Wood fences can enhance the beauty of a property. With so many different styles and colors available, they can be a great addition to your home. Keeping them in good shape can be a challenge, though! What do you need to do to maintain wood fences? There are several ways to protect and preserve your wooden fence.
Maintenance is required for almost every type of material, and wood fences are no exception. If you want a low-maintenance fence, vinyl or chain-link fences are good choices. If you already have a wood fence and want to keep it looking great, you need to make sure that it’s well-maintained.
The first step to preserving a wood fence is to keep it clean. Dirt and grime should be kept off naturally finished woods so they can breathe. Plan on performing power washes on an annual basis, with a maximum pressure of 1,500 to 2,000 psi. By doing so, months of weathering on the fence will be stripped off and it will be protected from rot and mold.
Make sure to avoid using more powerful machines when you powerwash your wood fence. They can scour too aggressively and leave gauges behind. Opt for both a 25- and 15-degree tip. A 25-degree point is recommended for general cleaning, but a 15-degree tip can be used for removing discoloration around latches and other hardware on fences and other hard-to-reach areas.
Light sanding may also be required for your fence. Examine your fence after your annual power wash for rough spots or broken wood. Use sandpaper to smooth out rough areas. Popped-out nails can also be replaced at this point. Install additional nails to secure loose boards.
Filling and sealing your wood fence is the next step in preserving it. Mold spores and rot can set in if you fail to address wood fence cracks. You can protect your fence by filling those crevices with epoxy.
You should begin by cleaning the cracked area with a wood-safe cleaner. Apply the epoxy mixture to the cracks after mixing the epoxy according to the instructions on the box. Allow the epoxy to set as instructed on the box. You should apply the epoxy on a dry, sunny day for the best results so that the mixture can cure properly.
A wood fence contains a variety of microorganisms, oils, and moisture levels that must be exposed for decay prevention. Sealing the wood with a clear sealant eliminates this need. A clear-sealed fence will decay far quicker than a properly treated and maintained one because it will prevent the wood from “breathing.”
It is important to protect your wooden fence from UV rays in order to avoid rot. You may want to apply breathable, waterproof paint on it to avoid rot. Water-repellent preservatives and sealants can also be applied to the wood to protect it against rain and moisture. Take special care near the ground and at the joints.
The next step is to stain or paint your fence after it has been sealed, sanded, and protected. If you want a product that repels water or has a preservative, pick one made for the outdoors. Therefore, a water-repellent product won’t have to be applied separately. In fact, staining wood will make your fence look better while also keeping it protected from the elements. A well-applied stain repels water and prevents wood from overdrying and falling apart.
Remember to start staining on the lighter side when staining. If you wish, you can always apply multiple thin layers to darken the area. You should apply several thin coats to prevent the stain from appearing darker than you intended. It is recommended to stain wood fences every five years and to seal them every two to three years.
A termite, also known as a white ant, is a type of pest that eats away at wood and can cause severe damage. All softwoods, including redwood, pine, fir, and cedar, are susceptible to termite infestations. Unfortunately, fences are usually made of those types of wood. It is possible to exterminate termites by hiring a professional service, but you can also treat your fence yourself by using borax, which is a natural insecticide. Furthermore, borax is much safer to use than other alternatives.
Whenever possible, you should prevent damage from occurring in the first place. Despite the fact that rain and snow soak wood fences, you can keep them from rotting by preventing moisture from penetrating them. For this reason, ensure you stain your fence with a weatherproof stain as soon as it’s installed. Restain the fence regularly as recommended above.
The next step is to keep plants away from your fence. It’s never a good idea to train plants to grow on your fence because they can cause damp spots. In addition, you shouldn’t plant directly next to your fence.
If you feel your fence is at risk of rot, treat it with a borate. You can spray Borate directly onto the fence because it is a wood fungicide that is also safe for humans and animals.
In the event that rot grows in your fence, it can be stopped by replacing the affected sections. In most cases, you will need to replace the fence’s main posts. Usually, rot begins at the posts of your fence, since they are in direct contact with the ground.
The first sign of rot on fence posts or planks should be replaced immediately since rot can spread quickly.
Adding a coat of stain to the rest of the fence is the best protection from rot when replacing rot-affected sections.
The durability of a wood fence is a factor to consider if you have your mind set on installing a fence. What type of fence is the most durable? It is usually cedar fences. If properly maintained, they can last for 15 to 30 years. Despite its natural resistance to insects, cedar rots slowly, making it more durable. It can even last for more than 40 years when properly treated.
Vinyl fences, on the other hand, offer a wooden look without all the maintenance required. A vinyl fence may last more than 30 years with relatively little maintenance. Vinyl fences stay essentially the same over time, as opposed to wood, which can warp, rot, or shrink.
A long-lasting fence requires regular inspections, maintenance, and small repairs and replacements if necessary, whether you’re installing a new fence or maintaining one already on your property. Maintain your wood fence using these steps, and you’ll enjoy it for many years to come!