Fence posts are essential as they provide security to your home and loved ones and keep unwanted intruders out. When considering the materials for your fence posts, you may have come across redwood. Redwood is indeed a popular choice for fencing but is it all that it’s cracked up to be, and if so, is it good for fence posts?
Redwood is good for fence posts because it has natural properties that withstand weathering, rot, and infestations. Due to these natural properties, redwood requires little maintenance and typically lasts longer than other materials, making it a popular choice for fencing.
This article will cover redwood’s life expectancy, the grades recommended for fence posts, and maintenance tips to keep it looking its best. I’ll also be covering the pros and cons of redwood and how it measures up against pressure-treated wood. So, keep reading.
How Long Will a Redwood Fence Post Last?
The construction of a fence isn’t something you want to come back to year upon year.
You want to get the job done right the first time, with the right materials that’ll last.
It’s helpful to choose a suitable material with a long life expectancy for your fence post.
Now, how long can you expect a redwood fence post to last?
A redwood fence post will last for up to 30 years as long as a suitable wood grade is used. The different grades of redwood indicate how durable the redwood can be. Opting for a higher grade for fence posts ensures your fencing will have a solid foundation and become more resistant to decay.
According to Get Redwood, redwood fence posts that are more likely to come into contact with soil should be made from heartwood grades, including the following:
- Heart Clear
- Heart B
- Deck Heart
- Construction Heart
- Merchantable Heart
How To Maintain Redwood Fence Posts
Your redwood fence posts’ life expectancy will improve if you make an effort to maintain the materials.
Do the following to maintain your redwood fence posts:
- Seal the wood. Applying a protective sealant to your redwood posts will prevent discoloring and keep the materials looking their best. If you’re looking for a stain for your redwood fences, I recommend the Wood Defender Transparent Stain (available on Amazon.com). This sealant uses quality ingredients to produce excellent color for your fencing.
- Wash the fence posts and panels. Weathering from the elements will mean that you’ll need to renew the stain on your redwood every 3 to 5 years. Before you do this, you must wash the fence panels with a power washer. Ensure the washer’s pressure doesn’t exceed 2,000 psi, as anything more powerful will damage the wood.
The Pros and Cons of Redwood
If you’re still undecided whether redwood is the correct material for you, take a look at this table to weigh up the pros and cons.
|Redwood contains a chemical called tannin that gives it a high resistance to rot and insect infestations.||Redwood trees are becoming endangered due to the need for lumber. That said, it’s not easy to find redwood in locations outside of California.|
|Redwood has a distinctive color that makes it more attractive than other wood alternatives.||Redwood is a lot more expensive than other alternatives.|
|Redwood doesn’t require sanding, meaning you can achieve a rustic look if preferred.||You need to treat redwood with a sealant to protect its color.|
|Redwood doesn’t contain pitch and resin, making it more fire-resistant than other wood.||Redwood is softwood, meaning it dents easily.|
You May Consider Pressure-Treated Wood Instead of Redwood
Pressure-treated wood is another popular alternative for fence posts, so if you’re still unsure about redwood and want to find out what else is out there, check out this rundown:
|Pressure-treated woods such as pine and fir are more affordable alternatives that don’t compromise their high quality.||The chemicals used to treat the wood leave the materials an unattractive color.|
|Pressure-treated woods are more robust than any other type of wood, which will require fewer repairs.||Pressure-treated woods are prone to warping and twisting.|
|Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA) is applied to resist insect infestations and decay.||Due to the chemical applied to the wood, it’s harder to recycle.|
There are many reasons redwood makes an excellent material for your fence posts, including the following:
- Distinctive red color
- Long life expectancy
- Natural resistance to insect infestation and decay
- High fire resistance
When looking for redwood for your fence post, remember that it’s best to use heartwood grades for increased strength and durability.
If you’re on a stricter budget, don’t worry.
Pressure-treated woods such as pine and fir will provide a more affordable solution without compromising quality.
However, they’re more prone to warping and twisting, and the chemically treated lumber gives the material an unattractive color.