A wood fence is an attractive and useful part of your landscaping. You want to make sure it stays in good repair for as long as possible. The following tips can help you maintain the fence.
1. Check the Seal
A wood fence requires protection from weathering, which is caused when the wood absorbs moisture or suffers from UV damage. You can stain, paint, or apply a clear weather sealant to the wood to protect it. This seal needs to be reapplied every few years, typically as the old coat wears off and moisture is absorbed, rather than beading up, on the wood planks. Sealing also even outs the color of the wood, making the fence look like new again.
2. Repair Structural Issues
Minor structural damages will occur over time. Most commonly, these issues are nothing more than a loose picket or popped nails, which can quickly be repaired with basic tools. Occasionally, the issue may be a little more severe. For example, you may need to replace a broken rail or picket, or you may need to have a leaning post shored up so that it is secure in the ground again. Repair these problems when they first occur to avoid more involved damages.
3. Clear the Fence Line
Plants growing right up against a wood fence are damaging for two reasons. First, the plants themselves trap moisture against a wood fence, which can lead to rot problems. Second, you may need to mow or use a weed trimmer right up against the fence, which can also damage the fence boards. Create a buffer zone of a few inches that is kept clear of all plants. You can use mulch, put in a flower bed, or even lay down concrete curbing to create this clear fence line.
4. Adjust the Sprinklers
Sprinklers that hit the fence in the same way day after day will wear off the seal prematurely. You have likely seen such fences with the silvery fan-shaped sprinkler lines on the wood. This repeated water exposure can shorten the life of the fence. Adjust your sprinkles or change the sprinkler head spray style so that the water no longer hits your fence.
5. Clean the Surface
Sometimes mildew or algae will begin to grow on the surface of a wood fence, even if it is properly sealed. Use a pressure washer or scrub it off by hand with a diluted bleach solution to give the fence an instant facelift.
Contact a wood fence service if you need help with maintenance, repairs, or replacement of your fencing.