3 Sturdy Advantages Of Using Steel Posts For Your Wood Fence

Posted on: 7 December 2022

There's no getting around the many advantages of building a wood fence for your home. Wood is an attractive and durable material that's often cheaper than the alternatives such as iron or vinyl. This material can also be an excellent way to give your home a classic or traditional look, with the added advantage that you can later change up its appearance with a fresh coat of paint.

Unfortunately, wood fencing also has some drawbacks. In addition to maintenance requirements, wood posts are often a weak point. While you can certainly build a reliable fence entirely out of wood, it's worth considering these three reasons that steel posts might help make your next wood fence a much longer-term investment.

1. Improved Ground Contact Material

The most vulnerable part of any structure is typically the part in direct contact with the ground. For fencing, the backer rails sit well above the ground, while the pickets typically sit slightly above the surface. These elements tend to rot much more slowly since they have the airflow necessary to dry out. In contrast, a substantial portion of each post remains below ground.

While proper drainage can help prevent damage, the below-ground part of each post will usually be the first part of your fence to fail. Galvanized or coated steel posts will wear out much more slowly than a wood post, even when exposed to constant ground-level moisture. As a result, your fence will likely last much longer before requiring additional repairs.

2. Better Pest Resistance

Moisture is only one of the problems faced by wood posts. Any outdoor wooden structure is vulnerable to pests, whether termites looking for a quick snack or insects that want to burrow into your wood for shelter. Even mice and other small rodents can be an issue since these pests may chew their way through parts of your fence while looking for a way inside.

Of course, the other wood parts of your fence will still be vulnerable to these problems, but it's typically much easier to repair or replace the aboveground portions. Replacing a damaged post can be a significant job, and the damage can potentially threaten the overall stability of the whole fence. On the other hand, replacing a few pickets usually isn't a big deal.

3. More Design Options

Believe it or not, steel posts offer you many more options for creating a fence that meets your aesthetic goals. The relatively limited strength of wood means you must use a minimum size for each post. You'll rarely be able to build a fence with posts smaller than three inches square, although you'll often need thicker posts for larger fences.

The higher strength of steel means that steel posts can be much thinner. Although steel posts come in different designs, a typical approach involves "sandwiching" the steel between pickets. This style completely hides the posts from view, stopping thick, unsightly posts from ruining the appearance of your fence.

For more information, contact a fencing contractor near you.