Fences are susceptible to all weather and elements, therefore if you want your fence to look great and stay strong for many years you should protect it from weather as much as you can.  To do so, it is important to first understand the top causes of a rotting fence.  That way you can combat the situation.  You can also look into better materials as well.

Top Causes of Fence Rot

Home Improvement Writer: Kathy Hatter

Because installing a fence involves significant effort and expense,
it’s important to choose the best materials for your fence to ensure
that it stays structurally strong and attractive. One of the most common
issues with an existing fence is decay or rot of the fencing materials.


Because wood fence materials have direct contact with the soil over a
long period of time, it’s imperative that you take steps to prevent
decay. Once you know the top causes of fence rot, you’ll be ready to
minimize and eliminate issues that could threaten the integrity of your

  1. Overview of Fence Threats

    A wood fence has two significant threats that will affect its
    strength and stability — dry rot and wet rot. Dry rot involves the loss
    of protective oils over the wood surface, which causes the wood to dry
    out and become brittle. Wet rot involves moisture continually contacting
    the wood — usually at the points where fence posts contact the soil.

  2. Types of Wood

    The type of wood you choose for a fence has a significant impact on
    how the fence withstands environmental factors. Some wood is very hard
    and resistant to decay, while other types of wood are soft and will not
    resist decay as effectively. Types of hard woods well suited for fences
    include cedar, cypress, oak and redwood. Types of wood that are slightly
    less dense include Douglas fir, tamarack and pine.


    Wood with pressure treatments have chemicals forced into the wood to
    create deep protection against both insects and decay. To analyze
    pressure treated wood for durability, check the stamp or label that
    shows certification. The stamp should specifically show pressure
    treatment for ground use if you’ll be using the wood for fence posts.
    Wood with a stamp showing “above ground use” will not resist decay if
    you use it for fence posts.

  3. Protecting and Staining Wood

    Apply a protectant and stain over the surface of the wood to create
    an effective barrier against moisture. It may be necessary to reapply
    the stain annually to maintain an effective moisture barrier. You can
    test the wood to see whether it needs a fresh application of stain by
    sprinkling water over the wood surface. If the water forms beads on the
    surface and does not penetrate down into the wood, you know the barrier
    is still working effectively. If the water absorbs down into the wood,
    this indicates that you need to apply more stain to the fence to protect
    the wood.


  5. Keeping the Fence Clean

    The accumulation of debris on and around a fence can
    contribute to fence rot. Never allow a pile of leaves to accumulate
    around fence posts and under fence slats. If debris accumulates in
    crevices, including dirt and soil in cracks, wash or brush it away to
    prevent decay. Allowing debris to accumulate on the wood may also invite
    insect infestations, which can damage a wood fence.

            Protect your investment and keep your fence strong and attractive for many years.

Source: https://www.proreferral.com/hg/top-causes-fence-rot/