No 2. Timber Fence Palings In Ground Contact
This Timber Fence Palings In Ground Contact defect is very common and appears in many ABIS Building and Pest Inspections. Simply if timber fence palings are installed so they are in contact with the ground the life of that fence is greatly reduced. There is a common misconception that this is not a problem if the palings are treated. The problem here is that the type of treatment applied to most palings available form timber yards are not appropriate for timber in contact with the ground. In most cases treated paling in ground contact will be affected by timber pests within 10 years of their installation.
The good news is that the solution to this problem is to simply ensure there is a minimum 30mm gap between the bottom of the palings and the ground. This can be done be re-attaching the paling 30mm higher or by cutting 30mm off the bottom of the palings.
The important thing to remember that timber that is in contact with the damp ground or damp masonry such as walls below the damp proof course will have an elevated moisture content, and timber with a moisture content above 17% will be affected by timber pest unless specially treated.
The problem is not that timber gets wet when it rains, but rather that the timber is in contacted with dampness when the rain has stopped.
We often identify Termite Activity and Fungal Decay Activity in during ABIS pre-Purchase Inspections where paling are in contact with the ground. Somtimes this is only a few years after installation of the fence.