Comprehensive Guide to Using Bamboo Fencing

Bamboo Fencing
Photo by MabelAmber

Do you like a natural, earthy feel when it comes to the exterior or interior of your property and outdoor decor? Are you drawn to the unique look of natural materials and how they can enhance your home or business space?

Whether you’re looking for an island aesthetic, a tiki theme, or a unique and stylish fencing option with a natural touch, the bamboos in bamboo fencing is a material that can add a tropical flair or an earthy touch when incorporated into a property or home design. 

Bamboo is one of the oldest environmentally friendly materials widely used for fencing. As a plant, bamboo is one of the fastest-growing varieties and one of the largest members of the grass family.

The compressive strength of bamboo is greater than that of wood, brick, or concrete and even offers tensile strength that rivals steel.

The demand for wood is growing rapidly worldwide, even though the supply of wood is increasingly limited.

Due to its strength and woody characteristics, bamboo is widely used in place of wood and other materials commonly used in construction and related works. 

Bamboo has several unique advantages, such as growing quickly with high yields because it matures quickly. Also, it can be produced in abundance at a lower cost, which makes it more economical. It is durable; that is, it lasts a long time.

According to ‘Mark Johanson [351] (editor of the book: Black & Decker: The Complete Outdoor Builder), bamboo is grass but has many properties similar to wood.

It can be shaped, drilled, and improvised with wood-like finishes, as well as exterior paints and sealants on bamboo structures.

Also, like wood, bamboo has the tendency to split, although it retains much of its strength even when exposed to large cracks and splits.

Generally, bamboo poles in larger diameters (between 5 and 12.5 inches) are more prone to cracking than smaller cans.

Bamboo is a renewable and versatile material with lightweight and the highest strength in its class. That is why it is widely used in various forms of construction, especially for houses in rural areas.

It is also used to make mats, baskets, tools, handles, hats, traditional toys, musical instruments, furniture, etc. Additionally, it is used for house components, including pillars, roofs, walls, beams, floors, trellises, and bamboo fencing.

Whether you are installing indoor bamboo fencing on the walls of your building, yard, around your patio or garden, your outdoor restaurant or bar, or any other environment, bamboo will add a refreshing ambiance, an all-natural alluring vibe, and a sustainable element to your property.

One of the many uses of bamboo is to make a strong, well-defined property fence. Here in this article, we will discuss the nitty-gritty of bamboo fencing.

What Is Bamboo Fencing?

A fence is a structure used to define the boundaries of a property/space through posts, wires, rails, and barrier panels.

As the name suggests, bamboo fencing is a type of fence constructed with bamboo. And can also be called bamboo screening.

Bamboo fencing generally comes in eight-foot-long panels of same-sized canes with quality wire or hemp cords.

Panels are rolled up for easy transport and can be used as padding inside a new wooden frame. Plus, they can be attached directly to existing wood or metal fence.

Building A Bamboo Fencing

Bamboo is a rapidly renewable material that is suitable as a fencing material if used correctly. To minimize external rot, you can use green bamboo or processed bamboo that is clean, dry, and treated with boric acid.

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to build your own bamboo fence is to use a rolled-up one; you can simply roll out the fence and tie it to a support structure.

The structure could be your trees or your raised poles. The rolled bamboo is strung with galvanized wires; they are flexible and can easily bend in corners.

Prefabricated bamboo fence panels should be installed with posts and secured like wooden fence panels. This usually requires at least two people. 

Although bamboo is relatively rot-resistant, it doesn’t last as long when in contact with the ground, so you don’t want to bury it or cement it into the ground as you would for a cedar post.

If you’re going to bury the bamboo poles in the ground, really, you should apply a layer of driveway tar sealant to the part you want to bury.

When working with bamboo, the first thing to remember is to pre-drill the holes, do not force a nail or screw through the bamboo poles; it can cause it to split, and also make sure to use galvanized wire if possible to tie and secure the bamboo poles at the joints. 

Bore the holes with a keyhole saw attached to a drill if holes are needed. They are handy for projects like this and come in different saw blades with different diameters.

