How to Maintain a Wooden Fence

wood-fence1-300x225A wooden fence improves the curb appeal of your home, serves as a privacy barrier and keeps family, children and pets safely in your yard. However, over time, weather and UV rays can take a toll on your wooden fence, leaving it in less than stellar shape. Here are some routine maintenance jobs that need to be performed in order to keep the wooden fence in great condition.

Apply a Cleaner

Purchase a wooden fence cleaner at your local hardware store that is applied with a rag or soft bristled brush. This cleaner will remove light amounts of dirt and mildew, while restoring the color of the fence. This task should be performed about once a year.

Power Wash the Fence

After a significant storm, the fence may be covered with mud, leaves and small branches. Use a power washer to remove the items from the exterior of the fence so that it is again free from debris. This will keep any debris from decaying on the surface of the fence and damaging the integrity of the wood. Perform this task after every major storm when you notice the build-up.

Repaint or Re-seal

Since the fence is exposed to the elements throughout the entire year, the exterior coating can begin to decay or chip. Every two years, re-apply a wood sealer or paint to the fence. Aside from freshening up the color, the new coat helps seal the wood, protecting it from the elements.

Check for Weak Rails or Posts

About once a year, visually inspect the entire fence and check for weak posts or rails. If you see something suspect, gently tug on the post or rail. If it feels loose or weak, then look at the hardware securing it. If that is sound, then the wood itself might be rotting. Replace any weak posts or rails as soon as possible, so the integrity of the rest of the fence is not compromised.

Key Takeaways:

  • Apply a cleaner once a year to remove mildew and light amounts of dirt.
  • Power wash the fence to remove heavy debris after storms.
  • Re-paint or re-seal the fence every two years.
  • Check for weak posts or rails once a year. Replace as needed.

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