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How Long Does A Wood Fence Last?


By Carrie Dixon, Blog Editor

Wood Fence - How long will it last?When you are considering installed a new fence, one of the most important things is knowing it will stand the test of time. The truth is that every fence is different, even when you are considering only wood fences. Different woods have longer lifespans than others, so it’s important to consider that along with the treatment of the wood and other factors. In this article, we’ll go over each of these things and how it will affect the lifespan of your new wooden fence.

Lifespan of Wood Types

So, this is the first thing you should consider when determining how long your fence will last. The most commonly used woods for fences are pine, cedar, and spruce. Each has a different lifespan. The longest lifespan belongs to cedar, which can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years. Pine is the middle ground and can last from about five years all the way up to 12. The lowest lifespan is going to be from spruce, which traditionally only lasts about four to seven years.

Treated Wood Considerations

If your wood has been treated properly, the lifespan will climb. You can expect, on average, for pine or spruce to last up to about 20 years. Cedar can last up to 40 years with treatment. It’s nearly always worth the extra cost to buy treated wood as you will have use of it for many more years than you would with untreated wood. It’s just a better option all around if you care about longevity with your fence.

Installation Type

One of the things that can most quickly age your fence is moisture. You want to be sure that your fence pickets or panels do not touch the ground, as this is where lots of moisture will be found. Your posts must be in the ground but there are ways to ensure they last as long as possible. If possible, place the posts in an area of low moisture. You should also be sure to treat or stain the posts, which gives a barrier against moisture. Using gravel or concrete filler in the post holes can also be hugely beneficial.

Maintenance Concerns for Wood Fences

If you want your fence to last as long as possible, you have to take care of it. Not doing so can take years off of the life of the fence quickly. This is why we recommend that you stain and paint the fence before installation. It’s also crucial to reapply stain about once every two years and reapply paint every four years.

Another thing to watch out for is rotting to the fence. Applying a wood preservative can prevent this from occurring. You should also be sure to keep sprinklers and other sources of moisture far away form the fence whenever possible. Bushes and vines growing on the fence also add weight and should be removed to ensure the longest lifespan in your wooden fence.

Final Considerations

When you hire someone to install your fence, be sure they are an expert in the field. This gives you the chance to ask any questions you might still have about your choice of fence. There may be a type of fence that works best in your location or the contractor may have a deal on a certain type of wood. These are all important things to consider as you move forward with the project.

If you aren’t sure about what maintenance you should be doing, the expert should also be able to provide you with all the information you might need. By following the tips above, you’ll have a good idea of just how long your fence will last before you need another.