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How to Maintain and Care for Your Wood Fence

Wood Fencing 101

By Anita Clark RealtorPublished 3 years ago 10 min read

Tips to Maintain and Care for Your Wood Fence

There’s no doubt that a wood fence can be an excellent way to put up a definitive border to a property. It keeps both pets and kids securely in and intruders and stray animals out. Additionally, wood fences can change the appearance of the house.

However, as time passes by, wood fences deteriorate and rot away. On the bright side, you can, with a little care, make wood fences last longer. In this post, we’ve covered some helpful ways to choose the right type of wood fence for your home as well as practical tips to care for and maintain your investment too.

Apply Stain to Your Fencing

It is wise to apply stain to your wood fence shortly after installation. Staining will help safeguard and preserve the fence from wet and dry rot. Make sure to opt for a wood stain that suits your desired color. For instance, if you reside in a home with chestnut siding, you might need to opt for a similarly-colored wood stain.

Also, get a wood stain with moisture-resistant coating or UV coating to keep your wood fence in the best condition. If you have no idea what color to choose, then it’s a wise idea to take a photo of your yard and ask a store employee for advice.

Once done choosing the color, test the wood stain on an unnoticeable area of the fence. Apply the stain there using a bristle brush. If you think the color does not match your yard or is not what you assumed it’d look like, then feel free to buy a different wood stain.

When applying a wood stain, use a roller. Be sure to smooth out any bumpy sections of the fence with a bristle brush. Then, let the woods stain to dry for at least one day. Keep in mind that the dissipation of protective oils can cause the wood to become brittle and dry, and thus, resulting in dry rot.

On the other hand, wet rot is brought about by continual exposure or submission to moisture. It’s a good idea to apply a linseed based oil stain because it aids in restoring the natural protective oils of the wood.

Following the initial application, you might need to apply a stain to your wood fence annually. Failing to do so could lead to bigger problems, and eventually, replacing the fence might be your only option. If this happens, be sure to contact experts, such as Skilled Fencing, to advise you on the kind of fence suited for your needs and will last for years to come.

Clean Fencing Thoroughly

Whenever you spot debris and leaves from your fence, be sure to clear all of them. In this way, you prevent the moisture entrapment and buildup of dirt, which, by the way, can lead to wet rot, mildew, and mold.

Make use of a pressure washer to get rid of all the debris on your fence. Also, white vinegar can be helpful to clear lingering stains and dirt. All you need to do is to make a solution of a gallon of water and one cup of vinegar.

Then, with a sprayer, apply the solution on the wood fence and allow at least ten minutes for it to work. After ten minutes, you can wash the fence through a power washer. Alternatively, you can apply a fence or wood cleaner to the fence.

Be sure to coat the entire fence from the bottom to the top. For tight areas, use a brush and dip it into the fence cleaner solution. Then, apply it in tight corners or between boards. Before applying, ensure you read and understand the instructions of the fence cleaner.

After that, let the solution sit for about twenty minutes. In this way, the solution can soak into the fence more before you pressure wash it off. If the instructions tell you to keep it on longer, then take heed.

After about twenty minutes, rinse off the cleaner with a pressure washer. And then let the wood fence dry for about one day, unless it rains or if its humid outside, then you might need to wait a couple of days for it to completely dry.

Once it dries, shield the fence from sun damage by using a polyurethane sealant. Use a brush to apply. Be sure to keep the coating as uniform and unvaried as possible. Apply at least three coats of polyurethane sealant, allowing it to dry for about twenty-four hours between coats.

Apply Mildew Cleaner

Take note that even well-maintained fences could develop mildew and mold at times. That said, it would certainly help if you examine and check over your fence regularly. In this way, you’ll be able to detect mildew and mold early enough.

Plus, it’s simpler to tackle and fight off mildew and mold before it grows extensively. Make sure to wash the fence with water and soap and then with a mildew cleaner. After that, rinse the fence thoroughly to get rid of the traces of cleaner.

Paint It

Did you know that a well-painted wood fence could last for many years? Yes, it’s true! Even so, you might need to repaint the fence every four years to enhance its appearance and protect it from rotting away.

Also, it’s common for paint to chip and peel in some areas. To fix it, do a quick restoration to the affected areas. Take off the old paint, sand the particular spot, and then apply a new coat of paint. It’s a good idea to make use of paint that has a primer for best results.

If your fence has been previously painted, then roll or spray a coat of paint stripper. Allow it to sit for at least twenty-four hours, relying upon the instructions, and then remove the residue using a wet bristle brush. Ensure to wear safety goggles and a respirator while spraying paint strippers to your fence.

Moreover, if there are areas, you do not want to be painted, then secure these sections with plastic sheeting. In this way, you prevent the paint from going into areas you don’t want to paint. Fasten the plastic sheeting with duct tape so that while you work, it is kept in place.

