In Texas, the summer months are high in heat and humidity, which can take their toll on any hardscape feature, especially maintaining a wood fence. Being proactive with fence maintenance is vital. Here are a few steps and tips that we recommend.
Give Your Fence a Thorough Cleaning
Mother Nature throws an amazing amount of dirt, grime, and other debris at your fence – most of which will stick to it. When initially addressing how to maintain a wood fence, removing this layer of dirt is the first place to start. A professional power washer may not leave it looking new, but it will definitely improve its overall appearance. In addition, a thorough cleaning gives you a fresh base to work with and is necessary to complete any other fence maintenance effectively.
No Matter How Minor, Repair Any Damage
When it comes to outdoor features, freezing temperatures, and the frost/defrost cycle usually tend to do the most damage. This makes it essential to repair even the smallest damage to your fence before the colder temperatures move in. If your wood fence is not repaired and properly protected, water can infiltrate the damaged areas, freeze when the temperatures drop, and then pry apart even the strongest joints. A little fence maintenance and care now can save a lot of aggravation and money.
Proper fence maintenance includes removing any grass or weeds growing around the bottom of your fence. When they’re too close to your fence, grass, weeds, and other plants create a dark, moist environment that can lead to mold growth and wood rot. Remove or cut any loose or low-hanging tree limbs that touch or almost touch your fence. This ensures they don’t rub up against the fence or cause damage during a severe storm.
Check for Weathering and Rotting
Now that the fence is cleaned and the debris is cleared, it’s time to inspect your fence for any signs of weathering. Looks for signs of rotting or damage from termites or other insects. Inspect fence posts and panels to ensure they are stable. Grab each post from the top and apply pressure to all sides to check posts for stability. A secure post won’t move under pressure. If it does move, it should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
Stain for Added Protection
The final step is staining or re-staining your fence. The staining process not only makes the fence more visually pleasing but also helps to increase its long-term durability. The latest high-tech stains incorporate compounds that color the wood and protect it from UV light, water, and insects, as well as fungal growth.