Is Your Fence Weatherproof? 5 Tips to Ensure It

Fencing can make your property look wonderful, but daily exposure to the elements can ruin it quickly. With a little forethought, you can weatherproof your fence to help it keep its natural beauty longer.

While all fences need some type of protection, wood fences are most prone to damage from the weather.
The following 5 tips will help keep your wood fence looking its best throughout the years:


  • Keep It Clean

    The first thing is keeping your fence as clean as possible. This eliminates things like fungus growth over the fence. It also keeps harsh chemicals like winter salt from causing the wood to deteriorate. Even seemingly harmless dirt can cause damage to wood over time, if it is left on wood.

  • Test for Waterproofing

    Don’t assume that the wood made for fencing is automatically waterproof. Spray a tiny area of the fencing with water, and watch to see what happens. If the wood turns dark, then it is not waterproof, and will start to decay over time, if something is not done to change that.

    You will need to do some kind of testing before you purchase the wood, in order to save trouble later. Finding that the wood is not waterproof isn’t a reason not to purchase it, if that is the wood you like.

Finding it out in advance simply makes it easier to treat the wood before installing the fence. This will make it much easier to make sure every inch is covered with the stain.

  • Apply Weatherproof Stain

    Stains not only come in many different colors, but they also come with waterproofing. Spending a bit more for the added protection will enable your wood fence to add years to its life. In the end, you end up saving money.

    Another thing you can do is add a protective wax made specifically for wood fences. This adds yet another coat of protection between the wood, and elements. This stain and protectant can be used even after the fence is installed, but doing it beforehand will make things easier for you.

  • Use Pressure-Treated Wood

    Pressure-treated wood will help protect against insects and weather. This is especially true for the posts because they go beneath ground, where insects and moisture, thrive the most.

    If the posts become insect-infested, their weakened state will cause the rest of the fence to sag and eventually fall apart. Finding pickets for picket fences that are pressure-treated may not be possible. Pickets, however, are above ground, so not subject to sitting in still water. They should stand up well by simply using water proof stain, and a wax coating.

  • Keep Sprinklers Away from the Fence

    One thing that isn’t often considered in regards to wood fencing is the regular use of sprinklers near the fence. This will not give the wood time to dry thoroughly, and can cause rotting in a quicker amount of time than if sprinklers are kept from hitting the wood.

It also helps to build up the ground under the fence, so that any rainwater drains away from it. If the water tends to pool around the posts, they will rot away quickly. A very slight incline, starting at the post, and declining away from it will allow the majority of water to be swept far enough away, so that it doesn’t cause damage.

A Word on Metal Fences
Wood fences aren’t the only kind of fence that are subject to weather damage. Metal fences can rust over time.

To prevent this, besides keeping them clean, they can also be covered with a protective coating of weatherproof wax. This will allow any water to run off the metal, rather than sink in, and cause rust to take hold.

In addition, keeping them clean is also just as necessary as it is with wood fences. While insects may not be an issue where metal is concerned, underground moisture or pooling around posts, can add to the chance of development of rust.

8 thoughts on “Is Your Fence Weatherproof? 5 Tips to Ensure It

  1. I like the tip to use pressure-treated wood, but I’m so new to this whole home ownership thing. How do I know if wood is pressure-treated? Will my fencing contractor help me with choosing a good material? I definitely don’t want to spend money on something that’s just going to start rotting in a few years.

  2. Thank you for the help. My wife and I want to add a fence to our yard soon and want to be sure how to maintain it well. I know that weatherproof stain is essential for a wood fence. How long does a coat of stain typically last?

  3. My wife and I are planning on adding a fence to our front and back yard. For the front yard, I am really set on using a classic woof fence because I love the look. However, I am worried about the longevity of the fence, so I appreciate your tips on keeping the fence waterproof. I didn’t know that using pressure-treated wood was important. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Using pressure-treated wood seems like it could help protect my fence against weathering. It’s also good to know that it can protect against insect. I noticed some damage to my old wooden fence that was done by a termite infestation, so I should try using pressure-treated wood this time so that it will last longer. Thanks for the tips!

  5. Elizabeth, these are some good things to consider doing if you want to maintain your wood fence. I liked your tip on applying a waterproof stain. If you live in an area that gets a lot of moisture it might be smart to look into fencing options that can stand up to water better.

  6. I grew up with just chain link fences, so I never really had to worry about this. This is good stuff to know though, because my new place has a wood fence. I never heard of pressure-treated wood, but it makes sense that it would do better against moisture. I don’t think my fence is that way though. I’ll have to test my fence, and see what it does with water. Thanks!

  7. I hadn’t thought to make sure that my fence was waterproof but I’ll have to take a look. I’ll have to follow these steps to maintain my fence by keeping it clean. I’ll also have to test for waterproofing as well. Thanks for the helpful post.

  8. We just installed a new wood fence and I want to make sure it lasts us a long time. I really like your tip to apply a weatherproof stain. Will this need to be reapplied yearly, or is once good enough? Dose the wax last longer? Thanks for all this helpful information!

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