Wood is going to get damaged over time. There is no question about that. The sun, time, and nature can all affect the look of your wooden fence. Most fences are made from pressure treated wood. This kind of wood differs from the kind found in buildings. It is resistant to rotting and insect damage. These kinds of fences can last up to 20 years if you take good care of it.
If you find that your pained or stained fence has a lot of damage, it is still salvageable. There are steps you can take to make your fence look like new. If your fence is new, you’re going to want to do routine maintenance.
Take a good look at your fence. See if it has loose boards, mold, moss, or discoloration from dirt build up. If so, you might want to repair it first.
Step One: Clean it
Clean the whole fence with a pressurized washer. Find the appropriate cleaning solution and scrub it down. If you have mold, find a product designed to address mold. Leave the solution on for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Step Two: Repairs
Check for wood that needs replacement and do so as soon as you can. Check the soil around the base of the fence. The soil should be firm and your fence should be secured in the ground. Now is the time to do any repairs. Use wood caulk to fill all crevices. You want to protect your fence from moisture. Apply two coats.
Step Three: Staining or Painting
Beware of wood preservatives that have paraffin wax. Remove it before staining so that the stain can penetrate the wood. The wax is difficult to remove so plan ahead if you’re planning on re-staining your fence in the future.
Let the fence dry for a couple of days before applying the stain. Stains get deep into the wood as opposed to paint which only stays on the surface. Because of this, it’s important to start with a completely dry fence.
If you are painting, you don’t need to wait as long. Apply the stain or pain with a brush or a power sprayer.
Yearly Care for Your Wood Fence
Every year, check the fence line. You’re looking for broken boards, insect damage, or parts that need replacement. Repair them as soon as you can to preserve your fence. Keep an eye out for any moss growing on the wood.
Caulk the fence every year.
Long-Term Care for Your Wood Fence
If you have a painted fence, do pressure washes, scraping, and repainting every two to three years.
If you have a stained fence, do a pressure wash and a re-stain every five years.
Diligence will lead to an impressive fence. Make sure to do your checks and repairs if you want to keep your fence lasting up to 20 years. Don’t think of it as keeping up a fence. Think of it as protecting an investment.