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Fence Panelling

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Ladybyrne | 10:12 Sun 03rd Feb 2013 | Home & Garden
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We had new close board fence panelling installed in our front garden about 3 years ago. It was already treated in a yellowy brown colour which has since faded to a greyish colour. I actually prefer the grey colour but wonder if the panels need treating to make them last longer. If so, how often do they need to be done? Would appreciate any advice as I am a complete novice when it comes to such matters. Thanks in advance.

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I have used Cuprinol Autumn Gold on my panels - after they went greyish over a few years, only done them last year so don't know how long it will last.
At the moment they look like they are new.
As for preparation - I used a jet washer on them to remove mould & other crud
then left to dry before treating.
The panels will need treatment to prolong their life, but sometimes I wonder how effective it is. It would be interesting to see if anyone has done an objective empirical experiment with treated / not treated fences.
The idea is that the treatments deter fungus that will rot the wood, and help the wood to repel water which also helps it rot if it penetrates the wood.
However, these panels are very thin to begin with, and often of pretty sad-looking wood once the bright orange finish wears off. Which I why I think they simply cannot last very long no matter how much TLC they get.
'Very long' is a technical term arrived at by combining local weather conditions and frequency of use of fence panel as goalmouth by small boys.
answered on your other thread.
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Thank you gsr600, Mosaic and woofgang for your interesting advice. I agree Mosaic, it would be interesting to hear if someone has experimented with how effective treatment versus non-treatment actually is. Maybe there is an Answerbanker out there...........???
It really depends on the panels Ladybyrne. The trouble with those lightweight panels that most people use, is they're so thin and flimsy, that they tend to blow away long before they rot.

If they do stay put, after a few years they start to fall apart. The ones that last were obviously well treated with preservative. Many of the cheap ones simply aren't given the same treatment.

You just can't be sure. A properly made close-boarded fence can last a very long time. Builders' Merchants stock "feather-edged" boards that are pressure impregnated (Tanalised). Even that I find is a bit flimsy. It usually finishes at around 5mm at the thin edge.

For a good fence, I ask them to make up feather-edged that finishes at around 8mm. It's said that a properly Tanalised piece of timber would last around 50 years if stuck in the ground :o)
I last bought fence panels about 12 years ago , 8 x 6 x 3 from the local wood yard were the guy did three grades starting at the flimsy type builder mentions. We settled for the top range which if I remember were about £15-20 a panel at the time, all had been treated and John the wood yard owner recommended that we treat them every 2-3 years with Cuprinol which we have done and the panels look as good and as sound as they did when we bought them.
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Further thanks to The Builder and paddywak for your very interesting information and advice. Looks like I ought to be treating the fence with cuprinol or similar this year! Fortunately we have used concrete posts and gravel boards so the panels are quite secure and hopefully less likely to rot than if they were in contact with the ground.
More than 25 years ago I fitted a new fence using concrete posts and gravel boards.The whole fence including the concrete was covered in Thompsons Waterseal ... everything is still in situ. including the larch lap fence panels I fitted at the time.
The panels were painted on both sides, with old engine oil each summer for the first few years, and after that I have used whatever was available at the time ... usually cheap old Fenceguard. The panels are rock solid, with no signs of rot, I'm sure they will last forever.

Whereas I fitted the exact same fence for my neighbour about 8 years ago. These panels were only treated on my side and he left his side to the elements. They needed replacing last year as they had warped and rotted through, and the wind soon demolished them.
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Thanks alavahalf. Your interesting information seems to be the proof that treatment is necessary if we want long life for our fencing!!

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