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On The Longevity of a Wooden Fence

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High metal fence
Reputable fence makers have an array of options for their consumers. Companies like Straight Line Fence offer metal and wooden fences, though some people (especially those who focus on durability) may choose the former over the latter. It’s easy to think of wood as a not-so-durable material for fences, especially in comparison to metal, but wood isn’t among the world’s most precious building resources for nothing.

No Qualms about Longevity

While wood may not seem as durable (it is vulnerable to moisture and very flammable, for instance), it can last for thousands of years, given the right conditions. Here’s a look the lengthy life-span wood can have.

Archeologists identify an ancient wooden sculpture, pegged at 11,000 years old, via carbon dating, as the absolute oldest of its kind. Experts say that the sculpture, known as the Shigir Idol, dates back to as early as the Holocene Epoch. This period, as history chronicles, is when humans started colonizing the entire world. This means that the sculpture is literally about as old as modern humanity itself.

Real World Durability

The Shigir Idol, however, is an extreme example. When it comes to real world durability, modern wood can hold its own, but only within a much shorter time frame. The estimated longevity of treated wood is known as service life. When it comes to wooden fencing, customers must be aware of the service life, as well as the reality that a wooden fence is exposed to all the elements, without reprieve.

In terms of durability and despite the harsh reality of exposure, however, wood is good enough for the job if it has a service life of at least 10 to 15 years, or as long as 25 years or more. People must take note that as far as assessing service life goes, any maximum or minimum values aren’t necessarily accurate and won’t entirely reflect the effects of maintenance versus the impact of weathering. The service life is an indicator, and an essential one, at that; but there is something to be said for diligent maintenance. Hence, with regular upkeep, a wooden fence can even have a much longer service life than originally rated.

A thorough cleaning and the application of a staining agent can help make a wooden fence last longer. Staining agents are petroleum-based substances that protect the wood inside and out. Paint can’t really do a good job, as it only attaches to the surface. Staining agents, on the other hand, seep into the wood for an extra bit of protection. If chosen and maintained properly, a wooden fence can be durable enough to match a metal one.

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