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Old 09-05-2018, 07:21 PM   #1
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Cedar wood rail damaged on picket fence


Hi All

Please see pictures. This is from the back end section on my fence. The pickets and rails were just power washed and sanded for staining.






Is damage from rot or insects? I thought cedar does not rot. Could it be from wood eating insects like termites??? I did see insects crawling in and out of the wood like they have a nest in there.
Any thing i can use to prevent insect damage?

Thanks.





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Old 09-05-2018, 08:21 PM   #2
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Re: Cedar wood rail damaged on picket fence


Looks like rot to me.
Cedar does rot. It just takes a bit longer than other species. Once it starts to rot insects will move in.
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Old 09-06-2018, 05:52 AM   #3
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Re: Cedar wood rail damaged on picket fence


Also not all cedar are same. Search but your fence may be cedar but not the resistant kind. New growth cedar, I heard, is also not as resistant as old growth? Rails are also rotting at the end grain, common problem, as well as butt jointed which doesn't dry well. Also does not look 2x.
If you are not concerned about how it looks, you don't have to replace the whole fence. You can put a new rail under the existing and fasten.
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Old 09-06-2018, 07:14 AM   #4
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Re: Cedar wood rail damaged on picket fence


While cedar is naturally decay/insect resistant it isn't bullet proof. When I lived in fla I got a deal on some cedar 4x4 posts so on my fence I used both cedar and PT pine posts. I lived there 13 yrs during which time I had to replace every cedar post, the PT posts held up fine. I'd replace your rails with pressure treated where needed.



Where your rail rotted has several things going against it. Joints will always absorb moisture and being behind a picket it will take longer to dry along with being a collection point for leaves and such which also hold water. Unpainted cedar will absorb moisture quicker than unpainted PT.
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