The key differences between dip treated and pressure treated panels

Fence panels

If you’ve had even a quick look around our site here at Welch Fencing, you may have noticed these two terms pop up every now and again. But as you’ve probably noticed at the time, the differences aren’t immediately obvious at a glance. So basically, what you firstly need to know is that both are manufacturing techniques used by manufacturers to preserve and protect garden fence panels, designed to help slow down or prevent rot and fungal decay, and preserve the fence’s attractive appearance. Those are the key similarities – here are the differences.

What are pressure treated fence panels?

Pressure treated fence panels are garden fence panels which have been subjected to what’s called ‘vacuum pressure impregnation’. Essentially, each fence panel gets placed inside a sealed circular chamber, where a vacuum forcibly empties its cells of air. Then, the chamber is flooded with a carefully formulated wood preservative. The system then uses hydraulic pressure to force the preservative deep into the wood, permeating it thoroughly.

The vacuum then proceeds to remove excess preservative left in the chamber, before the garden fence panels are left to dry. Whatever preservative remains will then get steadily absorbed into the wood, ensuring maximum permeation.

While the intensity of the process means that these fence panels are more expensive than their dip-treated alternatives, there’s no doubt that it’s highly effective way against fungus and insect infestation. What’s more, it remains that way for at least 15 years before you have to even think about re-treating it.

It’s also worth noting that the process can sometimes result in a slight green tinge in the pressure treated fence panels, but this fades to a honey-brown colour over time. Here at Welch Fencing, many of our pressure treated fence panels are dyed brown, so that you get to enjoy all the practical advantages of vacuum treatment, along with the warm, inviting colour of the fence panels too.

Advantages of pressure-treated fence panels:

• Highly effective way to protect your fence from rot and infestation
• 10 year anti-rot guarantee
• Saves you time, money and effort of having to reapply treatment on an annual basis
• Higher up-front cost than dip treated timber fence panels

wooden fence

What are dip treated fence panels?

Dip treated fence panels have undergone a rather more simple and less intensive process than pressure treated fence panels. Basically, the fence panels have been submerged into a chamber filled with wood preservative, and then left there for long enough for the preservative to be able to work its magic. Since there are no hydraulic systems at play here, the preservative works at the surface level, forming a protective coating before the fence panels are ultimately removed from the solution.

This tends to result in a darker brown or golden colour than you might get from most pressure-treated fence panels (apart from some you’ll find in our range here at Welch Fencing). It might not be quite as comprehensive as vacuum treating, but it still provides reliable protection against insects, fungal invasions and rot all year round. It’s the perfect solution if you’re on a budget, and while the annual re-treatment might not be the most heart-pounding, pulse-racing task, it’s not particularly difficult, time-consuming, or expensive either.


Advantages of dip-treated fence panels:

• Provides reliable protection for your fence from rot and infestation
• Fantastic budget solution, being cheaper than pressure treated fence panels
• Results in rich warm colours of brown, gold, or orange, all of which make them an attractive and inviting option for a huge range of garden styles

So all that probably leads you naturally onto another question – which one should you choose? And to be honest, that’s really up to you! Each has their own set of practical and aesthetic advantages, so there’s no straightforward answer. Mostly, it just comes down to a matter of personal preference.

We’ve got a fantastic range of both types to choose from right here at Welch Fencing. 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