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Stock & Noble

Stock & Noble

Timber fence posts - The biggest problems and their solutions. 

Timber post and rail
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Timber fence posts are one of the most popular post-fencing solutions seen on all kinds of rural as well as equine properties. They come in a number of different types, ranging from the typically low-cost, functional rural fence posts to the more expensive hardwood posts that carry the charm of natural timber and high aesthetic value. 

 

Additionally, timber fence posts can be used with most kinds of fencing solutions, like the original Horserail®, EquiRope™, BorderLine ™ and others. However, despite being beautiful, prevalent and versatile, over time Timber is losing its charm to newer, practical and sustainable alternates. 

 

There are enough reasons why the trend of moving away from timber is gaining momentum across the world, with more and more property owners now opting for solutions that have fewer issues and easy maintenance.  

 

At Stock & Noble, we provide high-end property owners across Australia and New Zealand with the finest fencing solutions. We do not have timber in our product portfolio and portraying its problems might seem biased.  

 

However, we believe in sharing information based on real facts, insights learnt from our clients who have faced multiple issues with timber fencing and expertise gained from our years of experience in sourcing and supplying globally successful fencing solutions. 

 

If you want to save your time, money, and effort and most importantly avoid the stress that accompanies timber fence posts, then keep reading. 

 

Our goal is to help you prepare for potential problems with timber fencing while planning your property and guide you to create a long-lasting and beautiful place.  

 

In this article, we will be sharing the biggest issues with timber fence posts and the probable solutions to each problem.  

 

Problem #1: Timber fence posts are prone to rotting 

Solutions: 

  1. You can opt for treated pine.
  2. Get Australian hardwood that naturally resists rotting
  3. Explore coating options to block the moisture

Problem #2: Timber fence posts are the preferred homes of termites 

Solutions:  

  1. Consider buying Australian hardwood with natural resistance to termites
  2. Call pest control services to manage the termites

Problem #3: Timber fence posts at equine properties get chewed by horses 

Solutions:  

  1. Explore anti-cribbing solutions like Never Crib
  2. Consider electrifying your horse fence

Problem #4: Timber fence posts fall prey to mould 

Solutions: 

  1. Regularly water-blast your fence
  2. Use premium quality paint solutions to seal timber off

Problem #5: Timber fence posts tend to naturally break down over time 

Solutions:

  1. Regularly replace rotten or broken timber fence posts
  2. Reapply paint at regular intervals to maintain the look

Problem #6: Timber fence posts imply cutting down trees 

Solution: 

  1. Consider alternate solutions which are more eco-friendly

Problem #7: Good quality timber fence posts are more expensive  

Solution:

  1. Consider more cost-effective and long-lasting solutions

 

Problem #1: Timber fence posts are prone to rotting 

The beauty of timber is compromised by its vulnerability to rot over time. Timber fence posts are buried in the ground which is often wet and moist for a long time.  

 

Timber is a natural product and when fence posts are exposed to moisture constantly, they are highly likely to rot, split, warp, and crack faster.   

 

Solutions: 

1. You can opt for treated pine.

Buying treated pine is a good solution that repels moisture and protects the surface of your fence posts from rotting. This solution can surely minimise the process, however, it cannot stop the decay completely.  

When the fence post cracks, the moisture seeps in, and the post starts rotting from the inside out. Since there is no treatment inside the wood, it becomes exposed to decay rapidly. 

 

2. Buy Australian hardwood that naturally resists rotting

Another solution that can help you combat rotting in your timber fence posts is to choose a high-quality Australian hardwood like spotted gum.  

It’s a very dense and solid hardwood that has a lot of tannins in it which helps the post to self-preserve against rotting. 

 

3. Explore stains or paints to block the moisture

The third possible solution is to research different types of coatings like stains or paints. We would advise using premium-quality paints for the best results. 

You can apply these paints on your timber fence posts to add an extra layer of protection and help increase their water resistance to better fight decay. 

Sometimes there are bitumen coatings to apply over the bottom part of the timber post that’s going to go below the ground. This helps limit the moisture that finds its way into the wood and assists in slowing down the rotting process. 

 

Problem #2: Timber fence posts are the preferred homes of termites 

Timber is a favourite food for termites. The biggest problem is that they attack a structure from within. Through the soil, termites usually gain access to the post and start eating it from within. As a result, your post may already be hollow and in danger of breaking apart by the time you become aware of what has happened.   

 

If you live in a termite-prone area, it’ll be worth learning about how to look for the signs of termites on your property and the solutions to this problem. 

 

In Australia, most of the areas are known to fall prey to the issue of white ants or termites. So, these tiny creatures will most likely attack your timber fencing. If you do not take preventative or curative measures in time, you may have to replace your entire fence. 

 

Solutions:  

1. Consider buying Australian hardwood with natural resistance to termites

The Australian hardwood called White Cypress (also known as Cypress Pine or Murry Pine) which starts growing around Narrandera NSW and up into QLD is the best option of all timber when it comes to being termite resistant.  So, if you’re planning to get timber fence posts, consider investing more and buying this particular hardwood.  

