Are Wood Fences A Bad Idea For Coastal Homes?

Many Florida homeowners love the look of wood fencing for its natural suburban charm but worry about their proximity to the water. “Won’t wood fencing deteriorate faster if I live close to the water?” We hear this question often at FloriFence and can only answer defending on the individual property and needs of the homeowner. However, in this guide, we’ll help you determine for yourself if wood fencing is the right choice for your coastal home. 

Will wood fencing deteriorate faster near the waterfront?

The short answer to this is yes, in general, wood fencing deteriorates more quickly if it is exposed to water. This is because the water will soak into the wood and cause warping, cracking, and potential mildew damage over time. However, this is true for homes with pools, near lakes, and with areas of heavy rainfall. These things don’t deter homeowners from building wood fencing, and they shouldn’t for you. 

What can I do to prevent water damage?

There is no reason you can’t have a beautiful wooden fence near the waterfront, but there are some precautions you should take to extend the service life of your wood. Without a protective barrier, your wood fencing may only last 10-15 years. However, if you paint your fence with water-resistant paint or wood stain, you can extend your fence’s service life. This prevents water from soaking into the wood and will negate the negative effects of living near the coast. However, this must be done every three to five years in order to keep the water-protective layer fresh. 

Do I have other options? 

If you want the look of a wood fence but don’t want to keep up with the maintenance of one, choose a vinyl fence for your coastal property. Vinyl fencing is structured like wood fencing, meaning it can provide privacy and security for your property. However, vinyl is completely water-resistant and doesn’t need painting or staining every few years to keep it looking fresh. Aluminum, which looks like wrought iron, is also a great option for coastal properties because it won’t rust like other metals. 

Waterfront properties have plenty of options for fencing, even if they are directly on the water. To learn more about what’s best for your individual property and fencing design, give us a call! 

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