What Sealants Are Safe to Use on Wooden Fence Posts in Utah?

February 28, 2019 11:32 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

If you’re looking into investing in a new wooden fence for your property, one of the most important considerations you should keep in mind is how you can prevent your fence posts from rotting. We frequently have customers ask us about the type of sealants they should use on their fence posts to keep rot from setting in, but the more important consideration is actually which overall steps they should be taking to prevent rot from becoming a major issue.

With this in mind, here are some tips on how you can protect your wooden fence posts in Utah from rotting:

  • Make sure the wood is dried out: If you’ve already ensured the wood is dry, you can skip this step. But if it’s newer wood, you should make sure you store it in a cool, dry, well-circulated area to allow the wood to dry out. If the wood is still green, moisture inside the wood can become problematic and encourage rot. The drying process can take several months if you’re using fresh wood.
  • Use a wood preservative on the bottom: The bottom third or half of your fence posts should be brushed with a waterborne copper naphthenate, a type of preservative that is chromium- and arsenic-free. You can use it on the entire post if you want, but the bottom is especially important because the portion of the post that gets buried and the section that lies just above the ground are much more prone to rot than the top parts of the post. Let the preservative soak into the wood for about an hour, then repeat with additional coats until the wood stops absorbing it.
  • Digging the hole: Dig a hole that’s about two or three times the diameter of the fence and about 24 to 48 inches deep. If you’re able to dig deep enough, it’s a good idea to bury a third of the total length of the post, but a minimum of 24 inches is also acceptable. Then, fill the hole with about six inches of ¼-minus gravel, a type of gravel that contains small chunks and gravel dust to ensure strong compaction.
  • Set the post: Place the post down into the hole while holding a level on the side to make sure it’s plumb with the ground. Fill in the hole with more gravel and tamp it down—gravel is better than concrete for this process because concrete’s moisture can actually encourage rot, while gravel allows for better water drainage into the soil. You can then push soil around the fence to conceal the gravel.
  • Continue using the preservative: You can continue brushing that preservative onto the top portions of the fence, especially if you’ve cut the posts down to a certain height to reveal new wood. Brush it onto any cracks that develop anywhere along the post over time as well to prevent rot from setting in.

For more information about preventing your wooden fence posts in Utah from rotting, contact Huberwoods today.

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