First, put the drill bit into the pilot hole, which is drilled to prevent the bamboo from splitting, and slowly increase the power. Be sure to drill all the way to the end of the post.

Care And Maintenance Of Bamboo Fencing

Fences tend to be an outdoor feature and therefore are subject to wind, rain, Ultraviolet rays, dust, pests, and debris.

The constant cycle of moisture retention and drying can create small cracks in the surface of the bamboo.

UV radiation from sunlight can cause the fibers to deteriorate, and the winds can also blast dust particles across the bamboo surface.

Each of these will eventually cause significant damage and wear and tear to the bamboo fence if not adequately maintained. 

Like any other type of fence, bamboo fencing should also require minor maintenance with the right amount of simple care.

With enough of this maintenance, it should promise you a long and satisfying life of aesthetic enhancement and natural style.

Fortunately, there can be three main things you can do to maintain and extend the life of your bamboo fence further; protect, clean and seal your fence with stains.

Check in every few months for damage and pests; look for cracks, peeling, mildew, holes, insects, pests, or excessive wear.

Detecting and fixing even small problems quickly can prevent water damage, ultimately costing you more.

Insect nests can be a potential problem for bamboo maintenance. Call an exterminator if you see signs of termite infestation.

If any rough edges or pieces of bamboo are on the fence, these should be removed, especially if you have pets or children likely to play around the fence.

You may also need to check for problem niches that need to be treated with herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides to make your fence resistant to damage.

Help to prevent mold and rot by cleaning your bamboo fencing once or twice a year, usually just before you seal it.

You can use an environmentally friendly fence cleaner or a solution of three parts water and one part bleach in a garden sprayer. If necessary, you may want to pre-wash your fence to remove particularly stubborn dirt.

Finally, sealing your bamboo fence will prevent water seepage and add a layer of protection. If you just washed the fence, let it dry completely before applying the sealer.

After all, you don’t want to seal the water in! Good quality sealants should have high moisture and UV resistance and contain a water-repellent preservative, fungicide, and stabilizer to reduce shrinkage and swelling.

Longevity of Bamboo Fence

Longevity depends on how your bamboo fence is installed and maintained and the environmental condition it is put in.

Natural, untreated bamboo will begin to rot in 2-7 years, even under ideal conditions, while adequately treated and cared for bamboo can last up to 20 years.

Prolonged exposure to moist and wet conditions will cause mold and accelerate rotting and decay. For this reason, many manufacturers recommend that the bamboo fence should not be in contact with the ground.

When installing, leave a few centimeters of free space at the bottom of the fence so that it does not touch the ground. 

With all of this, you know it’s worth taking the time to care for your new fence. And if you’re thinking of buying a bamboo fence, this is great news for you!

The Strength Of A Bamboo Fence

Bamboo is an extremely strong material, yet extremely light and porous. It has a higher tensile strength than steel! Bamboo will resist breaking under loads of up to 28,000 pounds, compared to 23,000 pounds for steel. 

Compared to wood, bamboo is two to three times stronger than most woods. Unfortunately, raw bamboo is slightly less durable than most hardwoods. Bamboo is not a tree; instead, it is a type of grass with woody stems.

Bamboo stalks are tough and fibrous but contain no natural toxins that help prevent biodegradation (or rot). In addition, bamboo contains a large number of natural sugars, which attract mold, mildew, and pests.

For these reasons, bamboo must be treated with boric acid before being made into fencing or other building material.

And this treatment is usually done by the bamboo manufacturer or grower. However, when this is done, the bamboo is much more resistant to some of the things that will degrade it.

Advantages Of Bamboo Fencing

If you’re considering installing a privacy fence but aren’t sure you want to spend the money on a wooden fence and a contractor to install it, a bamboo fence may be a good option for you.

This attractive fence is less expensive, environmentally friendly, and easy to install. You can choose the easiest fence to install, and the height and style best suit your landscaping goals.

Installing a bamboo fence has the following advantages:

Bamboo Is Cheap

Bamboo fences cost less than other fences, such as wooden fences, brick walls, etc. Unlike hardwood fences, bamboo fences are pretty inexpensive.

