A wood fence serves a couple of functions. It forms a distinct border around your home, protects your children and pets from straying into the streets and, it’s also a decorative feature for your home. Even though wood fences are durable, they’re not indestructible. They need regular maintenance to keep them functional and in perfect shape.
The maintenance process is not complicated or lengthy. All it takes is a few hours over the weekend and a few tools and supplies to rejuvenate and patch up the fence. Here are a few steps you can use to restore the fence to its glory.
Check the pickets
Start by checking the picket for loose, rotting and lost nails. Use a hammer to remove the loose and rotting nails and replace them with a new ones. If the picket is rotten or broken, replace it with a new one before replacing the nails.
Fix minor damage
Inspect the fence closely for minor damages like cracks and splits on the wood. If you come across any, use waterproof wood glue to seal them and tape it together for 24 hours to give time to the glue to dry. When removing the tape, inspect the area to see if the damage has progressed. It also helps to clean the area first to enhance bond between the glue and the wood.
Cleaning the fence
It may come as a surprise but, wood fences also require cleaning once in a while. Mildew builds up on some sections of the fence and it needs to be cleaned off. Use a mildew cleaner for this and pressurized water. If you don’t have access to pressurized water, you can use the soap and brush to scrub off the gunk then hose it down. When cleaning the fence, be sure to check the base where the wood meets the ground for signs of rot.
Once every few years, the fence should be repainted or stained. It’s a simple process and you only need a brush, a roller or a paint sprayer though you should use the sprayer with caution. Two thin coats of stain or paint are enough to keep your fence protected for the next 12 months. When painting, let the first coat dry before applying the second one.
If you’re painting or staining the fence for the first time, you should use a sealer first then paint. You should then apply the sealer annually to keep the fence protected from moisture and rot. When buying the sealer, buy the best you can find. The higher the quality, the better the protection it will offer to the wood. If you want to paint the fence after cleaning, give it at least 24 hours for it to dry before you can apply the sealant or paint.
Caulking is a great way to prevent the wood from moisture damage. At least once a year, you should caulk the areas where the fence and the concrete posts meet. It will keep out the moisture and prolong the life of the fence.
You don’t have to perform these tasks regularly. Most of them only need to be done once a year. But, they can significantly extend the life of your wood fence while making it the envy of everyone in the neighbourhood.