The only issue is that this hardwood tends to become extremely hard and dry over time, which is very likely to catch fire. You wouldn’t want to exchange one demon for another. 

 

2. Call pest control services to manage the termites

You should contact a professional termite and pest control company as soon as you notice termites on your fencing.  

As the problem grows, it will cost you more money and time to fix.  

Also, if you try to contain them before contacting professionals, some pest control companies believe that termites block everything off in their nests, making control or elimination more difficult.  

 

Problem #3: Timber fence posts at equine properties get chewed on by horses 

This problem of timber fence posts is limited mostly to horse properties. One of the biggest issues faced by a horse owner is cribbers or windsuckers. These are the horses who love chewing timber and it’s extremely difficult to get rid of this habit. 

It not just destroys the fencing and ruins the aesthetic look of the property but can affect the health of the animals adversely. 

 

Solutions:  

1. Explore anti-cribbing solutions like Never Crib

Honestly, once you have a cribber on your property, you can try and minimise the problem, but there is no permanent solution unless you remove timber entirely from your property. 

There are some methods and solutions like Never Crib which can be explored to help manage the problem of horse cribbing. 

However, they are only deterrents, not complete preventive solutions. 

 

2. Consider electrifying your horse fence

Another way to try and keep the horses away from your fences is to electrify your fences. You can either use an effective and functional electric rope like EquiRope or Legacy Line Electric or a high-end electric fencing solution like Horserail Hottop Plus. 

Although, you might be surprised to see that the determined cribbers can still find a way through the electric fences and continue to chew the fence posts. 

 

Problem #4: Timber fence posts are susceptible to mould  

Mould is a type of fungus that grows in moist environments and can cause discolouration, rot, and damage to the wood. 

 

Timber fences are prone to mould and mildew growth, which can compromise their durability and appearance. This is especially seen in the areas of your property which are moist and do not get enough sunlight. 

 

Solutions: 

1. Regularly water-blast your fence

To keep mould in check, you can try to remove the growth at regular intervals and ensure proper cleaning and maintenance by water-blasting your fence. 

 

 2. Use premium quality paint solutions to seal timber off

High-quality paint solutions are effective in sealing off the wood and help keep moisture at bay. If you are looking to paint your timber posts, it’s recommended to choose paints infused with an anti-mould additive.  

These solutions are helpful but aren’t capable of stopping the mould from growing on your timber fence posts completely.  

 

Problem #5: Timber fence posts tend to naturally break down over time 

The fact is that timber is a natural product and will continue to lose its aesthetic beauty gradually as it warps, sags, cracks and rots. 

 

You might often notice chewed or chipped timber fence posts which will ruin the look of your entire fence line. 

 

Solutions: 

1. Regularly replace rotten or broken timber fence posts

The only solution to try and keep an aging timber fence post looking good is to replace any badly chewed or rotten post so your entire fence line looks consistent. 

 

2. Reapply paint at regular intervals to maintain the look

Another way to maintain the aesthetics of your property is to recoat your fence posts with paint. So that the outside can still look presentable even if the posts are rotting underneath. 

Although this isn’t a solution per se, it may help you get more life out of your fence. 

 

Problem #6: Timber fence posts imply cutting down trees 

There is a growing need to choose products that are not just good for our properties but also for our planet. It’s time to find ways where we don’t have to cut down trees to build fence posts. 

 

The problem is as fewer and fewer forests are available for the commercial production of timber, the availability of good quality wood is also on the decline.  

 

Compared to a decade ago, today it’s extremely difficult to source the timber you want for your desired fence posts in Australia.  

 

Solution: 

Consider alternate solutions which are more eco-friendly

Times have changed thankfully and there are a lot of fencing solutions that are better suited for the environment. 

Like steel, PVC and composite fence posts. If you want, you can dig deeper into different kinds of fence posts available in Australia and New Zealand. 

 

Problem #7: Good quality Timber fence posts are more expensive  

If you are looking for a specific type of hardwood or good quality timber fence post for your property, the chances are either it will be too expensive or there might be a long wait for your desired product.  

 

This problem is a direct result of the reduction in the production of commercial timber.  

 

Based on our experience, Treated Pine fence posts are likely to be cheaper than most fence posts but hardwood will be priced higher than the rest. 

 

For the exact pricing, it’s best to check with your fencing supplier.  

 

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Solution:

Consider more cost-effective and long-lasting solutions 

The most practical and effective way to avoid paying hefty prices is to find alternate fence posts for your property.  

Sustainability is an important trait to look for in your future fence posts. It’ll surely be helpful to know all the factors you should consider before choosing your fence posts. 

 

Are you prepared to deal with the problems of timber fence posts? 

With its nature-led decay and termite attraction, weaker posts, and higher cost, Timber posts are not without their problems. Throughout this article, we have listed the problems, but we have also provided you with solutions.  

 

The most effective solution to tackle all the issues is to find an alternative to timber fencing. To make a better decision check out the differences between timber and steel fencing. It will help you gain more knowledge on steel fence posts and include it in your list of considerations. 

 

If you’re open to exploring new-age solutions like composite plastic posts for your property, feel free to speak to our fencing expert and we would do our best to help you find the finest fencing solution for your horse property.  

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