Fence posts or rolls are affordable, and because they are easy to install, installing a bamboo fence can be a DIY project.

The overall cost of your project will be determined by the amount of fencing you need, the style and color of bamboo you choose, and the height of the fence you decide to install.

Bamboo Is Environmentally Friendly

An essential quality of bamboo is its respect for the environment, unlike hardwood which is often an unsustainable building material, as it takes many years to grow a single tree for every tree cut.

Bamboo is not a tree but a type of grass that grows quite quickly. This makes it an environmentally friendly construction product as it is very easy to replace what is used in each construction project. 

Bamboo grows quickly and is a viable option for home improvement projects. When you buy an eco-friendly bamboo fence, you choose to help the planet while beautifying your property.

It also has a waxy surface that does not require painting. There is no need to use pesticides and other chemicals when growing bamboo, which makes it more environmentally friendly.

You can install a lovely attractive privacy fence and feel good about your purchase simultaneously, and it doesn’t get much better than that. 

Bamboo Fence Is Easy To Install

When you decide to install bamboo fencing, you choose a product that is easy to install., versatile, and easy to maintain. It is enough to carry out specific periodic maintenance to preserve their appearance and durability.

Homeowners with limited skills can install this fence, which comes in the form of individual posts or rolls. A fence doesn’t require a posthole digger, many helpers, or a skilled contractor; most homeowners can install the fencing themselves during a weekend. 

Bamboo Is Available In A Variety Of Colors And Styles.

Bamboo fences are also available in various styles, colors, and heights. Whether you’re looking for a short fence to delineate your garden beds or a taller fence to provide privacy around your pool or lawn, you can’t go wrong with bamboo. 

Choose between dark black or rich honey color or opt for natural bamboo. You can also decide if you prefer to have whole bamboo sticks or split bamboo, allowing you to customize your look even further.

Bamboo Fencing Gives You Privacy

The proper design of the bamboo screen ensures the beauty of your home. It also offers security and privacy while emphasizing your home’s elegant and green character seen from the street or the garden.

Bamboo fencing is an easy way to provide privacy for your yard, pool, or hot tub. The fence is attractive and easy to install, costing a fraction of the cost of a hardwood privacy fence.

High bamboo poles are placed close to each other, blocking the view of neighbors or anyone passing on the sidewalk. 

You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how wonderfully a bamboo fence blocks off areas of your yard that you want to keep private.

Disadvantages Of Bamboo Fences

Even with all of these advantages, bamboo as a fencing material can have some disadvantages.

A Bamboo Fence Has A Shorter Lifespan

Fungi and insects often attack bamboo. For this reason, untreated bamboo is considered a temporary fencing option with an expected lifespan of fewer than five years.

Bamboo Fences Are Not Fire-resistant

They ignite very quickly, and the cost of treatment is relatively high.

Bamboo Fences Cannot Be Nailed

In almost all cases, bamboo cannot be nailed. Most fence joints are made of wire or hemp rope.

Summary On Bamboo Fencing

Bamboo has many valuable features and can last for decades if properly cared for. Bamboo fences come in various colors and styles and provide plenty of privacy to any fenced area.

It can withstand many different weather conditions, such as strong winds, heavy rains, and high temperatures.

Environmentally conscious people will love the durability of bamboo. Bamboo stalks are ready to harvest 3-6 years after planting, compared to the 30-50 years the tree needs to grow before harvesting.

Bamboo plants return 30% more oxygen to the atmosphere than other plants and help prevent soil erosion.

However, bamboo is an alternative building material, which is a 100% renewable, green, environmentally friendly, and widely available option.

Currently, bamboo has proven to be a suitable alternative to wood due to its rapid growth, adaptability to most climatic conditions, low maintenance costs, and similarity to wood properties.

Bamboo offers a unique decorative quality that can be used to create an attractive fence. Bamboo fences are available in different shapes, heights, rolls, and panels.

Moreover, you can do it yourself and enjoy your beautiful eco-friendly bamboo fence at an affordable price!

So if you are considering new or replacement fencing, you should definitely consider bamboo as an option!

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