Do you have wood fencing? Just a little bit of TLC can keep your wood fence looking fantastic and help them last for years!
Wood Fence Maintenance Tips
It’s important to clean your fence before initial painting or staining and periodically throughout the year. Doing so ensures the stain or paint adheres correctly, and that dirt and mildew growth do not build up on the surface and cause damage.
When cleaning by hand, use an oxygenated bleach powder and water mixture (per instructions) and apply it to the wood surfaces using a pump-sprayer or paintbrush.
Let the mixture sit for fifteen to twenty minutes, then scrub the dirty areas with a stiff cleaning brush. Finally, rinse the entire fence off with a garden hose.
Using a power washer on a wood fence requires a gentle touch to prevent damage to painted surfaces or from forcing water deep into the timbers.
Use a 25-degree fan tip on the hose end, set the PSI at 1500, and use long, steady sweeps of the washer following the grain of the wood for best results.
Stubborn algae and mold growth will require a one-part chlorinated bleach to a two-part water mixture.
It’s best to use 1/2-cup vinegar per gallon of water mixture for moss and mildew.
Spot treat these areas at the first sign of discoloration.
2. PAINTING OR STAINING
Both painting and staining wood fencing will extend the life of the wood by creating a barrier between the planks and harsh elements like rain and UV rays.
Even the best exterior paint will eventually chip or flake off over time since wood expands and contracts constantly. Always select the most durable paint you can afford and apply two coats.
Depending on the fence design, a paint sprayer can speed up the project and also get into all the nooks and crannies a bit better than a brush.
Repaint when you start to see cracks or chips in the paint, typically every two to three years.
Exterior stain protects wood fencing better because it soaks into the wood fibers to create a thicker layer of protection.
The best part about modern stain formulations is the one-coat finish that comes in a wide variety of colors in transparent to opaque tints. The range of colors allow you to personalize the look of your fencing to match your home’s exterior.
Restain the fencing when you see excessive fading or when water quits beading up on the surface, typically every two to five years.
It’s best to stay on top of wood fence maintenance to minimize the destruction small problems can cause when left unchecked.
Wood that appears to be in perfect condition during install can quickly warp, crack, or rot within a year or so.
A single warped post left in place will eventually distort a large section of the fence. Any rot caused by insect infestation can spread quickly.
Cracks in wood can cause that section to pop loose. This issue not only looks unsightly, but it could also let animals or small children into or out of your property.
Always replace any wood slats or posts showing signs of damage as soon as possible.
Check hardware regularly for loose screws or components and tighten or replace worn items. Only install stainless steel or galvanized hardware to avoid rust issues.
Delay wood fence maintenance tasks by protecting the wood from common landscaping issues like vines or shrubbery growing or leaning on the fence. The additional weight strains the fence structure, leading to cracks and bending.
Overgrown foliage blocks sunlight and traps moisture on the fence surface, causing mold or mildew to grow, which increases the likelihood of rot. Trim plant overgrowth often to prevent damage.
Water and dirt
Another way to protect your fencing is to keep the sprinkler system or hose spray away from the wood. Water wears away the outer wood finish and permeates tiny holes in the paint or stain, which could damage the interior structure.
Along the same lines, keep the bottoms of fence slats away from dirt that can retain moisture and wick up into the wood.
Consider applying a yearly clear wood sealant with a UV protectant to slow down the wear of your wood fencing.
Utilize Local Professionals
Nortex Fence specializes in custom cedar fences in Dallas, as well as decks, driveway gates, and more. We handle every detail to help make your residential or commercial outdoor space as nice as possible. Fill out the contact form to get started and learn more about what we can do for you!