So, you’ve installed wooden fencing around your house, garden or pool that is attractive and adds value to your property. However, if you don’t preserve your new fence, it will quickly lose its beautiful appearance and damage incurred could challenge its functionality. Proper care and maintenance will keep your fence looking good and performing at its best. There are some best practices to consider when taking care of your fence; here, we’ll name a few:
A huge part of keeping your wooden fence functional and in tip-top shape is repairing any existing damages to your fence. Your fence can be damaged in a variety of ways, for example it might have some rot damage, splintering, or sagging panels. It’s important to resolve these issues before they worsen and cost you a lot more money down the road. Luckily, with panel fences you can repair the damage to smaller sections of your fence at a time without having to replace the entire fence. It’s important to remove and replace damaged panels or posts as soon as you detect a problem. Simple repair jobs shouldn’t take more than a few hours and will extend the lifespan of your wooden fence by a few years.
Painting, Staining and Sealing
Wooden fencing benefits most from routine scraping, painting and sealing. Depending on your environment, you should scrape, paint and seal your fence at least every three years (if not more frequently). Even if you prefer the natural look and opt out of a paint job, it’s important to scrape and seal your fence just as often to prevent any damages to your fence by the elements. In rainy areas, you should complete these steps every year, while in more arid regions you can opt for every three years instead. Consider these timelines a general guideline for when you should perform your scrape-paint- seal maintenance; if you notice that your fence needs attention before you’ve hit the one or three year mark, go ahead and address the issue immediately. As a general rule, if water has stopped beading up on your wooden fence, it’s probably time to re-seal.
Before you paint/stain and seal your fence you’ll need to clean it first. A power washer will come in handy for this step; it will enable you to save the time and manpower it would take to otherwise scrape your entire fence. Your local home improvement store will have a quality high-pressure power washer that you can rent to complete the job. If your power washer has an attachment option, consider purchasing any treatments that will aid in mold and mildew removal. If it does not have such an option, you’ll need to also get a pump-up weed sprayer, fill it with a bleach and detergent solution, and apply to your wooden fence about an hour before you power wash it.
Insect & Termite Prevention
Destructive pests like termites, also called white ants, and other insects can easily destroy your wooden fencing. Lucky, most posts are treated at the mill with some light chemicals to prevent most of the damage, but your panels may not fare as well. Softwoods like redwood, pine and cedar are most susceptible to termite damage. You should treat your fence with a natural insect repellent like Borax to prevent any damage from the pests. If you notice that you already have an infestation, you may want to seek the help of a professional. While a professional service will be able to exterminate the insects, you’ll still need to do some repair to any damaged panels or posts as the insects may have damaged the integrity of your fence.
You’ll want to lubricate and revitalize your hardware, including any hinges, screws and door locks each time you scrape, stain and seal your fence. If your hardware is failing, you may also want to consider replacing it. To lubricate your hardware, first clean it using a soapy water solution and then apply a bit of automotive grease to the insides of hinges and locks using a small paintbrush. This quick trick will keep your gates and panels from sagging (and squeaking!) and you should see immediate results.
By keeping an eye on your wooden fence’s condition, you’ll be able to save yourself a lot of time and money down the road. Inspect your fence regularly for damage by the elements, termites and other insects. If you notice that you do have damage issues, address them immediately. Also look to see if your sealant is strong by checking for beading water on your fence. If the water sinks into the posts, it’s time to clean/ scrape, stain/paint and re-seal your wooden fence.
If you pay attention to your fence and follow these simple upkeep guidelines, you’ll surely be able to enjoy your beautiful wooden fence for a lot longer.