This is a question our experts get quite frequently here at Welch Fencing. To be honest, the answer is subjective to some extent, and you may have heard slightly differing answers from various sources. Some say that it can be as short as five years, whereas others claim that you can make your garden fence panels last as long as thirty years, or even longer than that.
In our opinion, those are both pretty extreme estimates. In all likelihood, you’ll probably find that the average lifespan of pressure treated fencing is between ten to fifteen years. Here at Welch Fencing, we offer a 10 year guarantee against rot, so you can always have excellent peace of mind in the quality and longevity of our products. If you’ve still got some more general questions about the lifespan of your garden fencing panels though, here’s what you need to know.
What affects the lifespan of garden fence panels?
When it comes right down to it, nobody (including us) can give you much more than a general estimate for the lifespan of your fence, largely because there are so many different factors that can affect its durability. If you and someone else bought the exact same products and materials for exactly the same type of outdoor space, you might still find that you need to maintain (or even replace) your fence at different times. Here are some of the biggest influences.
Weather and climate
Here in the UK, we’re lucky – or unlucky – enough to have relatively temperate weather all year round. But exactly how temperate can vary depending on exactly where you’re based. If you’re closer to the sea or you live in an area at some altitude, you might have stronger winds and rain to contend with than if you lived in a calmer residential area, or even a major city. That can naturally have a knock-on effect on the lifespan of your garden fencing panels, as they’ll need more intensive maintenance to stop them from weathering too much under the elements.
You’ll have a choice of several different treatments for your garden fence panels, but you’ll generally find that it comes down to whether you want them dip treated or pressure treated.
We’ve discussed the differences between dip treated and pressure treated fence panels in a previous post, but to summarise them quickly: dip treating involves submerging the panels in a chamber filled with wood preservative, and leaving them there for the preservative to properly coat the surface of each panel. Pressure treatment involves a similar process, except the chamber in question is vacuum sealed, and pressure is used to force the preservatives deep into the timber.
Dip treating affords the panels a good level of protection from rot and insects, and they can be left for up to a year before you’ll probably need to re-apply another layer of treatment. Pressure treatment on the other hand permeates the wood of each panel a lot more deeply, giving it an even greater level of protection and affording it that 10 to 15 year lifespan.
Gravel boards essentially act as a protective barrier between the ground and your fence. That’s particularly handy in the damp UK climate, as it ensures the wood of the boards doesn’t come into contact with the frequently damp earth underneath. That minimises the amount of moisture that reaches your boards, preventing rot from setting in and in turn doing an excellent job of maximising their serviceable lifespan.
How can I make my fencing panels last longer?
To be honest, as we’ve touched on, some of the most influential elements on the overall lifespan of your fence are things that you’ll have precious little control over (the weather being the most obvious example). However, there are a couple of considerations it’s worth bearing in mind if you want to get the very most out of your garden fence panels.
Choose your garden fence panels carefully
There’s already a lot of different factors you’ll have to take into account when you’re choosing the best garden fence panels to suit your home. You’ll probably already be thinking about style, and how they fit in with your property’s aesthetic. But if you want them to last longer, it’s also worth bearing in mind whether there are any environmental aspects you’ll need to consider.
Waney fence panels or feather edge boards, for example, are great for maintaining your privacy. However, they’re not fantastic in particularly windy areas, as they can blow over more easily – so you might want to consider something like a pailing or picket fence, as they’re a lot more well-ventilated and the wind can blow easily through them, reducing their chances of being blown over.
Take care to get the installation right
We probably don’t need to tell you that you can have all the best materials and products in the world, but if they’re not installed correctly, they’re not going to have too much of a noticeable impact on extending the lifespan of your fencing panels. Your fence needs to be placed securely to give it maximum protection from winds and storms, for example, and you’ll also need to give careful attention to proper drainage. If your posts end up sitting in pools of collected water for significant amounts of time, then rot can start to set in all too easily.
(We like to make the maintenance side of it as easy as possible here at Welch Fencing – we offer a great range of our very own concrete fencing posts, so you can have complete confidence in a solid, quality product.)
Set a firm maintenance schedule – and stick to it
You knew this was coming. It’s simple – the better you look after your concrete fencing posts, the longer they will last. That means taking the time to top up their treatments where necessary (if yours are dip treated fencing panels), and repairing them when they get damaged, especially after storms.
We won’t go into exhaustive detail here, but if you need a bit more information on how to plan for the maintenance of your fence, we’ve published a recent post on how to maintain your garden fence panels all year round!
Of course, no matter how well you treat them, all garden fence panels will ultimately need replacing eventually. And that’s exactly where we can help. Here at Welch Fencing we’ve got a great range of these and concrete fence posts for you to browse right here on our site. As an experienced UK manufacturer of concrete fence posts and garden fence panels, we have our very own fleet of delivery vehicles at our disposal, allowing us to get your products right to your door.
If you have any questions about any of our products, or you need any more detailed information, feel free to contact us on 01772 336 476, or fire us a quick email on firstname.lastname@example.org.