Helpful Tips for Maintaining A Wood Fence
Your new wooden fence with cedar pickets has been installed and your yard looks amazing, your children and pets have boundaries, and you have a little more privacy. In a perfect world, absent storm damage, and wear and tear, your fence should last between 15-20 years.
However, conditions are not always ideal, but there are steps you can take to help extend the life of your fence and maintain the aesthetics. Sun, wind, humidity, moisture, and insects are several factors affecting the life of your wooden fence. We’ve compiled some helpful tips to help you protect your fence from the elements.
First, you’ll want to make sure the company that builds your fence, uses pressure treated wood for the posts, rails, and base boards. Fencemaster uses pressure treated wood on those areas, so the wood is more resistant to damage from insects and moisture.
In order to protect your pickets, we recommend you apply a wood sealant to your fence. While you can apply it directly to your fence, some manufacturers recommend you wash the fence first with a cleaner that contains mildewcide. (An important preventative step) Remember a sealant will trap anything on the wood, clean and dry fences are critical to the process.
Wait one to two days after washing your fence, or after the last rain, before applying a wood sealant. Sealants will protect your fence from absorbing excessive water which leads to twists, splits, and warps in the wood. If you want your fence to remain its original color, try using a sealant with a UV stabilizer. The stabilizer won’t prevent your fence from graying, but it does slow down the rate of discoloration. If you prefer for your fence to be a different color and stain it, choose a stain that also contains a wood sealant.
Other tips for maintaining your wood fence include:
- Remove vines, plants, and vegetation from the fence, additional weight on the wood can lead to cracking and warping
- Inspect your fence every three months or so for insect nests, termites, wasps, etc.
- Adjust your sprinkler so it’s not soaking the fence, repeated moisture in the same place increases the likelihood of rot
- Make sure to keep tree limbs trimmed, to prevent falling trees from damaging your fence
- Routinely replace boards that have holes, show signs of water damage, or are broken
- Brush and or wash dirt off the wood surface, and if your fence is stained, re-apply the stain every two years
If you would like to know if your existing wood fence needs to be repaired or replaced, please do not hesitate to give Fencemaster a call!