How Long Do Timber Fences Last?

Timber fences can provide a functional and stylish addition to your garden or yard, and there is a huge range of options in terms of timber, style and colour. There will of course be multiple factors that you will have to keep in mind when searching for the right timber, such as cost and ease of installation. One key factor to keep in mind here is longevity, because nobody wants a timber fence that needs to be replaced in a matter of years. There are two important ways to help ensure a fence lasts a long time; the first is getting the timber right and the second is to maintain your fence.

Here is a brief breakdown of various timber options and how long you can expect them to last.

Class One Timbers

As the name suggests, these are the heavyweights of the timber industry and also the most durable. Class one timbers include blackbutt, ironbark, spotted gum and forest red gum. This quality of timber can have a lifespan of between 25 and 40 years and is perfect as a durable timber fence.

Class Two Timbers

In the second class of timbers you’ll find options such as blue gum, forest red or blue gum, as well as jarrah. Again, the lifespan of this timber will vary depending on the care that it receives, but you can anticipate that most class two timbers will last from 15 to 25 years.

Class Three Timbers

When installing timber fencing or timber decking, most people will opt for a class three grade timber, which is relatively durable and fits in with their budget. These timbers generally last for between 10 and 15 years. Commonly found timbers of this grade are merbau, western red cedar, Tasmanian oak and Victorian ash.

Class Four Timbers

The final class of timbers is class four, which features options that have a lifespan of 1 to 7 years. Class four timber is  not often used for fences or decking unless they have been heavily treated. Radiata pine and hoop pine are common options, which are treated before use.

Understanding Usage

It is important to note that depending on the type of timber you have used, its grade may change depending on if it will be used in the ground or above the ground. Timber fences for example often change the grade rating of the wood. Merbau is a good example of this; it is  class 1 when used above ground, yet class 3 when used in the ground. Be sure to investigate this before making your choice.

The key to ensuring a long life for your timber fence is to repair any damage as soon as you see it, and to keep it clean from mildew and from growing moss. On an annual basis, you need to ensure that you carry out an inspection on the fence, to spot any signs of rot or damage. Look to reseal and paint the timber fence every 3 to 5 years in order to keep it both looking great, and to ensure that it is fully protected.