Fences are an excellent way to provide privacy for your property while also adding curb appeal. They can also be used for more decorative purposes, such as adding privacy or shielding an unattractive view. You must maintain and repair your fence to ensure it lasts a long time because the replacement cost can be expensive, especially if you have an older fence that needs repairs from time to time.
This blog post will give you 15 easy tips on maintaining and caring for your fence so that it stays in good shape.
Inspect your fence regularly for damage and repair as needed
Fence inspections should be done regularly, especially if you have small children or pets. It is essential to check for damage and make necessary repairs immediately before the problem worsens. Inspect your fence at least once every three months (more often if needed).
Hire professionals for major projects
If you are replacing large portions of your fence due to serious damage, it may be time to call in professional help. If this is the case, you can also see about getting an estimate from them ahead of time so that there will not be any surprises when they start work on the project. This should save time and money and prevent issues with other contractors.
Keep your fence clean
This is especially important if you have a wooden fence. Wood can be susceptible to rot and decay if not cleaned regularly. Use a mild detergent and water mixture to clean your fence, making sure to avoid any harsh chemicals that could damage the wood. Be sure to rinse off the soap residue completely so that it does not cause further damage or discoloration over time.
Protect your fencing from weathering elements
If you live in an area with severe weather conditions, it is vital to take steps to protect your fence from the elements. This includes applying a coat of paint or sealant every few years (or as needed) to keep the weather from causing damage to your fence.
Use a pressure washer for stubborn dirt and stains on wooden fencing
Pressure washing is an excellent way to clean stubborn dirt, grime, or even mildew off of wood surfaces such as a fence. It works best if you use hot water mixed with soap so that it can break up any existing grime first before blasting away at it with high-pressure water jets.
You should avoid using cold water because this will not be effective in breaking down the debris and could cause more problems over time. Instead, clean your fences properly after they have been blasted free by the pressure from the spray nozzle.
Clean vinyl fencing regularly to prevent discoloration
Vinyl fencing requires regular maintenance to keep it looking good and prevent damage. Allowing dirt, grime, or mildew to build up over time can lead to discoloration that is difficult, if not impossible, to remove later on down the road when you are ready for repainting purposes.
Clean your vinyl fence regularly with a hose (or pressure washer) using soap mixed with warm water; this will break down any accumulated debris before they have time to cause further problems by building up over time.
Avoid using high-pressure water jets
Pressure washing wood surfaces such as a fence can effectively remove built-up crud like dirt, dust, pollen buildup, and even mildew. You should avoid using high-pressure water jets on untreated wood because this can cause the wood to warp, split apart, or crack as a result of too much pressure being applied over time without breaks in between each use.
Apply stain every couple of years for best results
Stains are another great way to protect wooden surfaces from weathering elements such as rain, snow, sun exposure, etc. It will help keep your fence looking good by preventing damage that might occur otherwise due to harsh conditions outdoors (which is especially common during certain seasons).
Make sure you apply a coat at least once every two years – more often if needed – but do not allow it to build up into thick layers that will be difficult to remove or paint over when the time comes.
Trim your bushes and trees away from your fence
If you have large bushes or trees near your fence, it is important to trim them back on a regular basis. This is because, over time, they will grow tall enough so that their branches (or even roots) will start to damage or penetrate through the fencing material. Prevention is always better than having to repair or replace sections of your fence down the line due to neglected maintenance tasks like this one.
Regularly check for loose screws, nails, and other fasteners
It is not uncommon for screws, nails, and other types of fasteners to become loose on a fence over time. This is because they are subject to being jarred loose from high winds, heavy rainstorms, or other types of weathering elements that will affect the structural integrity of the fencing material itself (also known as “settling”).
Take a few minutes each month during routine inspections throughout your property so you can tighten any screws/nails/fasteners which have become loose since your last inspection.
Regularly check for broken boards and missing pickets along fences
Broken planks or pickets in wooden fencing should be repaired immediately before further damage occurs due to them becoming even more easily damaged by outdoor conditions such as wind gusts, etc. The best way to repair broken wood quickly is to use a strong wood adhesive and clamps to hold the pieces together as it dries.
Remove any loose nails/screws before replacing boards and prickets
If there are no broken planks/pickets along your fence, but they still appear weathered over time (due to exposure outdoors), then it is probably best for aesthetic purposes if you start replacing those which have become faded by sun exposure or discolored due to constant rainstorms, etc.
Before removing old damaged boards, make sure you pull out all of the nails/screws that might be protruding from the bottom of them using pliers. This will prevent having metal ends sticking up after new ones have been installed (which will just cause further damage in the long run).
Always use a level when installing new boards or pickets to keep them straight
If you are not experienced in carpentry, it is always best to have someone help you who is so that your fence repairs look professional and are done correctly. One thing they will likely do is use a level when installing new boards/pickets to make sure they are all even and straight along the length of the fence – otherwise, it will just look messy and unprofessional.
Use matching wood when replacing fences
When repairing or replacing wood sections, try to find wood planks/pickets that are closest in color to the existing ones so that it is not too noticeable. This might take a little trial and error when you shop for them, but if your fence is visible from the road or sidewalk, then this will be important since people passing by may notice even minor differences in the wood type being used along with height variations where new boards have been installed versus older ones.
If replacing an entire section of fence, use treated lumber when possible
Depending on what part of the country you live in (and thus whether certain weathering elements are more prevalent), try using pressure-treated lumber instead of regular untreated lumber whenever possible because its chemicals can protect against infestation and damage caused by pests such as termites, etc.
Make sure the lumber is pressure-treated and not just regular wood which has been pretreated because it could be harmful to your health if exposed for too long without proper protection (e.g., gloves, masks).
It’s important that you continue checking on your fence regularly throughout the year so problems can be addressed as soon as possible before they worsen over time.
By following these top tips, you’ll be sure to keep your fence in good condition and extend the lifespan.