If you recently put up a new fence, or have owned it for years, it’s important to develop a plan for maintaining its appearance. Developing a maintenance schedule will keep your fence looking fresh, and prevent it from suffering damage that could shorten its lifespan.
First and foremost, clean the fence to remove dust, pollen and other debris that can attract bugs. You can use a garden hose to wash the fence and a brush to scrub off tougher stains. Make sure to maintain a 2 to 3 foot distance from the fence, so you don’t hurt it as you clean it.
Once your fence is clean, apply a protective coating to protect the wood from moisture and other elements. There are several options available, from paint to sealants, depending on the type of fence you have. Whether you choose to paint or stain your fence, it’s best to reapply it within one year after installing the new layer.
Repair rotting or broken fence posts
If your wood posts are rotting or damaged, it’s important to remove them and replace them with concrete spurs. A concrete spur is a long, thin piece of concrete that fits into the end of each post and holds it upright. It can be purchased at most home improvement stores.
Trim away vegetation and weeds that grow too close to your fence
It’s also important to trim trees and bushes that grow too close to your new fence maintenance to avoid damaging the fencing or rooting into it. Using a pair of pruning shears or a hedge trimmer, cut back any foliage that is in contact with the fence. This will help to keep your fence free from rust, which is caused by moisture reaching the metal and causing it to deteriorate.
Rust is a common problem with metal fences, especially those that have been exposed to the elements for too long. If you spot any rust, it’s important to address it immediately to prevent further damage to your fence.
Sand and sand down the rusted areas to remove all traces of the rust, then use a rust-preventing primer to protect your fence from future rust. Once the primer is dry, apply a coat of oil-based metal paint to your fence.
Stain your fence
If you’re concerned that your fence is starting to fade and become worn down, it may be time to apply a wood stain. Wood stains are available in a wide range of colors, and most have a high level of UV protection, making them an excellent option for protecting your wood from sun damage and other weather factors.
Before applying a stain, clean the fence with a strong garden hose or power washer to remove all dirt and stains that are preventing the stain from sticking properly. Once the fence is clean, work the stain into small and tight areas with a stain roller or a brush to create an even finish.
Recoat the fence
Every two to three years, it’s time to recoat your wood fence with a coat of water-resistant, UV inhibiting stain or paint. Recoating your fence is an inexpensive way to maintain its beauty and improve its durability.