The natural appeal and durability of timber makes it an indisputable option for fencing. However, timber fences are subject to plenty of abuse from harsh weather conditions such as hail, sun, snow and rainfall. Furthermore, continued soil to wood exposure often leads to gradual deterioration of timber, causing rotting on the ground. This article explains the best technique adopted by timber fencing contractors to set up rot-free timber fences much to the delight of homeowners.
Wood decay at ground level
Wood rot originating from the ground level often leads to insufficient support and results in the wooden posts tipping over. Sometimes an entire timber fence will fall this way, given that respective posts support one another. Therefore, when a single support has failed, the others are forced to bear the extra load resulting in cascade failure. This is a common failure that is characteristic of timber fences that experience rotting at ground level.
Setting the wooden posts in concrete
The traditional technique of digging holes, placing wooden posts and adding dry concrete and flooding with water works to some extent although it is not totally effective. This is because it often leaves some sections of the post exposed to the soil, which ultimately causes rot. Basically, the concrete covered portions of the posts are fine. The failure often originates a few inches over the concrete where the soil has been backfilled. Over time, the exposure of the small section of wood to the wet soil acts similar to a microbial saw, leading to gradual rot and sapping away at the post's strength. With the lower section of the post strongly secured in concrete, and just a few inches above it subjected to the rot-causing soil elements, the ground level collapse of the wooden posts is guaranteed.
The best method
The best method performed by timber fencing contractors is to plough holes for wooden posts and after that line the base section with plenty of crushed rock. After that, the wooden posts are placed on the crushed rock. The crushed stone forces moisture to scatter away from the post base. Then, a perfect concrete mix is prepared in a wheelbarrow and added to the respective holes. Contractors prefer to mix concrete separately outside the hole as it guarantees a much stronger pour and eliminates dry air spaces inside the resulting mixture. Concrete's fill depth is crucial to longevity and rot prevention. Contractors prefer to fill the entire hole with concrete up to the soil level. If not, crushed stone may be used to backfill the hole up to the ground level. Both these practices prevent soil-to-wood exposure on top of the concrete.
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