Three Ways To Waterproof A Wood Fence

Wood fences provide your home with a natural and luxurious aesthetic that other materials simply cannot compete with. However, wood as a building material is extremely susceptible to water damage, which can cause wood to rot and warp with continued exposure. If you are building a wooden fence for your home, you should waterproof it in order to significantly extend the lifespan of your fence and improve its structural stability. There are three main methods to waterproofing a wood fence, all of which offer different sets of benefits over each other. Understanding the differences between these three methods is integral in choosing the best one for your needs.


Waterproof sealants protect wooden fences from water and sun damage. This prevents rotting and warping in the wood, as well as the bleaching of the color from the wood itself due to extended UV exposure. Sealants can be either colored or clear, which means that you can either alter the appearance of your fence or allow the natural color to persist even though you are protecting the wood. Sealants are easy to install, as they are applied just like paints, and can be applied over already existing paints and finishes. Sealants will last for several years before they have to be reapplied.


Waterproof paints are an alternative to sealants, and provide a classic, clean appearance in a solid color. They provide the same benefit as sealants, but they alter the color of the fence much more significantly, and also do not last as long. Waterproof paint will begin to peel and chip away within a few years or even months, depending on weather exposure, and will need to be reapplied. This increases long term costs. However, they also tend to be cheaper upfront when compared to waterproof sealants, making them ideal for those operating under a tight budget.


Wax, sometimes called polish, is another waterproofing option that provides long lasting protection. Wax is designed to augment the already existing color of your fence, and can be applied over already existing layers of paint and finishes. In addition to protecting the wood from water damage, wax will hide small cuts and blemishes in the wood, and prevent grease and oil from staining the wood. Wax is of a similar price point to sealant, but will not last as long. It can quickly wear away in the face of excessive weather exposure. Additionally, wax does not prevent the sun from bleaching the wood, as both waterproof paint and sealant do.