Is your wooden fence showing signs of weathering? Are you trying to prevent it from showing its age and ultimately extend the life of your fence?
The best way to do this is by using proper wood fence protection. We’re going to take a look at some ways you can keep your fence looking great for years to come and minimize any damage that may occur.
Keep reading for more information!
Clean Your Fence
Your fence is exposed to rain, dirt, and other debris on a daily basis and most of it will stick around until it is washed away. Additionally, wood is a porous material so it tends to absorb water which can produce mold and mildew.
To keep your fence looking new, an annual cleaning is necessary. If you choose to use a chemical cleaner with your pressure washer, you will need to protect the surrounding plants with plastic tarps.
Once the plants are protected, use a wire brush to scrape away debris that is caked on. After, spray your fence with a hose set on a medium-high pressure. Should you wish to further clean your fence, use a pressure washer, but do so carefully as to not damage the wood.
Seal the Wood
Since your fence is clean, now is the perfect time to apply sealant. Allow your fence to dry completely for at least one day, two days is best. Use this time to research and purchase the best sealant for your local weather conditions.
A good wood seal will act as a barrier between your fence and moisture from rain or humidity. Apply the sealant with a roller brush, as you would paint. If there are deeper grooves in the wood, opt for a handheld brush to ensure the best coverage.
While your fence should be cleaned on a regular basis, sealing the wood only needs to occur once every 2-5 years. If you aren’t sure if the sealant is still working, splash some water on your fence. The water will bead up if the sealant is still present on the wood.
Although staining your fence after applying the seal isn’t mandatory, it adds a great aesthetic appeal!
Shrubs, flowers, and other plants are a major part of any landscaping. Unfortunately, these plants will also hold moisture and attract bugs. Both of these issues can cause your fence to deteriorate faster than normal.
To help prevent this, opt to keep plants about a foot and a half away from your fence. You will still have the benefit of a gorgeous yard, but with a lower chance of damage to the wood.
A Note About Pests
Almost every home has a termite contract. These contracts are put in place to ensure your house is not eaten away by these bugs.
Did you know that these agreements often include your wooden fence? Double check with your provider to ensure protection – it is worth the extra money each year.
When your exterminator visits each month or quarter, ask him to spray around the fence. Also consider asking him to look for any damage caused by carpenter bees and ants, mice, or wood-boring beetles.
You can perform every step of wood fence protection, but if these bugs are eating at your structure, it will all be for naught.
By now, you should realize that water and wood aren’t a great mix. Although your wood is sealed, this doesn’t mean it should continually be soaked. This means that you should be careful about where you place your sprinklers.
There is no great secret to this – when you are watering your yard, watch where the water hits. If you notice that your fence is soaking wet at any point, move the sprinkler to a different location.
Sometimes, making sure the grass receives the appropriate amount of water and not soaking your fence can be difficult. In this case, opt to water these areas with a garden hose. Yes, it may take a bit longer, but your fence will thank you!
Replace Vs. Repair
Because a wood fence is such a big investment, it is often more cost-efficient to make repairs as needed, rather than waiting to replace the entire structure.
Some repairs are far easier than others, including replacing fallen or missing boards and checking the nails that hold everything in place. Should you find any small cracks in the wood, adding a bit of wood glue will help keep the damage from growing.
Unfortunately, not all repairs are as easy as this and eventually, a wood fence will need replacing.
There are a few telltale indicators that your fence is in trouble. These signs include:
- Leaning in any direction
- Multiple holes
- Rotting wood
- Splintering boards
Of course, if you find that your fence has more repairs than you have time, it may be best to replace it and start over. This is especially true if your fence is around 10-15 years old.
Your Wood Fence Protection Plan
We know that life gets busy and other chores become more pressing than performing wood fence protection tasks. However, when you choose to protect your fence by following these tips, you will see that your fence stays attractive for longer.
When you find that you need to replace your fence, be sure to ask for estimates and research the reputation of the contractor. Additionally, investigate all of your wood choices as some are better suited for certain climates.
Hopefully, you’ve found these tricks helpful. If you have other ideas on the best ways to protect your fence, leave them in a reply below!