What causes rotting in cedar fencing?
Rot in a cedar fence is caused by a mix of hot weather, cold winter, and a lot of moisture. The moisture can create a fungal condition that makes the wood brittle and easy to fall apart. Especially in Colorado where summers can get hot, rain can be abundant, and snow can fall from September through May, your fence is more at risk. Fungus tends to occur where it’s very moist and dark, so an excess of rain/snow followed by a lack of sunshine can have a big effect on your cedar fence. The brittle wood can begin to form holes or even cause the fence to collapse or break apart in certain areas. Luckily, there are ways to prevent rot, as well as ways to fix a small rotted spot in a fence.
Tips to prevent rot
In order to prevent your cedar fence from rotting, there are a few things you can do both when having a fence installed as well as after you have the fence on your property.
- Try to eliminate any water sources that could cause the fence to get wet if it isn’t necessary. Make sure your sprinklers or hose aren’t aimed at your fence when watering the grass, and water near the bottom of the fence is able to drain quickly.
- Clear out old leaves or debris. This can cause rotting near the base of the fence, especially during the summer if the leaves get wet and are then exposed to the sun, which creates a warm, moist environment, perfect for the production of fungus.
- If your fence doesn’t already have one, use a sealant or primer to keep moisture out. It’s best to do this when the fence is being built, but you can still seal it after you’ve had the fence installed.
- Make sure the fence posts are installed in a dry area of the yard, rather than a spot without sun exposure or proper water drainage.
- Use gravel around the fence posts. The mix of gravel and dirt will allow water to drain away more quickly than if there is only soil.
- Have your fencing contractor cut the tops of the fence posts at a slight angle. This helps water from rain or snow to run off the fence rather than absorb into the wood.
What if my fence already has rot?
Sadly, if you didn’t take the necessary precautions to prevent your cedar fence from rotting, it may already have some water damage to it. By inspecting your deck regularly you can keep an eye on any areas that seem like they’re affected by moisture. If the fence looks gray in color or is beginning to decay, you likely will need to call your Colorado Springs fencing contractor to determine if your fence needs to be repaired or replaced.