7 Steps to Maintaining Your Wood Fence
A wood fence is a popular landscape feature in many homes. This is partly because of its warm and natural aesthetic appeal. Wood is also a highly versatile material that allows a wide range of fence design options. When well maintained, a fence enhances the appearance of your home. It isn’t difficult to keep your wood fence in good condition. Below are 7 steps that will help you to maintain your fence.
It is a good idea to stain your wood fence soon after installation. This will help protect the fence from dry and wet rot. Loss of protective oils causes the wood to become dry and brittle. This results in dry rot. Wet rot is caused by constant exposure to moisture. For best results, use a linseed based oil stain. This helps to restore the natural protective oils. After the initial application, you can stain your wood fence once a year.
Clear all leaves and debris from your fence whenever you spot them. This prevents accumulation of dirt and moisture entrapment which can lead to wet rot, mold and mildew. Use a pressure washer to wash your fence. It helps if you use white vinegar to clear stubborn dirt and stains. Make a solution of 1 cup of vinegar and a gallon of water. Apply on the fence with a sprayer and allow 10 minutes for the solution to work. You can then wash the fence with a power washer.
3. Mold and Mildew
Even well kept fences may develop mold and mildew at times. It helps if you inspect your fence regularly. This will enable you to spot mold and mildew early enough. It is easier to deal with mold and mildew before it develops extensively. Wash the fence with soap and water then follow with mildew cleaner. Rinse the fence well to clear all traces of cleaner.
A well painted fence should last several years. However, you may want to repaint the entire fence every 3 to 4 years. This helps to protect the fence and also enhances its appearance. It is normal for paint to peel and chip in some areas. You only need to touch up the affected spots. Scrape away the old paint, sand the area and follow with a new coat of paint. For best results, use a paint that contains a primer.
This can be done once or twice a year. It is best to reseal after you paint. A paint spraying unit can help you reseal comfortably and effectively.
Nails and fasteners on your fence will become loose with time. This is due to constant expansion and contraction. Drive all loose nails in so that they do not snag anyone. Replace any missing nails, Replace any sections of the fence that may have split, warped or rotted.
Clear away bird nests if you find any. If you spot any termites, you can use borax which is an effective natural insecticide. For extreme cases, it is best to seek professional services. It is easier to manage pests as soon as you spot them. If left to develop, pest control can cost you several hundred dollars. It helps if you clear leaves and debris regularly from your fence to prevent termites.