LESLIE: David in Mississippi listens on Discovery Radio Network. And you’re building a fence. How can we help?
DAVID: Yes, I was just wondering how to keep my fence looking like it looks when I first put it up.
TOM: Yeah well, I’ll tell you what the problem is. Most of the time, fences are installed incorrectly because they’re too close to grade. I’ve seen so many fence installers bury the fence; literally set the fence almost on the dirt or so close that when the post settled a little bit, it’s right on the dirt. And so, guess what that does. That invites all the carpenter ants and termites up into the fence so that they can have a real feast on it.
So the first thing is, of course, to use pressure treated posts that are insect resistant. The second thing is to make sure you set those fence sections so you have a good four to six inches between the grass and the bottom of the fence. And the third thing is to make sure you paint the fence, if possible, before you put it together.
LESLIE: Yeah, but with pressure treated lumbers, you need to let pressure treated lumber dry out for a year.
TOM: Yeah but generally, only the posts are pressure treated. The fence sections themselves are typically made out of spruce or cedar. And in either case, it’s a good idea to paint those before you put them in.
I’ll tell you, the last time I had fencing done at my house – and it’s got to be 15 years ago, at least – I made the installers drop the fence sections off ahead of time so that we could spray them. We primed them – all sides – and then – and then stained them after we primed them. And to this day, I’ve not put a lick of paint on that fence because we did it right the first time. And no, they – I remembered that they were kicking and screaming the whole way about having to make a separate trip out here to drop that stuff off. But I wanted it done so that we could get the painting done and it’s proven to be the right thing to do because we haven’t had to touch it for all these years.
DAVID: Great. That sounds good. I hadn’t thought about that.
TOM: Alright David, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.