A wood fence can add beauty to your property, and it can also turn your yard into a private oasis. Fencing is best installed by a professional who can secure beams deep in the ground within concrete blocks. After the installation is complete, you need to make sure that you properly maintain your fence and protect it from water damage and rot. Maintenance techniques may seem time consuming and labor intensive, but you can extend the life of your fence by 10 or even 20 years by following some of the tips listed below.
Clean Mold and Mildew and Make Repairs
Mildew and mold build on your fence when the wood becomes wet and the mildew will cause the fence to rot if it is left in place for too long. Removing the mildew completely is the best option to keep your fence in great condition. Your fence will likely start forming mildew in the spring when your fence is exposed to the most rain. You can remove mold and mildew with a natural cleaner, or you can remove the growth with a store bought product.
Clean With Natural or Commercial Cleaners
If you want to remove fence mildew naturally, add one gallon of water to a bucket and mix in one cup of vinegar. The acetic acid in the vinegar will kill the mildew and mold so it can be easily rinsed away. Use a sponge to apply your mixture to your fence and allow it to sit for 15 or 20 minutes. Afterwards, use a hose or a pressure washer to rinse the vinegar and mold away.
You can use a commercial cleaner to remove mold as well and you can speak with your fencing contractor about the best product to use. Add the cleanser to your pressure washer or apply the fluid directly to the fence. Make sure to rinse your fence thoroughly afterwards and inspect the fence for damage when you are done.
Make Repairs With Caulk
If you find rotten wood during your inspection, make arrangements right away to replace your fence beams or slats. If you notice dings, cracks, or other types of damage across your fence, then make sure to fill in the damaged areas with caulk. Buy either latex caulk or a latex acrylic silicone mix. Both of these types of caulk are ideal for outdoor wood repair. Place the caulk tube into a caulking gun and fill in holes. Wipe away excess during application though so the caulk does not bulge out from the flat surface of the fence.
Stain Your Fence
Staining your fence is a good way to keep your fence protected from water and the harmful rays of the sun. You should stain your fence every one or two years, and you should add the stain one or two days after you clean your fence. This is best so the fence is as clean as possible when you add the protective stain. Purchase a stain made for use on outdoor wood and find a product that indicates that it offers UV protection. This protection will keep the wood from appearing gray when the sun continually shines on your fence. Also, the stain will keep your fence from drying out and cracking.
Do not use a sprayer or a roller to apply your stain. Instead, use a brush so you can work the stain into all of the crevices of the wood. Make sure to mix your stain thoroughly before painting it on your fence. Apply one thin coat of the stain and allow it to dry for at least one day. Once the stain is dry, apply another coat and add a third coat if you want your stain to appear dark. Make sure to work your stain around all crevices and edges to protect your fence properly from the elements.
Wood fencing can add personality and privacy to your property, but you need to make sure that you take care of your fence properly so it can withstand the outdoor elements for many years. Cleaning your fence and staining it are two good maintenance techniques.