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Why Do Fence Posts Rot & How To Prevent It?

A high quality wooden fence is designed and built to last a considerable amount of time. However, its lifespan can be easily shortened by rotten wooden fence posts. Therefore, that durable, sturdy fence panel could be rendered useless is the post rots and subsequently breaks away in strong winds. So in this article, we’re going to explain why these posts rot and exactly what can be done to prevent them from rotting away.


Why do fence posts rot?


There are a number of reasons why a wooden fence post may start to rot, including:


  • Sun
  • Snow
  • Hail
  • Rain


Along with the elements, wooden posts can rot as a result of decomposing sap, inside the wood itself. Also, when wood absorbs water, it expands. Therefore, when it dries, it will contract, subsequently causing the wood to crack. Cracks allow moisture to penetrate the wood, thus leading to rot.


How to prevent your fence posts from rotting


When it comes to rot prevention, you should treat the post above ground and the wood post below ground. The bottom of the post is most susceptible to rot, as it’s in constant contact with moisture from the ground. But fear not, because here are a few simple steps to prevent your wooden posts from rotting.


Please note: if you’re yet to put your fence post in, then you can skip step 1


Step One


Remove the fence post from the ground. If it’s set in cement, dig under it to create a pocket beneath the bottom of the wooden post.


Step Two


Take a shovel and dig a hole roughly 10 inches beneath where the fence post will stand. Fill the hole in with gravel, this will help to support the post, as well as creating adequate drainage for water to pass through. 


Step Three


Paint the entirety of post in waterproofing sealant using a large paintbrush, even the section which will be beneath the ground.


Step Four


Pour waterproofing sealant into a bucket, immersing the end of the post (which will be buried below ground) into the sealant. Allow the post to sit in the bucket of sealant overnight, then leave to air dry.


Step Five


Place your fence post on top of the gravel drainage layer and fill the rest of the hole in with soil, ensuring it stands firm and steady.


Postsaver Sleeves


As an alternative, Postsaver sleeves are a cost-effective, simple way to keep wood rot at bay. They’re promptly wrapped around the bottom of the fence post before being expertly fixed into the ground. Its quick and easy application means your fence posts can be protected from underground moisture in the blink of an eye. This non-toxic sleeve has the potential to double the post’s durability, especially when compared to sleeveless posts.


Here at Barnard Fencing, we’re dedicated to supplying our customers with high quality fencing supplies coupled with exceptional service. As a local Nottingham fencing manufacturer, we can provide, install and maintain an array of different fencing products, including fence panels, fence supplies, railway sleepers, sheds and decking supplies. If you’re on the lookout for strong, durable fence posts, or wish to give our Postsaver sleeves a try, get in touch with us today – we also offer free, no obligation quotations.  


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