The life expectancy of a privacy wood fence can be extended a number of ways. These include first and foremost using quality materials, staining the wood and the use of rot boards. The base of a fence is subject to more wear and tear than any other part of a fence. Fence pickets that come in direct contact with the soil begin to breakdown due to moisture in the soil. Lawn mowers, weed eaters and moisture account for the majority of damage the bottom of a fence sustains. A rot board is typically a treated piece of lumber that is a two-by-six placed horizontally along the bottom edge of the inside or outside of a fence to protect it from the elements.
A privacy fence with a rot board in place also helps keep smaller household pets from digging under a fence as well as keeping out such unwanted pests as wild rabbits that tend to be a nuisance in many residential communities. Having a rot board installed during the initial construction phase allows the fence pickets to be placed above ground level to prevent normal wear and tear as well. Rot boards may also be easily replaced after years of use to further extend the life of a wood fence.
Rot boards are expensive but if you consider the years of additional use it adds to your fence they are well worth the investment.