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how to protect fence post from rot with postsaver sleeves

Wooden fencing creates a neat and tidy first impression for your home, but with wooden posts set directly into the ground, it’s likely that they will begin rotting as soon as their base absorbs the groundwater. At this point, your only option is to shell out some money to replace them. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent this. In this guide, we’re going to shed light on how to protect your fence post from rot using various cost-efficient methods, including the installation of Postsaver® Sleeves. But before we do that, let’s take a look at some of the reasons fence posts rot.

If you’re already clued up, feel free to skip right to the part where we walk you through using Postsaver® Sleeves to prevent mould and decomposition.

The rot problem

You’re probably thinking, “Why do fence posts rot?” Good question. There are a multitude of reasons why your fence posts might be weak or vulnerable to insects and decay, with the primary cause being prolonged exposure to the moisture in the earth and insufficient protection against it.

Some woods, such as cedar, possess natural defences against these problems but many do not. These exposed fence posts may be at risk of insect infestations, where beetles, mites, worms and a whole host of other creepy crawlies make their home in the wood during their full life cycle, driving them to become increasingly weak over time.

Throw strong winds into the mix and your fence might prove to be unstable and shaky against the elements – a nightmare if your fences are of the agricultural persuasion and serve to fence in valuable crops and cattle.

Fortunately, this isn’t the end of the story. There are many ways to ensure a wind-proof and durable fence, all at relatively low expense as you will find out.

a rotten fence post

How to protect wood posts in the ground: 5 practical methods

When building a new fence there are several considerations you should make to ensure it stands up to the elements and provides an enduring charm. Here are just 5 that will help prevent mould and decay once your fence posts are installed in the ground.

1.     Select the best lumber for the job

At Estate Sawmills, we like to say a project is only as good as its planning. This means doing your homework to ensure that you select the best products for the job. A quality fence bestows numerous benefits to your garden from a nice bit of shade, order and theming, intimacy, plus a stunning natural look. But what’s a quality fence without a solid foundation? And by that we mean, the fence posts.

When there are so many types of wood on the market at different prices – from auburn cedar to cool cypress – it can be difficult to choose.  As long as you opt for a pressure-treated variety you can’t go wrong: not only do they provide resistance to rot, termites and decay, pressure treated fence posts can be colour-treated, painted, stained and sealed to achieve your ideal look. Truly, no colour is off-limits!

2.     DIY treat your fence posts

If you don’t have access to pressure-treated fencing, the next best option is to treat them yourself. In terms of rot prevention, it’s best to treat the wooden fence post both above ground and below ground. While the submerged end of the post will be most susceptible to the rotting effects of moisture, neglecting the top of the post won’t do you any favours as it is subjected to the elements over time.

If you have already installed the fence, you will have to remove the posts from the ground and paint the entirety of it in a high-quality wood treatment or preserver. You could even leave the end of your fence post to sit in a bucket of waterproof sealant overnight before leaving it to dry for maximum impact.

3.     Add a gravel drainage level

Another method to protect fence posts from rot involves upgrading the way you install them. If you haven’t been utilising the added defence gleaned from a gravel drainage level, get on this trick.

In the 10-inch holes where you will install your fence posts, create an adequate drainage channel by filling it with gravel. This will improve the overall support and allow the water to flow through more efficiently, reducing the moisture your wood is subjected to.

4.     Opt for a stronger fence post material

If you don’t want to deal with any of the hassles of treating or reinforcing wooden fence posts, you could swap them out for a different material entirely. In the debate surrounding the best fence post material, there are a couple of others that come out on top, namely concrete and steel fence posts.

Concrete fence posts make a durable alternative to wooden ones, providing excellent stability and strength to your fence; however, it is at the cost of that beautiful organic look. Galvanized steel posts, such as our Durapost collection, are another option with a more contemporary feel. 80% lighter than concrete and offering unparalleled resilience, these cutting-edge fence posts make protection against rot look like child’s play.

5.     Use Postsaver® Sleeves

This is for those sticking with tradition, i.e., wooden fence posts. Posts protected with Postsaver Sleeves® have an edge over those planted in the ground with no added safeguard, with an expected service life of 20 years or more, saving you the time, money and hassle of having to replace rotten fence posts.

Ground line rot and decay in the upper 6 inches of the ground are the number one causes of timber posts’ pole failure. Postsaver sleeves prevent ground line rot and decay in your fence or gate posts by blocking out all the causes of decay with their special lining – and, best of all, at a cost-effective price.

What exactly is a Postsaver® Sleeve?

A Postsaver Sleeve® is a heat-shrinkable thermoplastic sleeve, lined with a meltable thermoplastic bituminous liner. That sounds complicated, but in a nutshell, it’s a lining that prevents the water and creepy crawlies from getting at the wood.

When applied it creates a long-lasting air and water-tight seal on the ground line section of fence and gate posts, making conventional ground line decay impossible. Unlike liquid coatings, Postsaver® maintains a robust barrier against the causes of decay when the post cracks or splits.

Postsaver® Sleeve alternatives: do they work?

There are several other products on the market claiming to be similar to the dual-barrier system provided by Postsaver® Sleeves, but, in reality, many of these only offer partial barrier protection. While some may be effective, we’d always recommend Postsaver® products due to their unbeatable water and airtight solution.

How to install a Postsaver® Sleeve to protect fence posts from rot

Watch the video below to learn how to install Postsaver® sleeves in order to protect your timber fence posts.

How easy is it to install post savers?

It’s fairly easy to apply protection. All that’s required is a 2KW+ hot air gun or blowtorch, and a hot roller for square posts.

Simply measure your hole depth as you would for any other fence post, position the sleeve on the end of the post and then heat shrink on with your heat tool. With the sleeve firmly in place, you can now install the post into the ground in all the usual ways.

A summary of the key benefits

So, we’ve talked extensively about why Postsaver® Sleeves are a foolproof method for preventing rot and water damage to your timber fence posts, but to recap, here are the key benefits:

  • Postsaver dramatically extends the life of your fencing posts
  • Easily apply yourself in under a minute
  • Buy pre-welded sleeves or universal wrap and tack film
  • In production for over 20 years and used all over the world
  • Independently tested
  • Available in multiple sizes

Get started on your new fence project

With this complete rundown on how to protect your fence posts from rot, you can now go forth with your next fencing project with the piece of mind it will last for years to come.

Head on over to our comprehensive range of fencing products to see a range of premium fence posts, designed with maximum durability in mind. Remember, all of our timber is pressure treated and will stand the test of time. You want your fence to give the best first impression, so why not discover our selection today?

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