Maintaining Your Wood Fence

wood-fenceWooden fences add charm and visual appeal to your property. A Houston Fence Company can provide you with a beautiful fence that will last for years with proper maintenance. Whether you prefer an old-fashioned picket fence or solid wooden panels, all wood fences require routine care to stay looking their best.

Inspect for Damage

Assessing damage is the first part of fence maintenance. This is particularly important after bouts of severe weather. Look for warped or leaning posts and panels, cracks, protruding nails, rot and any other abnormalities that needs correcting. After giving the fence a thorough cleaning, use waterproof glue to repair cracks and rust-resistance screws to tighten any loose areas.

Clean With Care

Wood weathers over time and gathers outdoor debris such as grass clippings, leaves and dirt. To restore your fence to its former glory, pick up a high-quality wood cleaning solution at your local hardware store and apply it according to the directions. Rinse the fence completely with a hose or rent a power washer to take care of stubborn stains. Allow the fence to air-dry and re-treat the wood as necessary.

Prevent Mold and Fungus

Problems such as mold and mildew need special attention. If you find any signs of growth during your inspection, use an appropriate product to remove it. Fungal growth detracts from the appearance of the fence and will weaken the wood over time. Any posts or panels that show severe signs of rot should be replaced. Areas of the fence that maintain close contact with the ground should be treated with a wood preservative to protect from water damage.

Keep Pests at Bay

Termites are the enemies of a wood fence. Unfortunately, most fences are made from woods that termites are fond of. Prevent infestation by sinking fence posts into concrete rather than directly into the ground to minimize access. If a small group of termites shows interest in your fence, you may be able to get rid of them with borax. Larger infestations should be handled by a professional since it can be difficult to determine the extent of the problem just by looking at the fence.

Refresh the Finish

Staining is the best way to preserve a wood fence. Unlike paint, stain sinks into the surface of the wood to provide penetrating protection. It also allows the natural beauty of the wood to shine through.

Stain should be refreshed whenever you notice water beginning to soak into the wood rather than beading on the surface. You can use a brush, roller or power sprayer to add a new coating. If you do decide to use a sprayer, make sure to stop now and then to smooth out drips with a brush. A brush is also preferable for reaching areas close to the ground and doing touchup work once you have covered the majority of the fence.

For added defense against the elements, consider sealing the posts or panels once a year before adding stain. Check that the fence is completely dry before you apply any type of protective coating.

Ensure Longevity

Minimize potential stress and damage to your fence by pointing sprinklers so that they do not spray the wood and keeping plants well away from the base of the posts and panels. This prevents rotting and eliminates paths that insects can use to access the fence.

Whether you would like to use wood for your Houston fence or you are looking to put up a fence in The Woodlands, TX, partnering with a Houston fence company ensures that the initial installation is sturdy and of high quality. As long as you practice proper wood fence maintenance, your fence will retain its beauty and solidity over a longer period of time.