You've spent thousands of dollars and loads of time choosing your style of fence and watching it be installed by your fencing contractor. Now you're reaping the reward of a private outdoor space that you plan to enjoy for years to come. However, chances are the work for you may have only begun. Every wood fence requires proper care and maintenance to keep up its appearance and effectiveness.
Step 1: Staining Your New Fence
Properly staining your wood fence (even though it's a long-lasting material) is essential to preventing weather damage such as unsightly water marks and mildew build-up. Fencing contractors generally maintain that you will want to stain your fence twice: once in the first summer and then again the following year, before taking advantage of any 10-year gap that your stain may promise you.
Step 2: Clean any Mildew
You'll want to remove any mildew build-up from your fence by rinsing and possibly sanding away surface damage. Be careful not to use any household cleaner that could eat away at the wood or cause unsightly bleaching.
Step 3: Check the Pickets
Every year when the snow melts (or once on your calendar if you live in a perpetually warm climate), you're going to need to check the pickets of your wood fence for stability, leaning and other damage. You'll want to hammer in or replace any loose or missing nails.
It's essential to remove and replace any rotting pickets before the rot spreads and you have to replace a whole section of fence. Fencing contractors should be able to give you advice that will help you either do it yourself or know when it is time to call in a pro to replace fence posts, no matter the kind of fence you have.
Step 4: Seal the Posts
Placing a barrier such as weather-resistant caulking where the posts meet the concrete is the best way to prevent moisture from rotting out your corner posts. Since these are essential to the structure of your fence, an ounce of prevention will give your fence a much longer life and prevent leaning.
Step 5: Re-paint or Stain
Every few years, you'll want to evaluate the condition and appearance of your fence to determine whether new stain should be applied overall. If you've had issues with mildew build-up, chances are you'll need a good coat to prevent those from recurring.
A properly maintained wood fence is a joy for you as well as your neighbours. You'll be able to enjoy the privacy of your yard for years to come with a little bit of extra elbow grease.