Wooden fences are a great combination of privacy and beauty when it comes to fencing, but unlike vinyl composite privacy fences, wooden fences require more routine maintenance. Wood fences are naturally biodegradable and wood’s organic attributes cause it to expand and contract repeatedly from moisture and drying.
Keeping your wood fence looking good and functioning properly requires taking proactive steps to avoid cracking, rotting, and protection from moisture.
Paint or Stain Every Two Years
Painting or staining your fence not only helps contribute to the overall curb appeal and increased value of your property, but also protects your fence from moisture. Stains and paints provide a protective layer between the wood and mother nature. Water repellants are extremely important for proper fence maintenance as risk of water damage is likely to be the leading cause of warping, cracking, and rotting.
Avoid Direct Sprinklers Toward Fence
In many places of the country, like fences in Cedar Rapids, snow is inevitable in the winter and rain storms are frequent in the summer. While a fence is certain to get wet outside in the elements, you can take steps to avoid a unnecessary fence moisture. Unless you’re specifically cleaning your fence (we’ll talk about that in a second), it’s a good idea to point sprinklers and similar automated watering products away from a wooden fence.
Perform Regular Fence Cleaning
While water is a wooden fence enemy, proper use of water combined with cleaning chemicals can increase the lifespan of the fence by removing dirt, debris, and moss & algae growth that are ultimately more damaging over time than a regular power wash.
To clean your fence, use a wire brush with oxygenated bleacher and a power washer. Set the power washer to a proper pressure level that is high enough to remove stubborn growth, but not so powerful that it removes paint or cuts into the wood. It’s a good idea to start with a lower pressure and work your way up.
Replace Boards and Minor Repairs
It’s important for the longevity of your fence to make repairs promptly. One of the great things about wooden fencing is that repairs often don’t require removal of entire panels and you can instead replace individual boards as needed. Making smaller fence repairs as soon as possible is also more cost effective than waiting until repairs add up and potentially lead to damage to subsequent boards. If see damage on your fence and you’re not sure how to repair it, search up a local contractor that provides wood fence repairs.
Avoid Hanging Items
A leaning fence is a problematic fence. You want your fence posts and boards to be standing straight. Unnecessary weight, such as heavy potted plants or other items, will cause stress to the boards and slowly weight on fence, potentially causing it to begin to lean.
If you’re intent on hanging items from your fence, be sure that they’re very light weight, or contact a local fencing installation company that can make recommendations on how to strengthen posts sufficiently to support the additional load.
Don’t Grill Near Your Wooden Fence
Few things are more American to envision than a backyard barbecue on a sunny day with children running around a beautifully landscaped backyard surrounded by a wooden fence. Except, smoke that billows away from the grill can slowly stain the fence with black soot and grease splatter can cause unsightly deterioration.
Not to mention, while heat from a grill could potentially melt a vinyl fence, a surprise frame could catch nearby wood on fire!
Pull Off Vines and Plant Growth
Some people may love the look of vines growing throughout their fence, but plant growth can cause serious damage to your fence. As an organic material, plants can attempt to root directly into cracks and grooves to the fence and attach themselves to the boards.
Vines have a tendency to hold moisture and as we mentioned earlier, moisture is one of the leading causes of wood fence damage. Additionally, vines can grow quite densely into a fence and over time become increasingly difficult to remove. Eventually, the only course of action to cure the issue may be to replace the boards where the vines are too strongly embedded to be removed.
Enjoy Your Fence
Wooden fence maintenance does require some work! You might find yourself needing to set aside a day to make your privacy fence repair a weekend project, but once your fence is cleaned and repaired, it’s bound to bring greater joy! So go ahead and kick back, relax and reward yourself for a job well done with a beverage and enjoy your fenced in backyard’s beauty that a wooden fence provides once you’ve finished your fence project.
Or if you’d rather just leave it to the pros, your favorite Cedar Rapids fence maintenance company is just a call away!