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Lawsons are the largest independent timber, building & fencing merchants in London and the South East of England. Established in 1921 Lawsons now have a number of branches offering the complete range of building materials.

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How to Protect Your Fence from Rotting

Wet rot is extremely common in the UK thanks to our world-famous climate, which means that gardening enthusiasts and DIYers here need to work a little harder to prevent rot in their fences. Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do to make sure that your fence lasts longer and looks great.

  1. Choose the right materials – while a wooden fence has an attractive and traditional look, wood close to the ground is prone to absorbing moisture and rotting. Using concrete fence posts, gravel boards, or using concrete footing will help to prevent moisture absorption and therefore rot. Materials such as cedar, juniper, redwood, and cypress also help to prevent rot, while pine is more prone to it.
  2. Treat your fence panels and posts – Lawsons’ fence panels and posts are all coated with preservative, but it helps to top this up both when installing the fence and during annual maintenance. This helps to seal the wood and prevent it from taking on water.
  3. Slope footings away from the wood – when putting in concrete footings, slope the top of the concrete away from the wood. This allows water to drain and prevents it from pooling near the surface of the wood where it can be absorbed.
  4. Clear debris from the bottom of your fence – leaves, grass, and plants can build up at the bottom of your fence and enter the material through tiny cracks. As the vegetation rots, it can spread through your fence causing considerable damage. You just need to keep your fence clear of debris and foliage with some regular maintenance and cleaning.
  5. Replace rotten sections if/when they appear – if you see or suspect some rot in your fence, you don’t necessarily have to replace the whole thing. If you catch it early, you can usually just replace a small section of your fence and stop it from spreading. Fence posts are the most common sites for wet rot since they’re in contact with the ground. Replace rotten sections and make sure to top up the preservative wherever you cut away at the surface of the wood.