Another thing, do wash the fence with a pressure washer before you paint it, especially if you have not cleaned your wood fence for some time. Do use a paint sprayer to coat the area completely. Lastly, let the final coat of paint to dry for about one day. Once it dries, apply a sealant to prevent the paint from fading or chipping over time.

Reseal Your Fence

Wooden fences are an excellent addition to a property, and when installed properly, it can bring significant value to a home. And one of the essential things to do when dealing with wood is sealing.

This vital step will make sure that moisture won’t get into the wood fence, causing wood rot, mildew, and mold. What’s more, some sealants can protect or shield your fence against pests and termites.

It is very simple to seal your wood fence. Well, first, you need to clean your fence because it is crucial that debris or dirt won’t prevent the sealant from infiltrating your wood fence. Once done cleaning, remove mold or mildew.

This step is very important for fences that were not sealed immediately. You can do this by mixing about four gallons of water and a cup of bleach. Then, scrub the fence with the solution. Ensure to rinse the fence with a water hose or sprayer to remove or get rid of all traces of bleach.

After that, let your fence dry, and then you can apply your sealer. Resealing the fence can be done at least twice a year. The best time to reseal the fence is after you paint it. Paint spraying units can aid you in resealing effectively and comfortably.

Do Some Fixings

When a wooden fence starts to deteriorate, it spreads quickly. That’s the thing about wood fencing you need to keep in mind. That said, it’s crucial to get it fixed as soon as possible. Do take note that water-damaged or rotting wood can broaden the boards or areas surrounding it. While this can be prevalent in homes in any neighborhood, it is common to see this in fixer-upper homes that have poorly maintained fencing and curb appeal that needs a refresh.

Therefore, weakening the whole fence. Also, cracked or split fencing makes your home less secure, letting unwanted pets or people in. For this reason, it is essential to replace all damaged boards.

Keep in mind that fasteners and nails on your wood fence will become loose over time. It’s because of the constant contraction and expansion. So that you won’t hit anyone, be sure to drive all loose nails. Also, replace any sections that might have rotted, warped, or split, and replace any missing nails.

If you see any small cracks or splits, use waterproof wood glue to fix these areas. Make sure to tape it together for one day while the wood glue dries. After twenty-four hours, you can remove or get rid of the tape. Inspect the area for implications of further degeneration.

For significantly damaged posts, reinforce them with a concrete spur. All you need to do is to dig a hole around the fence’s base at least two feet deep, relying upon the concrete spur’s size. Then, put a concrete spur into the hole and fasten it with bolts.

Moreover, to protect the base posts, do apply wood preservative. Use a brush and gently coat the posts. Doing this will help prevent the bases from causing too much wreck to the fence and rotting.

Why Invest In A Wood Fence?

With plenty of options regarding fencing, how can you know or determine which one is fit for your fencing preference? Chain link, vinyl, and iron are all well-known options for fencing. However, wood fencing has undoubtedly been a top choice amongst homeowners, especially those communities with a homeowners association to deal with.

Since wood fencing can be chopped into almost any size and height and painted or stained in any color, it’s uncomplicated and straightforward to make it adjust to the decor of your home. Also, it is the best option for the conventional white picket fence you might want for your front yard.

Other than being a pleasant fencing option, a wooden fence is an affordable option. In fact, wood fencing products are among the most inexpensive and low-cost materials you can get for a fence. And because wood is an abundant resource and naturally occurring, its prices tend to stay low.

Being an affordable fencing option does not mean that it is less durable. As a matter of fact, if you want a beautiful, long-lasting fence, consider wood. It is especially true with proper care and maintenance. Still, wood fencing is an excellent investment for your property.

Moreover, you can paint whatever shade you like to a wooden fence. Thus, it makes it simple for you to ensure that the wooden fence complements the decor of your property and the rest of the structures.

The biggest benefit of wood fencing is that it can potentially boost the value of your property. Most homebuyers think of wood fencing as an accessory. So, if your home is equipped with a wooden fence, when it is time to sell, it could make your property stand out from the rest.

Wood Fencing Takeaway

Wood fences are prominent landscape features in a lot of homes. Well, it’s partly due to its natural and warm aesthetic appeal. Have you got an idea of what type of wood was used to construct your fence? If not, then it’s time to get to know them. Take note that some woods last longer and are normally durable when laid open to the various elements. Yew, white oak, and black locust have superior durability, while western juniper, red oak, and western red cedar have high-durability.

On the other hand, alder, cottonwood, douglas fir, white fir, and pine are less durable. Understanding and knowing the different kinds of wood lets you know how long your fence can last. Moreover, when your wood fence is well-maintained, not only it can secure your family and valuables, but make the appearance of your home much better.

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About the Creator

Anita Clark Realtor

Anita Clark is an award winning Georgia residential real estate agent who has been helping buyers, investors, military relocations, and sellers since 2007. Visit her blog at

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