The popularity of wood fencing has waned somewhat in the past few years, thanks to the increased availability of low-maintenance vinyl fence products. Nevertheless, wood remains a popular choice among those who appreciate its natural beauty and aesthetic design style. If properly cared for, a wooden fence can last for many years and retain its attractive appearance. Read on for some helpful tips on cleaning, repairing and maintaining wood fences.
How to Clean Your Wood Fence
It’s important to clean your fence periodically, typically every three to five years or whenever it requires a fresh coat of stain. In some cases, the wood can develop surface mold. In that case, it’s important to clean the mold before it can degrade the wood. Although you can purchase special cleaning products for this purpose at the home center or hardware store, you can also mix one part bleach to two parts water for a more cost-effective solution. Apply the mixture with a spray bottle or rag and allow it to sit until the mold begins to dissolve and the wood appears brighter. Rinse the bleach solution off with a hose, then allow it to dry. If some mold spots remain, repeat this procedure until it’s all gone.
How to Inspect and Repair a Wood Fence
Experts recommend inspecting your fencing at least once a year, or more often if you rely on it to keep kids, pets or livestock safely contained. Look carefully for missing nails or screws, retightening or replacing when necessary. Be sure to use galvanized or stainless fasteners to avoid rust. Look for any evidence of wood rot, cracking or warping, and depending on the severity, replace those pieces that are weakened. Test each support post and panel or section for security. If any posts are loose or leaning, you will need to remove that section and re-seat the post in concrete. Finally, keep an eye out for any damage that could be attributed to termites. Although most termite species aren’t a threat to exposed wood surfaces, finding evidence of termite damage can provide an early warning sign that your home needs to be inspected and treated.
Applying a Fresh Coat of Stain
Stain is the most effective way to protect your wood fence, to keep it looking great and extend its life. The frequency with which you must reapply stain depends on weather and exposure to sunlight and wind. In northern Utah, some people reapply stain every spring just to be safe, but you may find that every two or three years is sufficient. Select a stain with UV protection to slow the natural aging and color change that’s inherent with most wood species. Although you may prefer the look of paint, stain is more durable and provides a superior level of protection. After scraping and lightly sanding, apply the stain with a brush or sprayer. Be sure to coat every inch of exposed surface thoroughly. This means getting in between and underneath pickets, slats or panels.
Outback Fencing, serving customers in Utah, Wyoming or Idaho, understands how much a wood fence can enhance the look of your home or business, as well as provide the security you trust. Contact them today for all your wood fencing needs.