Waterproofing a Wood Fence

A wood fence.
What You'll Need
Waterproof paint or sealant
Wax polish

Wood fences are a beautiful, rustic addition to homes and gardens. However, they require constant upkeep and maintenance. Wood fences are susceptible to moisture and degradation due to humidity. Water tends to crack, warp, and rot wood, compromising its structural integrity. If you have a wood fence running the span of your home or field, it is imperative that you waterproof it adequately, which will prolong its serviceable life. Numerous products are available on the market that can help you do that. You can also hire a professional to do the job—an expensive alternative.

Waterproofing Sealant

You can apply a waterproof sealant to protect a wood fence. Most waterproofing sealants are silicone rubber-based and one application provides a long-term solution. They protect wood fences from water, extreme temperatures and also the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation. Some waterproofing sealants are acrylic latex-based, which are formulated to outperform silicone rubber-based sealants in terms of adhesion and stretch. Sealants are available in colored and clear varieties. Colored sealants enhance the color of a wood fence and darken lighter woods. Clear sealants bring out the natural color of a wood fence. You can add a sealant to a wood fence that has already been waterproofed or painted and also on an unfinished wood fence. Waterproofing sealants can be easily brushed over fences.

Waterproofing Paints

You can waterproof fences by painting them with waterproof or moisture-resistant paint. There are many types of paints that can protect wood fences from the effects of moisture and humidity. Latex and alkyd-based paints are commonly used for waterproofing wood fences. Latex-based paints allow moisture to pass through wood fences and prevent it from degrading the structure. Alkyd paints are oil-based, weather-resistant paints that are typically used for outdoor applications. They are water-resistant and form a tough, impenetrable, waterproof layer over the surface of a wood fence. Both latex and alkyd paints are found in various levels of glossiness, including high-gloss, semi-gloss, eggshell, satin and flat. Make sure you read the labels before purchasing an appropriate waterproofing paint. Many paints are not waterproof and their application can damage a wood fence.

Wax Polish

You can waterproof a wood fence by polishing it with wax polish. The substance also protects the wood fence and repels dirt, grit, and dust. Wax polish is a mixture of various products, including carnauba and beeswax. You can apply it on a wide variety of wood, including those that have been finished with oils, varnishes, and shellacs. Wood wax polishes are available in many types, including colored wax, pine wax, and clear wax. Colored wax polish enhances the color of a wood fence and effectively conceals blemishes such as minor dents and scrapes. Pine wax polish is designed for unfinished and light-colored wood fences. It waterproofs a fence and gives it a rich, orange-yellow color. Clear wax polish can waterproof wood fences while maintaining their original color.