When you first installed your wooden fence, it looked spectacular. It was clean, beautiful, gave you the privacy you were after, and even added to the décor and design of your backyard. The problem is that wooden fences are notorious for wear and tear, which can start to develop a lot faster than you may have anticipated.
So rather than be stuck having to replace your fence much earlier than would be expected, there are some maintenance steps and tips you can take. These will help to prolong its lifespan by keeping it structurally sound and looking great.
Do a Yearly Inspection
Just as you would do a perimeter inspection of the exterior of your home, this same approach should be used on your fence. It’s good to get into the habit of inspecting it once a year watching for weak spots, any leaning, loose boards, wood rot, moss growth, greenery that is impeding into the fence, and so forth.
Be Wary of Fence Pests
Another factor that can do a real number on your fence is “fence pests”. The most common fence pests are carpenter ants, termites, carpenter bees, horntail wasps, and wood-boring beetles. Each of these can cause such significant damage to your wooden fence, and in many cases means that it will need a complete replacement. It’s important to act aggressively and immediately if you suspect any of these pests is present.
Give Your Fence a Deep Cleaning Every 3-5 Years
If you’re under the impression that the rain will do all the cleaning necessary for your fence, it’s time to think again. In reality, a wooden fence needs a thorough and deep clean about every three to five years. This will help to get rid of the graying that can happen, mildew and moss growth, and of course dirt and grime. You can use a power washer on a low setting making sure it’s not too powerful on the wood.
Staining or Sealing Will Protect Its Integrity
One of the best ways to prolong the lifespan of a wooden fence is to stain or seal it. Of course, this can only be done once the fence is completely clean and dry, as you don’t want to seal any dirt, mildew, or grime in the fence. Just like with the deep cleaning, this is a job that should be repeated every few years as necessary.
When shopping, look for either a latex-based paint or an oil-based stain. These do much more than make the fence look nice, they will help to slow down the weathering of the wood, prevent wood rot, and ensure that moisture can’t get into the wood.
Getting the Most Out of Your Investment
There’s no doubt that a fence is a costly investment for your home, so with that said you want to be sure you’re getting the absolute most out of your investment. These tips and steps will ensure that your fence lasts for many years to come, preventing it from needing an early replacement.