Wooden fences are beautiful, and they add value to your property. However, these things are only true when the fence is in good condition. Furthermore, a fence that is falling won't even do the most basic tasks of marking your property line and keeping your kids and pets inside the yard. Let's take a look at a few ways that you can protect your wooden fence from damage.
Choose the Right Materials
Whether you’re installing a new fence, or repairing an existing one, make sure you use the right materials. Cedar and redwood are ideal since they look great while resisting rot and decay. Always use pressure-treated wood. The pressure-treated wood resists water damage, insects, wet rot, and dry rot. Choose stainless steel and galvanized steel instead of metal that can rust.
Your fence needs to be cleaned periodically. Don proper safety gear like rain boots, goggles, and gloves, especially if you're going to remove algae and mold from the fence.
Use a pressure washer to clean the fence. This will remove leaves, green algae, and dirt that contribute to rot. However, you don't want to use a washer running at too high of a pressure or you might damage it. The ideal water pressure is somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 pounds per square inch. Stand at least 18 inches back from the fence so that the jet of water doesn't damage the fence. The next step is to let the panels completely dry.
Suppose the fence has completely dried. If there are any remaining discolored or stained areas, you may need to clean them with baking soda. If you have algae or mold, then you'll need to use a vinegar solution. In either case, this won't damage the fence the way chemicals like bleach would.
Apply a Protective Barrier
Staining or sealing a fence every two to three years will extend its life. The seal or stain will reduce the risk of rotting. Use a water-repellent seal to minimize moisture damage. You can reduce the amount of work involved in staining the fence by mixing the sealant with the exterior stain. This has the side benefit of helping the fence retain its color for longer.
Keep Fence Posts Away from the Soil
Don’t mount the fence posts directly into the soil. This will make them susceptible to decay because of the moisture in the soil. More importantly, the soil can shift. When you dig post holes, fill them with concrete. Then mount the fence posts.
Keep the Fence Clear of Plants
Many homeowners plant bushes near the fence to hide it or flowers to beautify it. This may look good, but it is bad for your fence. The plants will introduce moisture to the wood, causing it to rot. You can minimize the potential damage by trimming both grass and other plants near the fence. While you're at it, ensure that the water sprinkler isn't hitting your fence. That alone can cause water damage.
Regularly Inspect the Fence
Periodically inspect the fence for missing boards and damaged areas. Repair the damage as soon as possible. For example, you should fix small cracks in the foundation, because they will get worse over time. Pay special attention to the wood near ground level. If you see algae or mold, treat it immediately. Repaint or reseal where it is peeling, so that you maintain that protective layer.
Your wooden fence requires regular care and maintenance just as your lawn does. Consider it an investment in your home’s curb appeal.