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Wooden posts for fences, barriers and for supporting plants have to withstand a number of environmental influences. Moisture and UV radiation as well as frost pose significant risks, as they damage the wood over the long term and can therefore lead to rot or accelerated rotting, for example. In order for wooden posts to last as long as possible, they must therefore be appropriately impregnated and protected. We reveal how this works here.

liquid and putrefaction

Outdoors, wood is constantly exposed to the weather. The sun's UV rays can bleach the natural material and dry it out too much. As a result, it becomes cracked and therefore less stable - but also more vulnerable. Rainwater and other liquids can penetrate the material more easily and cause rot here. boards and posts rotten and can no longer fulfill their function.

Rotting does not always start immediately and visibly. It can also spread from the inside out. The damage is only noticed when wooden boards and posts are already rotten and whole parts may break off. It is also particularly damaging when a lot of liquid gets into wooden elements in the frost-free seasons and then freezes in winter. This can severely damage the wood fibers and then decompose more easily. Comprehensive moisture protection is therefore crucial for the lifespan of wooden elements.

protect wood

create distance

The first and often most important step in protecting wooden studs and battens is to create a gap between the wet media and the material. If a wooden pole sits directly in the ground, the application of wood preservatives, such as a glaze, or impregnation is not always sufficient to protect the natural material in the long term.

To create space between wooden posts and the ground or to allow the wood to dry, the following measures are recommended:

1. Let the wood "float".

A slightly raised fence prevents the individual slats from standing up on the ground. A gap of one to two fingers between the lower end of the slats and the ground prevents the wood from constantly coming into contact with moisture. In addition, the material can dry well ventilated if it has become damp after rain or other precipitation.

Alternatively, you can also use the wood metal anchors protect from direct contact with the ground. You let them into a concrete foundation and then screw them to the wooden posts.

2. Gravel and Co.

If the wooden posts have to stand directly in the ground, it is also possible to fill the excavated hole or trench with gravel, lava grit or a similar material. As a result, moisture can still get to the wood, but the natural material can also dry better and is at least slightly ventilated.

3. Bitumen roofing felt or paint

If there is only little space between the wood and the ground, bitumen roofing felt or a bitumen coating can also be used as protection. These provide reliable protection from water from the ground and from precipitation. The problem with the painting, however, is that it is completely diffusion tight and is therefore not breathable. So with a continuous coat of paint there would be a moisture trap, under which the posts could rot.

It is therefore advisable to apply a bitumen coating to wooden battens and posts only on sections that are constantly exposed to wet soil or water. You should cover the rest of the wood with a breathable protection. An alternative is the attachment of bitumen roofing felt or bitumen strips, which are also only attached to the wood sections that are heavily exposed to the weather or moisture.

Glazes, waxes and lacquers

In order to protect wood and wooden posts, glazes but also waxes and varnishes are often used. The advantage here is that the material can be quickly and easily protected from the ingress of moisture and thus the development of rot. Glaze or another medium of choice is applied with a brush or roller. The effort is low. However, it can only be used to impregnate the outside of the wooden post, as the agent only penetrates a few millimeters into the material. However, even small weak points, such as a crack or a drilled hole, create the danger that liquids can penetrate and the wood fibers will soak up and rot.

Glaze, wax and varnish are sufficient for additional protection from the outside and for lightly impregnating the wood against the weather. However, they must be spaced a few years apart applied repeatedly become, since they consume themselves. In addition, they do not represent any protection from the inside.

tip: Glazes and co. should not only be selected for their appearance. An adapted selection according to the type of wood and the stress on the wood is much more advisable. It should also be noted that the purely external application usually does not protect against fungi and insects.


If the wooden material keeps getting damp or even wet and does not have enough time to dry, a varnish or other coat of paint is simply not enough to protect it. In these cases, you should choose appropriate chemical wood preservatives. A sensible alternative is the use of wooden components that have been pressure-treated. As a result, posts, boards and slats are also protected from the inside and are significantly more durable. However, it is assumed that the right choice is made at the time of purchase. Because wooden elements can no longer be subsequently impregnated as fence slats or posts.

Protection from inside and outside

The best possible way to protect wood from moisture damage and the resulting consequences is to impregnate it from the inside and apply a protective layer from the outside. Pressure-treated wood should also be treated with varnish, varnish or wax to achieve the best possible protection.

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