Wooden fencing is beautiful, practical and can easily be crafted into many different styles and designs, including privacy fences, picket fences and split rail farm fences. Most types of wood are susceptible to rot and decay when they are in contact with water – especially with constant exposure to moist soil. This can cause a wooden fence to fail after a few years where wood is touching the ground.
The Solution: Pressure Treated Fencing Materials
Pressure treated wood is the solution to building wooden fences that will last. It is typically made of fir, dried with heat and soaked in chemicals that provide long-lasting resistance to moisture, insects and decay. Pressure treated wood can be used just like untreated wood in many outdoor applications, but the most important component is to select fence posts that are pressure treated; they are the parts of the fence that are in constant contact with the soil. Installing a fence with pressure treated fence posts will ensure that it will provide many years of use and longevity in all types of weather.
Untreated Wooden Fences
A fence that is built without pressure treated materials can be expected to fail in a few short years, especially if the wood is left natural and is unsealed and unpainted. Any area where water can pool will fail the most quickly, which can include the tops of the posts and the base of the posts where water pools before soaking into the soil. This can lead to the tops of the posts becoming hollow with rotten wood and the base of the posts becoming the weakest part of the fence. This could eventually cause the entire fence to fall over when exposed to pressure such as a windstorm or someone leaning on the fence. Although the fence may have had some years of service left, the failure of the posts will typically result in so much damage to the fence that the entire thing will need to be completely replaced.
Pressure Treated Fences
Pressure treated posts prevent wood damage in moist soils by making the fence posts the strongest part of the fence. Treated posts are water resistant and will not be the first component of the fence to fail. You can also create other parts of the fence from pressure treated materials including fence boards and two-by-fours. However, in most cases these fence components do not touch the ground and it is not necessary to construct them of pressure treated fencing materials which can add significantly to the overall cost of the fence project.
Cost of Pressure Treated Fence Materials
The cost of pressure treated fencing materials is higher than that of regular fir, but costs may be similar to high-quality wood such as cedar and redwood. If the fence posts are the only pressure treated materials, they will add to the cost of your fence but not in a dramatic way. The additional years of service you’ll get from your new fence will far outweigh the small additional cost for these high-quality fence posts that are manufactured to last.
Safe for Gardens, Children and Pets
Garden safety near a pressure treated fence has long been in question, as chemicals can potentially leach into the soil and be taken up by the roots of the fence. Years ago, experts advised keeping pressure treated fence posts well away from edible food crops such as vegetables and fruits. However, modern pressure treated posts are manufactured with chemicals that are not known to pose a risk for edible gardens. These new types of pressure treated posts are also safe for pets and children. You can feel confident about building a variety of fence projects on your property with this safe, modern building material.
Your choice of pressure treated posts for your upcoming fencing project is not a decision you’ll regret. Installing new fencing can be expensive, and making wise choices about the best types of materials to use will create a strong fencing structure for many years to come.