Lee Roy Jordan Lumber

How Long Do Wood Fences Last?

cedar fence on retaining wallAre you considering purchasing a wood fence? One of the first questions on your mind is probably how long will it last? Right along with, is it worth the money?

These are good questions to ask yourself before you spend thousands of dollars installing one. There’s no set-in-stone answer to how long wood fences last because various things determine their lifespan.

This article will outline some factors that play a role in how long wood fences last.

TLC (Tender Loving Care)

Care is essential in making your fence last as long as possible. Every so often walk the perimeter of your fence and check for any boards that are broken, rotting, cracked or loose.

Also look for any nails that have become loose. Replace damaged boards immediately.   Failing to do so could result cause the damage to spread.

You will need to periodically pressure wash your fence to remove dirt and grime. Some people do this annually, while others only do it every 2-3 years.

Once the fence has been pressure washed, it will need to be resealed to protect it from the elements. A water-repellent, UV inhibiting sealant is best.

Any cracks in the fence should be filled with epoxy or another type of wood filler.   Vines or other plants that grow along your fence can lead to fence rot.


If you want your wood fence to last, purchasing the cheapest materials is not ideal. The wood tends to erode and wear down a lot faster, meaning that you’ll find your fence beyond repair within a couple of years.

Higher quality woods and materials can last decades and ultimately may be cheaper in the long term than spending on multiple cheap kinds of timber and repairs.

Cedar is a popular choice for fencing because it contains natural oils that repel insects. It is also eco-friendly and very durable.  “Best Materials for Fencing,” discusses incense cedar and western red cedar and details why they are both excellent choices for fences.


The way the fence gets installed on your property can also be a factor that makes it last longer. While installation may seem trivial, there have been plenty of instances where subpar DIY jobs have erected the wood fence in an unsustainable manner.

If your wood fences have not been adequately secured and placed, they risk damage and weathering. There’s nothing wrong with installing one yourself if you know what to do.

However, installation is best left to professionals if you don’t have prior experience or knowledge.


The climate in your properties area is out of your control. Still, it’s undeniable that adverse weather affects the lifespan of a wood fence.

The fence will not last as long should the materials face heavy winds, heavy rains, and intense sunlight. Freezing winter temperatures will cause wood fences to become brittle and crack.

Wet fences are breeding grounds for mold and mildew. Rain can also cause your fence to rot. High winds can knock down trees or branches onto your fence.


Staining your fence is another critical factor in increasing its life. Many people choose to stain their fences because it gives the wood a remarkable visual appeal.

Staining your fence isn’t just to make it look good though; it also adds an extra layer of protection from harsh weather. Giving your fence a coat of wood stain will keep it from splintering, cracking, and warping.

backyard cedar fenceFinal Thoughts

A high-quality wood fence that is properly installed and well maintained should last at least 15 years or more.  For more information on high-quality materials for wood fences read this article titled, “Cedar vs Redwood for Decking or Fencing.”

If you’d like to maximize your wooden fence’s life, professional help is often the best route. They have the tools, knowledge, and capability to ensure they can stand the test of time!

Here at the Lee Roy Jordan Lumber Company, fencing is one of our specialities. We would love to discuss some options with you today.


6 thoughts on “How Long Do Wood Fences Last?”

  1. It was nice that you said that you must use a wood filler when you see cracks in the wood fence. This is something that I failed to do so our wood fences ended up getting damaged. We do not want to wait for the cracks to further deteriorate the fences further, so we will surely hire a fence repair contractor within the week.

  2. Hi! Your reminder that it’s advisable to pressure wash our timber-based fences at least once a year to prolong their longevity is something I absolutely appreciate. Before my mother-in-law adopts a couple of puppies next month, she first has to make sure her front lawn is well-fortified against outside elements. Maybe she could call a company to make an excellent installation around the area A.S.A.P.

  3. Thank you for explaining that the climate in your area can affect the lifespan of your wood fence. My sister was telling me that she’s thinking about getting a picket fence installed around her home. I wonder what the weather is like where she lives and how that would impact the longevity of her fence.

  4. I’m glad you talked about how it’s not ideal to get the cheapest materials if you want your wood fence to last. My husband is thinking of hiring a fence company to secure our home from intruders. I’ll keep this article in mind and tell my husband that he should purchase quality materials for a greater outcome.

  5. It stood out to me when you explained that a high-quality wooden fence that is installed properly can last for at least fifteen years. With that in mind, I would think that it would be a good idea to have your wooden fence cleaned at least twice a year. A clean fence is probably going to last longer than one that is dirty.

  6. Great article! Taking care of your wood fence is crucial to ensuring it lasts for as long as possible. Regular maintenance, such as replacing damaged boards and pressure washing, can help prevent rot and extend the lifespan of your fence. Using high-quality materials and having your fence professionally installed can also make a significant difference. Additionally, staining your fence can add an extra layer of protection from harsh weather and increase its visual appeal. If you’re considering a wood fence, it’s worth investing in the proper care and materials to make it worth the money.


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