Read on to learn more about how wood rot can impact a fence.
As anyone with a wood fence knows, maintenance is an essential part of owning any fence but in particular, one made of wood. Wood is prone to being damaged in many ways, but thankfully, it’s easily kept away with a few maintenance steps. One kind of issue that many wooden fence owners run into is wood rotting. It’s a real threat to many pieces of outdoor wooden infrastructure and fences are no different. If you’re worried about wood rot in particular, or just want to stay better informed to protect your wooden fence in general, read on to learn more about how wood rot can impact a fence.
Types of Wood Rot
When we say wood rot, we’re referring to both dry rot and wet rot, both of which are caused by fungi. Wet rot is, as the name suggests, much more common when moisture is wet and will attract fungus that prefers moist wood. Comparatively, dry rot only needs 20 to 30 percent moisture content within the wood for it to germinate. While many kinds of fungi can cause wet rot, the only fungi that cause dry rot are Serpula Lacrymans, which can cause rot in more places than just your fence!
How to Tell
If there are multiple kinds of wood rot, how do you tell which is which? Dry rot is usually noticeable due to its ability to crack or split timber. However, this can happen beneath the surface of the fence, so you may not see it. Another sign of dry rot is yellow or grey mycelium which can begin fruiting if given enough time. Wet rot can cause similar cracks but the wood is comparatively damp and soft, accompanied by a musty smell.
Either way, it’s a problem. However, dry rot is generally much worse and requires quick treatment. Dry rot can spread to all kinds of materials so it’s prone to getting on your deck, patio, or even inside your home, requiring expensive repairs if you want to get rid of the problem once and for all.
Prevention and Treatment
Keeping moisture away is necessary for preventing wood rot. This may be because of standing water if your yard is missing drainage or you may need to remove some of the plants around your fence. Removing wet rot is usually as simple as removing the source of moisture and using a fungicide. Dry rot tends to require some more attention and can include removing any affected wood, which is why it’s so important to tackle the issue as early as you can.
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