Fencing is not the most glamorous of home improvement projects, but it makes a big difference in both the look of your home and its property value.
Even the most beautiful fence needs regular upkeep to stay looking its best. When you have a wood fence, maintenance is even more important or the wood starts to turn grey and rot.
Are you uncertain about how to take care of wood fencing? Listed down below are all of the things you need to know to keep your fence looking shiny and new for many years to come!
1. Clean off Mildew and Grime
When it comes time for wood fencing maintenance, the first thing to do is clear away all of the built-up mud and mildew that’s collected on the exterior. While this layer of grime still lingers, it’s difficult to do any of the other steps.
A power washer is perfect for this job, as it gets deep into the crevices of the wood without damaging the fibers. A brush and soapy water work as well, but this takes far more elbow grease and can be time-consuming.
After a good cleaning, let the wood dry for a couple of days so that the wood has a chance to harden again.
2. Check for Loose Nails and Screws
Once things are clean, you’ll want to look around for any loose metalwork found within your fence. If your fence is new, this isn’t much of a concern. Older fences start to lose structural integrity and need extra help to keep things in their proper place.
Tighten up all of the loose nails and screws so that they keep your fence standing tall. Make sure to replace anything that’s rusted over so that the rust doesn’t damage your fence in the process.
3. Ensure Posts Stay Secure
Another wood fence maintenance step is checking the posts and the soils surrounding them. Over time, rain and snow misplace soil, causing it to move away from the posts in your fence. This leaves the post, and the fence as a whole, in danger of toppling over.
Give each post a firm push to see if it still is capable of standing up with some resistance. If it wiggles too much, bring over extra soil to secure it in place.
4. Repair or Replace Broken Areas
While you’re looking through your fence for loosened metal, it’s a good time to look for broken or cracked wood slabs as well. It’s possible to glue together some pieces, but sometimes a full replacement is the only answer.
Whenever you glue a piece into place, wrap tape around the area so that the two pieces stay flush together and don’t end up creating a new crack. Use high-quality wood glue to ensure that the adhesion sets against the grain of the wood.
Always make certain to give ample drying time before moving on to the next steps.
5. Renew Stain and Sealant
Once everything is clean and secure, it’s time to give the wood a fresh new look and extra protection.
The best way to waterproof a fence is to use a high-quality sealant. This provides a protective coating between the wood and outside elements. It doesn’t last forever, though, so it needs reapplying every couple of years.
Stains are another way to give your wood both extra protection and beautiful color.
Stain first, then use a sealant to keep all of the fresh wood from getting damaged through the seasons. Even if you prefer to leave your fence stainless, it’s still important to put on a clear coat of sealant to preserve the wood’s strength.
6. Keep Grass and Plants Away
Now that you’ve given your fence the best kind of treatment, you’ll need to take a few precautions to keep it looking beautiful. One of the biggest ways to take care of wood fencing is by keeping your grass trim and replanting bushes and vines elsewhere.
These plants keep wood far too moist and end up damaging it after a while. Some plants even find ways to get into the nooks of your wood and start working their way through the fibers.
7. Remove Nearby Sprinkler Systems
Another concern is a sprinkler system. By placing those sprinklers near your fence, you’re adding on to the water that goes onto the wood by a large margin. Even with a sealant, this water wears away the protection faster than by natural means.
Remove the sprinklers so that they only spray a minimal amount of water on the wood to help expand the lifetime of your fence.
8. Repeat Once Every Two Years
Wood fencing maintenance takes some effort and several days to complete. It’s a project that’s well worth the time, but the good news is that you won’t have to do this very often.
A good rule of thumb is to go through this process once every two years or so. This depends a little on how much wear and tear your fence goes through. You’ll want to increase it even more if you have harsh winters in your area.
There’s a simple test to know if your fence needs a new coat of sealant. Spray some water onto the fence and wait a few moments.
If water beads on top of the wood, then your wood is doing well. If the water soaks straight into the wood fibers, then it’s time to get a new coat on as soon as possible. While you’re at it, it’s a good time as any to do the rest of the fence maintenance steps as well!
No Longer Wonder How to Take Care of Wood Fencing With These Tips
It’s not too difficult to learn how to take care of wood fencing. With these tips to guide you, you’ll have a fence that lasts for many years and looks beautiful every step of the way.
Whenever you’re uncertain about maintenance, come back to this page for a fencing refresher!
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