When taken care of, a wooden fence can last for decades. Although you can hire a professional to perform repairs and routine upkeep, amateur home repairmen can perform wooden fence maintenance. Your fencing contractor will tell you, “Cleaning your fence, fixing any damage, and applying stain or paint can keep wooden fences in good condition.” say Rock Carmichal of Sacramento, CA. “As the years pass, you’ll be able to help your fence remain a constant fixture in your yard.”
If you’re the proud owner of an attractive looking wood garden fence it can be a constant source of annoyance and stress, especially if you live somewhere that experiences the full force of the wind. If you live in a location like this and your fence lasts five years or more without any partial collapse, count yourself lucky.
My husband and I moved into our current home in late summer 2004, when the house was just two years old. It’s around 500 feet above sea level looking due West towards the prevailing weather and the sea, very salty and windy. As you can imagine the views are spectacular but it can get very wild up here, especially in winter.
How To Care For a Wood Fence
A wood fence can be a great way to give a home a definitive border. It also changes the look of the house. But over time, wood fences rot away
Typically, wood fences, especially those going up around newly constructed homes, are made of cedar or redwood.
“They are more resistant to rot and decay than other species, ” says Jack Holt, owner of Holt Lumber in Fresno, Calif. “They’re not structurally as strong as Douglas fir, which is used in framing a house, but for anything that is exposed to the elements, those are the two species of wood used.”
A wood fence is a great way to keep your property private. However, the nature of the wood means it’s not indestructible. It needs to be regularly maintained. This does take some work, although if performed on a regular basis, it needn’t take up too much time. The tasks are very simple.
Step 1 – Pickets
Check all the pickets on the fence to make sure no nails have come out or that none of them have started to rot. Hammer in any loose nails or replace with new ones. Where a picket is rotting or broken, put in a new one. Where you have sectional fencing, test each of the sections to check that it’s secure. If any are leaning, you’ll need to ensure they’re replaced in the ground properly so they’re straight.
Step 2 – Cleaning
Where there’s mildew on any sections of the fence, you’ll need to clean it off. You can use a purchased mildew cleaner for the job or go with soap and water and a scrub brush. Hose the area down afterward with clean water.
Step 3 – Painting
Every few years, your wood fence will need to be repainted or stained. You can do this with a roller, a brush or a paint sprayer, but be aware that there can be problems using a sprayer, as there will inevitably be overspray. You can place cardboard behind the fence and above it, but the simpler solution will be to go with the brush or roller, as this will allow you to get into all the nooks and crannies of the fence, especially down where the fence meets the ground.