The longevity of your wooden fence can decrease drastically if you live in a region where it is constantly exposed to the sun, wind, rain, and other harsh weather elements. However, a properly maintained wooden fence can last for years. If you are not sure how to prepare your wooden fence for the summer, we recommend you hire an expert who can help you. Simply search “fencing company near me” online to seek professional help.
However, if you want to learn the valuable process of maintaining your wooden fence, here are a few essential wooden fence maintenance tips that you may follow for the fall.
Conduct a thorough inspection of your wooden fence
It is essential to conduct a thorough inspection of your wooden fence before you move on to other maintenance work such as cleaning and staining. A fence inspection involves the close examination of important fence parts such as the gates, hinges, latch, post, and more for damage or other faults. Here are a few parts you should inspect closely:
- Gate – Check whether the gate of your fence is squarely attached and closing properly. Misuse and misalignment from sagging of the gate or due to loose screws or nails along the posts can cause the problem. You can push the gate back into alignment by tightening the screws and nails back into place.
- Post – Check whether the wood posts are securely attached to the ground by giving it a slight push. If you notice any movement, check the bottom of the post for damage from rotting, weeds cracking, etc.
- Hinges – Check for damage to the hinges due to gusty winds or misuse. If you notice any bent portions, try to unbend them using a hammer.
- Latch – Check whether the gate is closing all the way up to the latch or whether it is misaligned. If you have a self-closing gate, you have to check the tension of it as well.
- Panels – Check the wooden panels for damage due to rotting, warping, insects, or bruises. Sometimes, woods can naturally crack, warp, or form cracks due to weathering. You can secure warped boards back into place using nails or replace the individual damaged parts with a new board of matching color.
Repair any visible damage
Now, before we move on to the next phase of wooden fence maintenance, you first have to repair any visible damage to prolong its life. Here are a few tips to help you with that:
- Use waterproof wood glue for fixing minor damage – You can apply waterproof wood glue to areas that contain small cracks or split and then tape them together for 24 hours to fix them. Remove the tape after a day after it has dried completely.
- Repair broken or rotting fence posts using concrete spur – You can purchase concrete spurs from home improvement stores or online and use them to support a rotting fence. First, saw off the rotted area and coat it with a wood sealant.
Next, dig a hole of around 1 – 2 feet around the base of the fence post and place the concrete spur into each hole. Attach them using bolts to secure them in place. Fill the rest of the hole using concrete to make sure it stays in the exact place for years to come.
- Tighten loose boards – Remove and replace loose nails or screws with stainless steel screws and cover them with caulk to keep them in place.
Clean and stain your wooden fence
Cleaning your wooden fence periodically is also important to keep it in good shape. Here are a few tips you can follow to clean your wooden fence properly:
- Apply a wood fence cleaner – Follow the instructions that came with the product before using any wood or fence cleaner. Make sure to start the coating from the bottom of the fence to the top and use a brush to reach the tight areas.
Keep the cleaner for about 15-20 minutes to allow it to soak properly and then rinse it off using a pressure washer. Make sure the pressure washer is rated at 2700 PSI or less to prevent it from damaging the wood. Also, be sure to spray the tip back and forth over the wooden fence and avoid letting it sit in one place for effective cleaning.
Allow the fence to dry for at least 24 hours. If the weather is humid or it rains, you might have to wait for several days for it to dry completely.
- Apply a wood preservative – Lightly coat the fence with a wood preservative using a bristle brush to protect it from rotting. This is essential if you live in a humid climate.
- Stain the wooden fence – UV or moisture-resistant oil stains offer the best results and can keep your fence in good condition. Simply choose a stain color of your choice and coat it on the fence using a roller. Make sure to apply it in an inconspicuous location to test the color first.
Let the stain dry for about 24 hours or more according to the stain instruction manual.
- Apply a polyurethane sealant – A polyurethane sealant can help to protect your wooden fence from sun damage. Make sure to wear gloves and use a bristle brush to apply the sealant on the wooden fence after it dries. Keep the coating as even as possible and work it in the direction of the grain. It is sufficient to apply 2-3 coats and let each coat dry for 24 hours.
Maintaining a wooden fence is a lot of work every year. It can take a significant chunk of your daily time which could otherwise spend with your family and loved ones or dedicate to your work. If you are still not sure how to properly maintain your wooden fence for the fall, there is no need to worry. All you have to do is search “fencing company near me” online and let a professional fence installation expert guide you with the process.