating your palings – especially the parts of them that are in or near the ground.

If you’re looking for a long-term solution, try treated pine timber. Its protective chemical bond composition makes it resistant to termites and other wood-eating pests.